I recently made the journey from one end of the country to the other, which is why there has been such a long hiatus between posts. Naturally, this involved driving in a 26 ft Penske truck and towing a car. Needless to say, I was quite grateful for cruise control on the 4 day drive that followed. Now, I have a 16 month old son who made the journey with my wife and I. He was great with the drive those first two days, but by the third day, all he wanted to do was get out of the truck and for the drive to be over. But that third day, there was still a 16 hour drive ahead of us before we got to our destination. My wife and I decided, since we were also tired of the long drive (anyone who has driven across the country like that can attest), that we’d push it that day and make it a one-day drive. My son had other plans. Just outside of Lordsburg, NM he decided that he’d had enough. He cried and cried and cried. At that point, there were only 3.5 hours left to go. But he’d had enough. He was done. So we decided not to rush, stopped in Wilcox, AZ and then drove the remaining 3 hours the next morning. He was much happier and, honestly, so were we.
When writing, we often do the same thing. We get to the end of our epic quest or the climax of our story and we just want to get to the end and get the writing done. We want to finish our work at all costs. I am guilty of this. Sometimes my final chapters move much more quickly than they should because I cut corners and simplified scenes in order to just get it done – trusting the later edits to fix these items. But why rush? Most of us aren’t plagued with a deadline of any sort. Slow down – enjoy the craft and art of writing and creating for what it is – the chance to express yourself through the medium you love – rather than a contest and race to check off a task on your “to-do” list. Ask yourself, “Why Rush?”