Anyway, tomorrow starts the annual tradition of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, during which many aspiring writers set themselves a deadline of one month to complete a 50,000 word novel. If you're one of those writers who has decided to start the journey in just under two hours, I wish you the best of luck and hope you succeed. By all means, keep us apprised of your progress throughout.
But I will not be of your ranks for a simple reason, and it has nothing to do with lack of time or motivation. It is simply this:
I am not naturally a fast writer.
Some writers are naturally quick, able to sit down and generate a few thousand words at a clip. But others spend more time on their writing, taking the same amount of time to complete a few hundred words of prose fiction. Neither speed of writing is better than the other; it's just a question of what sort of writer a person is.
Over the past decade of short fiction writing, I've come to acknowledge that I take more time getting my words onto the page than many others do. It would go against my natural abilities as a writer to force myself into a speed race that I know I would not be able to win.
So for those of us who fall into the "slow writer" category, let me suggest NaNoWriYea (pronounced with a shout of "Yeah!" at the end), or National Novel Writing Year. After all, even if you're not doing NaNoWriMo, you can still write a novel. As Gay Haldeman once told me, "A page a day is a book a year."
Slow and steady can also win the race.