On self-publishing and the importance of drafting
Recently on WordPress, I came across a post announcing a new book release. It was immediately apparent that the book was self-published – itself no bad thing. However, a bit of digging revealed something very bad indeed: about three weeks had passed, tops, between completion of the first draft and announcement of the final product.
I will not name the blog or specific work here, but suffice it to say that this is not the first such case I’ve come across. So today, a message, as an aspiring writer to other aspiring writers:
DO. NOT. DO THIS.
Seriously. I mean it. Don’t. There is no way – I repeat, NO WAY – that your project will reach its potential if you rush like this. No way at all.
The problem with this is that it wastes the time of everyone involved. Most obvious is that it wastes the time (and money!) of readers, who are essentially being sold an unfinished product. Such readers, assuming there are any, are unlikely to stick around for later books – a true disaster for any fledgling writer.
What must be emphasised, however, is that such writers also waste their own time. In their haste to publish, they cheapen the time already spent on their books: they gut the quality of their work and cheat themselves out of valuable experience, all for the sake of speed. Such books are virtually guaranteed to fade quickly into obscurity, perhaps leaving some truly wonderful ideas to go to waste.
Good fiction takes time; it is not something to be rushed. It takes time to detach yourself from a project and look at it with a truly critical eye. It takes even more time to draft that project out and get it as good as it can be. And if you’re not willing to take that time? Then, really, what was the point of that project to begin with?
Don’t rush. Give your story the time it deserves. Otherwise, you’ll be doing yourself and your work a massive disservice.
From → Writing