Oh, yes. FEAR can really make me, Kim Lenox, write faster. As a writer, the fear comes from deadlines, but there is also a fear of letting someone down. Before you get a contract to write, you just write for yourself. You suffer your disappointments alone, with the kind support of your critique partners, family and friends. But once you have a contract, there are people depending on you to write, and to write well. You have an agent, and an editor, and the art department and the copy editors. You don’t want to be the weak link in the chain to producing a good, solid book. It’s an awesome feeling to be part of such a team, and you want to keep your place in the mix!
What else makes me write faster? I tend to take months to write my first 3-4 chapters, and then I speed (as much as a “slow” writer can speed) through the rest. Until those first couple of chapters are right, I just can’t move forward. To do so would be like taking a wrong turn, and just continuing to drive. So I guess knowing the story, and being on the right track.
When I’m in the last stages of a deadline, I also usually start doing timed writing jags. I’ll give myself 30 minutes to write two pages, then I can check email or surf the Net for five minutes. Then it’s back for another 30 minutes of writing.
Tomorrow is the day we in the US observe Memorial Day, and honor those who have fallen while serving in the Armed Forces. I’d like to send out a very heartfelt, personal thank you to all members of the services, past and present.