Tortoise or Hare?



Photo © SteveMcsweeny | iStockphoto

Slow and steady wins the race.

Or so they say.

There is definitely something to be said for doing a little at a time and for having consistency. In the long run, that probably is the most efficient way to be.

I’m not, though.

I’m a sprinter. Like the hare in the fable, I run far and fast (metaphorically–I don’t do a lot of actual running), but then I need a break. I can write the better part of a novel for NaNoWriMo, but then I need to take the next couple of months refreshing my brain. I can edit through a manuscript in a couple weeks, but then I need to put it away and not think about it for several more weeks after that. Even in every day life, I’m like that. I’ll have a day where I scurry around and get everything in my house clean, and then I need to take a couple days to not do much. If I have a lot of errands to run and  busyness to attend to one day, then the next I need to recuperate.

All the advice out there says to write a little every day. Even a few words, but be consistent in your writing, doing something every day.

I don’t do that. I go several days at a time without working on any writing projects at all. That may or may not include stuff for Splickety or non-fiction writing. I’ve even gone weeks without doing anything productive writing-wise.

And then I’ll have days where I sit down at my desk and write a ton, getting a lot done. Days where my productivity is through the roof. Sometimes several days in a row like that, if I’m working toward a deadline or goal.

I would like to be more tortoise-like, plodding along and getting something done, even a little, every single day. I’m just not. Sure, I could develop that skill, and I’m trying to be better about that, but it goes against my natural inclinations and my natural flow, not to mention my regular life-filled schedule.

As a writer and as a person, it’s generally a good idea to stretch yourself and learn to do some things outside your comfort zone, learning to get good at things that aren’t naturally your strengths, and so I am trying to discipline myself to be more consistent, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a tortoise. I’ll always be a sprinter at heart, and I think that’s okay, as long as I use my strengths and don’t get lazy and fall asleep while the tortoises pass me by. (And, if some tortoises do pass me by, as they inevitably will, that’s okay, too. I don’t have to be the best ever, I just have to be the best at being me and do the best with what I have.)

What about you? What’s your style, whether in life or writing or both? Tortoise or Hare?

About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

3 comments on “Tortoise or Hare?

  1. Oh, definitely hare. You and I approach writing and life in much the same way. It works for us. Sometimes simply leaving everybody else in the dust and then relaxing with a mai tai afterwards wins the race. 😀

  2. I’m all over the map, depending on what else is going on in my life. Lately, it’s more bursts of writing productivity with lots of family-related projects filling the time in between.

  3. I definitely have to do some every day, slow and steady. Turtle like, for sure. I’ve learned, over the years, that I would just keep putting it all off, otherwise. My (ahem) advancing age is also a spur; time, it is a-tickin’…..now or never….do or die…..

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