Everything Good Needs Time

In my mountains of research that I do for post ideas, I came across this gem: 9 Rules for Success by British Novelist Amelia E. Barr, 1901

6.Everything good needs time. Don’t do work in a hurry. Go into details; it pays in every way. Time means power for your work. Mediocrity is always in a rush; but whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing with consideration. For genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.”
– Amelia E. Barr

Amelia knew what’s what, even back in the early 1900s.

Everything Good Takes Time

As a writer, my job is to communicate.  As a blogger/site producer, my job is to communicate.  The two, writer and blogger, butt heads daily.

They look the same, don’t they?  Both descriptions end with “communicate” and both entail writing.  Yet, writing takes on a different urgency when you publish a site that includes new material at least three times a week.

Churning them out, baby!

Since this site jumped onto the Internet (about 16 months ago), I have written over 375 posts (when you figure in the handful of guests posts, it’s a bit higher).  That’s a lot of words.  A lot of detail.

There are days I hit a home run, and then there are days when my inner dialogue mocks me: yousuckthissucksWRITESOMETHINGBETTER!

Oy.

I happen to agree with Amelia; I just don’t get there every time.

We live in a world of information NOW!  We need MORE!  FRESH!  INSIGHTFUL!  FUNNY!  DEPTH! LIGHTHEARTEDNESS! A LAUGH! MOREMOREMORE!  NOW!

You see the dilemma.

375+ posts.  Husband is dumbfounded.  He has asked me many times over our years together where I find the words.

I don’t.  They find me.  I don’t know that one could write as prolifically as I do, if one struggled to find the words.

I have written three full-sized novels.  I currently write for two blogs, including this one.  I’m working on an e-book.

Yes.  I write ALL THE THINGS!

Still, I write.  There is much more to say, to ponder, to discuss.

When I started this site, I had in mind a 2-3 post week.  That way I could flesh out my thoughts; I could go into detail and give my work power.  Amelia…I heard you and I wanted to be the affirmative nod to your assertion.

I have found that while I publish more than I thought I might, more than Amelia might like, I’m OK with the volume.

Our world is not as slow-moving as we’d like it to be; our world is like a white hot fire through dry timbers: consuming and fierce in its speed.

I decided early on to keep up with that world.

Does that mean this site suffers from mediocrity?  Most assuredly, at times.

Amelia had the luxury of being a novelist, and as one as well, I hear her words of wisdom.  I have evangelized on the same belief.

Blogging is a different breed of words.  I wonder what her advice would be today.

Can we blog/produce sites that are fast-paced and worthy?  Yes.  I see it every day on my travels through the wormhole of the World Wide Web.

As a lifelong writer, my advice is Amelia’s: Everything good needs time. Don’t do work in a hurry. Go into details; it pays in every way. Time means power for your work. Mediocrity is always in a rush; but whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing with consideration. For genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.

With this addendum for a new age: Write daily.  Publish when done. Keep writing.  Speed will come.

If it doesn’t, maybe you’re like Amelia: a novelist.  Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Love that quote! I’m a knitter, and I know when I can take my time the finished product is always best.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      The German knits and when she has to pull something apart she says it usually because she rushed.

  2. I’m working on my first novel. I have to constantly remind myself to slow down, take the time to do it right.

  3. I love that quote. It seems like sometimes my life and world is on overdrive!! But, when I stop long enough to think about ti, everything wonderful and good does take time. Blogging and writing take time. I think there must be a balance though – between taking just enough and getting paralyzing by perfectionism. It is all about finding that somewhere. Thanks for the post!! 🙂

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I just took a week off and some tasks I found pressing turned out not to be. Perspective is a wonderful thang.

  4. It is a great quote, and probably something I should tell myself more often.

  5. For me, it goes in spurts. I need to be better about morning pages, in general–but some days, I really just need input. I need to read and think and LIVE intentionally. Sometimes, I get so focused on producing content, that I give more of myself than I should.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      After taking a week off to live in the moment and not write, I feel ready to get back to it. Rest and time are good antidotes.

  6. You say speed will come? A year and a half later, I am still waiting. I have gotten a little faster. I guess it’s increments. Let me remind myself again, patience is a virtue.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I have found that speed comes in different ways. As I live life, I remind myself “this, remember this” and come back to the idea after a bit. After instructed my brain to remember, I find that much of the content I planned to write has sorted itself out while I continued to let it percolate. It’s an amazing process which initially seems slow, but actually allows me to do others things while doing the heavy lifting of sorting things out in my head.

  7. Alvina Castro says:

    I know what you mean. right now im blogging/writing and trying to make it more of a career to be able to keep my stay at home mommy status and care for my dad as well. And building this life and hopefully future does take time and time i am glad to put into to a bright future of happiness w/my family

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I wish you great success. I’m with you: I’m not just building a site or writing, I’m building a future. Here’s to nothing but brightness.

  8. froglipz says:

    Good words of wisdom. I know I need to get off my duff and get cracking on some of my own words.

    … Can I read one of your novels? I would love to say I know someone or I can help you. .. But I just like to read fresh stuff

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Get crackin’! I’m actually in the process of figuring out if I should offer an Amazon/Kindle link to my books. Will keep your offer in my back pocket. Thank you.

  9. I am sooooo impatient! After I spent 2 years at college teaching myself how to knit…I can knit simple things pretty well…I decided I wanted to toss aside all that noise and try for some crochet! Holy Cow. I had NO IDEA how time consuming knitting could be…plus I get stuck watching my hands and calm myself down so much I fall asleep!

    As for writing…I think I have it well within me to shell out more content. I just haven’t found the correct tools to keep myself on track. I get caught up in the day and it drives me crazy. I really didn’t think kids would try to knock over lamps from the highest shlf….ride the cat….or take their diaper off and accidentally poop in the floor. Don’t get me wrong I love that I am able to be a stay at home mom.. I just miss the schedule, routine, and clear expectations of a job outside of the home.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I just spent the last week with Sweet E and the non-schedule came rushing back. It’s a challenge. I would say to keep a slow steady pace, even if that means one great piece of content a week. You can up your pace as the kiddos become less interested in riding the cat (made me laugh). To those with babies and toddlers I say, “This too shall pass.” You are living in the season of preparation. It’s not a bad season to be in. Good luck. (are there saddles for that?!)

  10. The good ole “quantity vs. quality” debate. Ugh. And yes I struggle with the same things. I feel the need to post at least 5 days a week. The need, but not always the desire. And definitely not always the words. More often then not the words fail me, even if the ideas don’t.
    I’ve learned to set aside a big chunk of time once a week to just let the words flow… then I add on as needed through out the week to fine tune and add a little finesse. It only took me 2.25 years of blogging to find the thing that works for me! Ha!! 🙂

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Each week I wonder if I’ll run out of words. Not yet! I am experimenting with 5 day of content vs 3 days and I’m in the last week of compiling data to see what my readers prefer (i took a quarter to gather info). I think as site producers we have to be aware of change within our blogosphere and learn to adapt.

      I try to write 3-5 times a week, publishing 3 times. I write down the bones of a post, gather images, let it sit for a week or so, then come back and refine. This takes about 2 hours a day. The rest of the time, I’m chasing pressing issues.

      For anyone in the producing game, we know the time that it takes to generate new content. For those outside looking in, I think we make it look effortless, which is the game plan, right?

      Content on!

  11. I love that quote and I’m going to share it with my son as well. He is 14 and is always in a rush to finish everything, even if it compromises the final outcome like his grades! Thanks for reminding us to slow down a little!

    If you have a minute to spare I would be thrilled if you could share this post at my weekly Say G’Day link up. It’s on now and this would be a fabulous addition.

    Best wishes for a great week,
    Natasha in Oz

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      It does give some perspective, especially when we just want to finish what’s at hand in a speedy manner. Hope your son finds a bit of insight!

  12. Thanks for your quote and perspective.
    I find that in everything I do, whether it’s practicing the piano, reading a novel, writing a blog post, editing photos for said blog post, or planning to teach, I do it better when I just focus on the one thing. After 50 minutes, give yourself a break. But first just focus 🙂

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