Y'know, it feels pretty good to break into this whole semi-pro gig. ("Pro" in that people are paying me to make with the fictional writings, "semi" in that such largesse isn't yet enough to live on.) But one of the things that continues to bum me out is that I am
Like really. An amazing pace for me is writing 300 words an hour. If I have to stop and look things up or hit a hard part, that number goes way down. It is hard to feel good about that when your Twitter feed is full of people belting out 800 or 1000 words in an hour and then skipping off to bake cookies.
So you start trying to justify it to yourself. Well, I'm slow because I'm actually writing WELL, you see. This is what it takes to get that masterpiece-osity that I got complimented on that one time. It's a tortoise-and-hare scenario. Slow and steady wins the publishing contract.
But then you think about all the years you spent being the slowest one in gym class, too, and how you weren't actually running "better" or "deeper" than anyone else - you were just miserably crap at running. And how a lot of the people who can write like gangbusters are actually turning out really excellent work. And how the tortoise is completely screwed if the hare doesn't slack off.
So if speed has no reliable correlation to quality, then you either have to figure out how to pick up the pace somehow, or else accept that you just have a really god-awful slow mental metabolism, and will have to work twice as hard as the average person to get the same results. Not an enticing prospect if you're as insecure and lazy as I am.
You know what's really cheered me up, though?
Specifically, these ponies:
See, in the hallowed canon of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic don't you judge me, I swear to God, these guys are the Flim-Flam brothers. They show up in an episode called "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000." Spoilers here follow.
Anyway, so these guys ride into town on the aforementioned Squeezy - a huge rolling contraption that automatically turns apples into tasty cider. This does not bode well for the Apple family, whose homemade cider business is far too slow to keep up with local demand.
(You know you're in trouble when the Monsanto reps have their own catchy theme song.)
Things proceed as you might expect: a winner-take-all contest is set up, pitting the Flim-Flam brothers' super-modern machinery against the good old-fashioned methods of the Sweet Apple Acres team. And of course, it's a kid's cartoon, so it follows a somewhat familiar plotline: the brothers actually win the contest, but the slop their machine turns out is so vile that they're run out of town on a rail, and goodness and decency and hat-waving old-timeyness carry the day.
Here's what I like about it, though: the machine is superior in every measurable way. It's not only enormously faster than old-fashioned horsepower, but also has a perfect quality-control sensor that weeds out rotten apples. The Flim-Flam brothers lose not because their method is inferior, but because they turn off the quality control mechanism, turning rotten apples and garbage into cider in a last-ditch effort to produce more raw product and win the contest.
By now you see where I'm going with this. At the end of the day, it's not about slow versus fast, or old versus new. It's about whose integrity will buckle when the going gets rough, and whose won't.
And I can still win on that front.
So hopefully I can get back to regular blogging again in real short order (there is so much cool new stuff I am DYING to show you, believe me!) But if I don't, it's because I'm still sorting the apples and turning the crank - hopefully with tasty-delicious results!
I have learned the meaning of self-loathing, and it is writing a sentence that you know is sloppy and starting another sentence.