I have, at various points in my life, been a knitter of some small skill. I learned the art while I was expecting my third child, and took to it like a house-afire, knitting sweater after sweater for those I love, some of which are still in use.
They say that when you first begin to knit, you merrily knit away, churning out project after project at a very quick pace. Then as you gain skill, you slow down, knitting and re-knitting problem areas, practicing your frog stitch (rip-it, rip-it!). Your projects begin not only to fit their intended recipients, but to fit them well. Finally, as you approach mastery of the art, you speed up again.
It occurred to me recently that this could in some ways describe my writing experience. The Marann went very fast, as did Daughters of Suralia. The Fall — well, I think I wrote and rewrote that novel at least three, perhaps four times (I’ve long since lost count). I have definitely hit the middle now, slowing way way way down.
I don’t really believe the million word myth, but it stands to reason that even the most talented individual must hone his craft. Athletes must spend time honing their bodies. Artists must create art. Even Stephen Hawking had to study when he was young, though probably not as much as the rest of us. 🙂
And so I write. Where I’m at in the process of mastery is anyone’s guess, but I am definitely in a slow patch.
Perhaps attending Confluence will shake things loose? I hope to see some of you there.