Why the Rush to Publish?

In last week’s post, “Mixed Blessings of the Internet,” I worried about the time I spend on social media versus the novel-in-progress. Despite the commiserating in the comments section of my blog and on several related posts around the blogosphere last week (see Patrick Ross’s excellent roundup here), you might be surprised by my conclusions.

I’ve come to this: Though tweeting and blogging correlate to the problem of less time for our fiction, they are not the reason we’re so willing to avoid our works-in-progress. I believe the cause of our new-found apathy is our premature worry about our finished products. Aspiring writers are too aware of the publishing side of things. We’re writing for an audience that exists in our fantasies. We want to skip the process and dive straight into our publication dreams. We’re getting antsy and desperate. Then we hate what we put on the page so we drift off into Cyberland instead. We read more about the industry. We feel more desperate to get our work out there.

Wouldn’t it be nice to return to the reasons we enjoyed writing in the first place? Why we ever bothered? Otherwise, what’s the point? If we don’t derive some joy from the process, then why are we writing at all?

I suppose I should only speak for myself. I’ll admit it: when I first took myself seriously as a writer (soon after I turned thirty) I thought I’d have a novel published by the time I was thirty-five. My 35th birthday is this December. I was naive times a thousand to say the least. Oh, I was quite the plucky would-be-novelist at thirty. In 2.5 years I wrote two novels. Then I learned what it takes to find a literary agent and heard tales of writers landing agents after completing their fifth or even tenth books. Of course that didn’t stop me from hoping that MY road to publication would be one of the swift ones. I had close calls with novel #2, but ultimately that book didn’t make it all the way.

While on one hand I’m glad to have some sense of the hurdles in publishing, on the other I miss my ignorant writing days. I wrote two books in 2.5 years for goodness sake. What have I done since? It’s taken me two years to write 1/4 of four different novels. Before my vast knowledge of the industry, I had to pull myself away from the novels. Since then I’ve had to make charts and essentially trick myself into writing fiction. I’m not saying I don’t expect the work of crafting fiction to be work, but I’ve made it something worse. I’ve made it dreadful.

Still, I don’t blame Twitter for getting in the way of my writing time, and I don’t blame the blog. Before spending extra time on those two vices, I used to watch too-much television or waste my time in other ways. At least with Twitter and especially the blog, I lack the constant self-consciousness I feel when I work on the book. Same goes for the short stories I write. Although I submit them to editors for potential publication (so also potential ridicule and rejection), I find the process infinitely easier than writing a novel. It’s for that exact reason I’ve essentially disregarded my stories and the consistent audience on this blog. Isn’t that messed up? I guess somewhere along the way I decided that if the stories and non-fiction pieces are easier for me, then they’re not worthy of as much attention and pride.

Regular readers of this blog know I’m expecting baby #4 in early November. During this pregnancy I’ve been especially bitchy while I work on the newest novel. Whenever I sit down to work I’m badgering myself with messages like: You better get this book out now because you’ll have even less time in 2012. Stop wasting time. Write, write , write! Certainly there’s a place for getting as much out of my writing sessions as possible, but there’s no reason I have to be such a tyrant.

After all, “What’s the rush?” No really, stop and ask yourself the same question. WHAT IS THE RUSH?

Intellectually, I know that if I want to maintain the fullness of my life as a wife, mother, friend, active member of the community, and more, then my path to a published novel will include unpredictable and long pit stops along the way. I’m hoping that by taking the pressure of time (“must publish by age ____ “) out of the equation, that I’ll enjoy it again.

Just so there’s no confusion, I’m not advocating we spend all our writing time on Twitter in the name of putting less pressure on ourselves to produce. If we don’t block out time to write, we simply won’t get anywhere close to our goals. Nor should we wait until we’re in love with the writing process again to attempt working on our novels. I’m not so inexperienced to think that every moment of writing will be resplendent with creative magic and bliss. It’ll always be work. But why can’t it be work we enjoy again, especially since we CHOOSE to do it?

So what’s my plan? I’m going to keep working on the novel. How is that different from what I was doing before? I’m going to do it without the sense of desperation and panic I’ve had for the past two years. I’ve said this in previous posts, and it’s still true: I’m in this for the long haul. The very long haul. Is it too much to hope for some fun along the way?

See you next week. Nina :)

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Nina is a columnist at The HerStories Project and a contributing writer at Kveller.com and Greatnewbooks.org. Her essays have appeared regularly at Brain, Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward and have been syndicated in Jewish newspapers across the country. Her short stories have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines, and she loved participating in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother. Nina is a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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54 Responses to Why the Rush to Publish?
  1. Anne R. Allen
    September 6, 2011 | 12:51 am

    This is so wise. Every writer needs to read this. And I think it might be time for me to bring out my “enjoy your unpublished days” post. It’s the most creative time of your life. Why throw it away? Thank you for this. So many writers are learning marketing before they learn to perfect their writing skills. It doesn’t make sense. Have RT’d, FB’d and Google+’d this.

    • Nina Badzin
      September 6, 2011 | 8:46 am

      Thanks for spreading the work, Anne! I’d love to read that post by the way.

  2. Stacy S. Jensen (@StacySJensen)
    September 6, 2011 | 12:52 am

    I didn’t work on my memoir-in-progress during my pregnancy. Felt odd working on story about late husband while having child with Hubby. Then a move and nonsense got me off “schedule.” So, I’ve improvised this year and hope to have a better plan next year for the book. I have several essays, etc. to show for my time this year. And, a healthy toddler, too.

  3. Barbara Forte Abate
    September 6, 2011 | 5:47 am

    Three cheers for the boldly creative and wonderfully naive writing years. I so miss them. (My magic number was 33, for becoming published. I watched it come and go quite mournfully…) I don’t for a moment not recognize that it was my supreme innocence of the publishing game that kept me holding on for the 20 years it took before my debut novel saw the light of day. Looking back I shake my head and wonder what brand of chutzpah it was that kept me hanging on, believing, believing, believing…even though I know that of course it has to be love. Love of the process, of creating, dreaming, imagining,and a determination to sail my little ship regardless of weather. Thanks, Nina. Another wonderful post :-)

  4. Lisa
    September 6, 2011 | 5:49 am

    Nina, I love this post so much! I couldn’t agree more about how focusing on the finished product–not the writing as much as the publication, reception, etc.–can sabotage not only our process but, more important in some ways, the joy of writing. I teach a college creative thinking course, and one of the things we discuss is how creative people need to be able to lose themselves in the process, to move away from focus on self rather than toward it. It’s not blogging or tweeting that gets in the way, as you said, but worry about rankings and ratings and reviews. (I’m going to review a really interesting book soon–The Fear of Insignificance: Searching for Meaning in the Twenty-First Century, by Carlo Strenger–about how our life is continually rated and ranked with numbers of friends, numbers of reads and hits, and how this can can lead to apathy and depression.)

    The last work I wrote I did so with no specific thoughts of publishing in mind, and it was the most satisfying writing experience I’ve had. (For that reason, blogging has helped me to rediscover the joy of writing rather than hinders it.) Thank you for helping me to put all of this into a bigger perspective. Your pregnancy bitchiness is proving to be a marvelous muse. :)

  5. Shakespeare
    September 6, 2011 | 5:56 am

    I think it’s important not to lose sight of life while writing. My kids always take up my summers, and that means while so many others online are working through various drafts, I’m building whole paper bag cities under my dining room table and swimming in the backyard pool.

    Your voices sound like mine. I put mine on their own blog so that I could get them out of my head and keep working.

  6. John McClarren
    September 6, 2011 | 6:16 am

    I can identify with much of what you say here, Nina. After a completed nonfiction book with a couple of hundred rejections and a completed memoir with fewer rejections, but still no really hard hits, a humor book in progress, and a novel just begun, my anxieties for quick publication have died away considerably. I continue to query, but I no longer sit around waiting in dire anticipation of responses. I just continue writing, rewriting and editing. I think I am enjoying it even more than I ever have before. There is really no pressure at all in my writing now. It makes a big difference. AND my current works are just improving more all the time. There may still be hope for all of them. Write on! John

    • Nina Badzin
      September 6, 2011 | 10:28 am

      Thanks, John! “Waiting around in dire anticipation of responses” is the WORST isn’t it? Glad you’ve been able to push through and keep writing despite the process of submitting. I’m hoping to enjoy the release of pressure!

  7. Jen W.
    September 6, 2011 | 7:23 am

    Nina, I love that you’ve been able to tell yourself to slow down and enjoy the process of writing. I forget this all the time too. I’ve had this nonfiction book idea in my head for a while, and last year I felt like I had to start research and writing immediately so I could finish the book as quickly as possible. I was planning on going to a conference this year to meet some people and start my research, but somehow, before I booked my flight, thank god, I realized that now is not that time for this book. The idea will always be there. That’s my one experience with learning to (successfully) slow down.

  8. Monica Marlowe
    September 6, 2011 | 8:23 am

    My motto as a writer is “follow your heart”. Sometimes, that will mean setting the alarm diligently and writing before work. Other times, that will mean a 24-hour hiatus from the computer: no twitter, FB, blog, no writing whatsoever. Now that my debut novel has been published after starting it 10 years ago, yes, my rose colored glasses have come off when it comes to the business side of writing. But I’m as much in love with the art of writing as ever! If I’m deluding myself a little, who cares?! It feels better than the alternative :)

    • Nina Badzin
      September 7, 2011 | 5:55 pm

      You inspire me, Monica. Really! And thank you for adding your two cents here.

  9. Erika Robuck
    September 6, 2011 | 8:49 am

    Nina, you are wise beyond your years and I have every confidence that you will achieve major success. Thanks for this reminder to slow down, savor the process, and remind ourselves why we started all of this to begin with–a love of writing!

    Great post!

  10. Melissa Crytzer Fry
    September 6, 2011 | 9:04 am

    I stopped obsessing over the “big “self-imposed) deadline” last year, and my writing has improved as a result. As a wise friend once told me, “It takes however long it takes.” And, besides, you’re still a YOUNG’N, Nina. You’ve got plenty of time!

  11. Patrick Ross
    September 6, 2011 | 9:20 am

    Great post, Nina. Your first point resonates, that the temptations/time suck of social media is a symptom of a larger problem, a need to avoid one’s WIP. The temptation for others might be TV, video games, the list goes on. I also resonate with the second point, how not reaching an arbitrary book-publishing goal can lead to one looking for distractions. FYI, I’m on my second agent and have come close but not quite with creative non-fiction book proposals, so even getting that elusive agent doesn’t guarantee success. In the last week I’ve found myself putting off finishing a new book proposal (am doing that right now, actually), in part I suppose because I fear the ultimate outcome of this one will be like the others. But a part of me also believes my agent and I may have it right this time, so ultimately I keep plugging away. I really admire your commitment with your parenting obligations.

    • Nina Badzin
      September 7, 2011 | 5:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience here. I love our cross-blog conversation happening. As for being impressed with my commitment in light of the parenting obligations–it’s quite the opposite. I think my parenting obligations are part of what keep me connected to the writing dream. It’s important for me to keep that part of my “self” alive and well. It’s my “thing” that’s just for me and the family as a whole.

  12. Patrick Ross
    September 6, 2011 | 9:21 am

    Oh, and thanks for the link to my round-up of our cross-blog discussion!

  13. Kathy Dalle-Molle
    September 6, 2011 | 9:59 am

    So true and brave, Nina. I have found that not just with writing, but with jobs and even community/volunteer projects, once I start to lose my naivete — once I have a serious grasp of the hurdles involved, the individuals involved who at times can make things difficult, etc. — my interest and joy in being involved in that work, that piece of writing, that community project wanes. I think the reason, of course, is not because I am any less interested in the work, but because I now know something about the difficulties and obstacles involved and so fear sets in. I have not taken advantage of many opportunities in the past because of this, and I, like you, plan to keep on doing the work this time around. Another obstacle for me in all of this has been achieving some minor success early on and pretty easily, and then when more and bigger success did not come as easily, setting the work aside. “Well, I guess that’s as good as it gets for you,” I told myself at the time. Silly, huh!

    • Nina Badzin
      September 7, 2011 | 5:59 pm

      Yes, exactly! I didn’t think about how true this all is for really ANY endeavor. Once we know “the truth about the wizard” it can be hard to keep the “magic” alive in any arena. Thanks for commenting AND for your RTs this week. :)

  14. Darlene
    September 6, 2011 | 10:51 am

    I love this post — obviously so many of us struggle with the same question, but you’ve expressed it so well. I’ve only decided to “take myself seriously as a writer” this year although I’ve been calling myself a writer for years. I hear about painfully young, successful writers like Karen Russell or Tea Obreht and feel like a geezer hack. And yet, you are so right — there is no rush. This idea that we need to publish to be successful, and that we have to meet some self-imposed age deadline, only distracts us from what is the truly satisfying and scariest part of being a writer — the writing. I love the Dear Sugar column about this, too where she coins “Write Like a Motherf***er.”

    • Nina Badzin
      September 7, 2011 | 6:01 pm

      Darlene–that link was perfect. Thanks so much for sharing it here. I can see from the back end of my blog that many people have clicked on it. P.S. I totally thought of you when I spotted the September Vogue at the grocery store. 😉

  15. Jolina Petersheim
    September 6, 2011 | 4:28 pm

    Thanks for the reminder, Nina, not to rush the process to publication. We can learn so much along the way.

  16. ramblingsfromtheleft
    September 6, 2011 | 4:34 pm

    Nina, this is a great post and speaks to so much of what we all feel.
    The very fact that you have come to this crossroad “Dorothy” is because you know your way along the yellow brick road. Make a dear friend on twitter, bring cheer to us at the next juncture with your blog and as you continue along your journey, and with the friends you meet at the crossroads and your kids and loving husband at your side, you will find the greatest adventure of your life … you. Have fun and don’t worry. Writing like getting old is not for sissies :)

  17. julie gardner
    September 6, 2011 | 4:41 pm

    With the exception of the fact that you are YOUNGER than I am by more years than I’d like to admit (and – oh yes – pregnant with child number four!) I relate to everything you wrote here.

    What a thoughtful distillation of a complex issue.

    For me, the most valuable takeaway from your post is this question:

    “If we don’t derive some joy from the process, then why are we writing at all?”

    Indeed. There’s no easy answer to this, but I suppose writing is many things; and “easy” isn’t one of them.

    Still, “joyful” – at least at times – it should be.

    Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to look for ways to release the “dread” and re-inject the “joy.”

    Nina, you are wonderful.

    Happy gestating (babies, novels, stories, posts.)


    • Nina Badzin
      September 7, 2011 | 6:06 pm

      Julie– I hope we meet in person one day. Perhaps at your future book signing in Minneapolis. :) By the way, your comment reminds me of a post I’ve wanted to write for awhile about the difference between pleasure and fun. A favorite “happiness” guru (Dennis Prager) often talks about understanding the subtle difference and it’s so important. What you brought up speaks to this exactly. The process of writing is not “easy” aka “fun” but it does bring those of us who get satisfaction from it a certain pleasure. I’ll discuss more another time . . .

  18. Sara Grambusch
    September 6, 2011 | 5:10 pm

    As usual Nina, you are right on the money. If only it was so simple to take our own advice. I think the core of your post is about perspective. Especially when using social media to read about other’s accomplishment and their particular processes we immediately question everything. Comparison will always be a loser’s game, in any aspect of life- in my opinion. But still we use social media because we both like it and need it. Every so often I have to sit back and just think about MY life in relation to my writing and how it fits in for ME, because it’s different, and I have to be okay with that.

    Also, you ARE going places with your writing, you are going to have lots of babies by then, and it’s going to be awesome!!

  19. Celia
    September 6, 2011 | 8:21 pm

    I heard this quote somewhere and have to remind myself of it from time to time – ‘Life’s a journey, enjoy the ride!’ The same goes for writing :)

  20. Kevin Fenton
    September 6, 2011 | 10:11 pm

    I love this story so much I may have already repeated it here. So sorry about that. But the talk show host Craig ferguson wrote his first novel when he was in the midst of filming a really bad movie. He would spend all week working on this compromised product that he had little control over and then he would spend the weekend writing WHATEVER THE HELL HE WANTED TO WRITE. He hadn’t felt such freedom since he had been in punk bands in the early 80s. I try to remember that my fiction is the one place that I write with absolute freedom. That makes it fun and, when it’s fun, it at least feels good.

    • Darlene
      September 8, 2011 | 10:02 am

      That is an awesome story. Maybe I need to join an 80’s punk band too. :) You’re right, though, to bring up another aspect of this question — we are free to write whatever we want. In addition to worrying too much about publication, I think many writers are prone to worry too much about how it will be received. I am great at what my husband calls “unwriting”: deleting what I’ve written before I’ve even finished a draft. Another way we should remember to enjoy the process. Thanks.

  21. John McClarren
    September 7, 2011 | 6:34 am

    Celia, I have always loved that quote, and I don’t remember either where it came from. I’ve always lived by it, and I do try, without much effort, to write by it. John

  22. […] question was triggered by blogger Nina Badzin in her most recent post. A number of us bloggers have spent the last couple of weeks writing about the temptation of social […]

  23. Leigh Ann Kopans
    September 7, 2011 | 11:41 am

    Hm. This is really interesting, Nina, and as always I’m inspired by your powers of insight.

    I think, in this regard, yes, you’ve got to speak only for yourself lol. I genuinely enjoy the writing, and, like many, I suspect, the enthusiasm of the writing community is what draws me to Twitter and blogs, especially.

    I actually don’t feel like I’m in a rush to publish – very little of my time is actually spent searching for agents to build my list or “learning about the industry.” But I do love reading the occasional article about craft and especially spreading the comment love for others on the road.

    However, I also don’t want to shy away from seeking publication because I have some weird fear that I’m rushing it, kwim? I have three crit partners giving the go-ahead, so why not query 3-5 agents at a time? Doesn’t take up my time and my list is already at 50. No stress.

    As soon as I hit “send” on that first query, I opened up another project. So that’s keeping me plenty busy and in love with writing for now. Plan to do it again when this little MS goes out to query land, too (be”H)

    • Nina Badzin
      September 7, 2011 | 8:30 pm

      Leigh Ann,

      I admire your passion and sense of “fun” for it all! I used to be there and I’m trying to get back. I’ve definitely noticed in your tweets how much you’re loving it these days. Can’t say I’m not jealous!

  24. Christi Craig
    September 7, 2011 | 12:18 pm

    So much of your post hits home for me. The first year I got serious about writing, I managed to put down 50,000+ words into a first draft of a novel in 30 days (thanks to the insanity that is NaNoWriMo). My kids were younger then, too, and the only computer I had was in my bedroom. Talk about limited writing time.

    I don’t know that I have a magical “age” when I want to be published. Before 40 would have been nice, but there’s a growing number of late bloomers out there who are a testament to persistence. My challenge now is not the age factor but the time factor: the longer I write, the more I think “I’d better get something out there soon.” So, your post is helpful, hopeful, bursting with the reminder that getting back to the basic desire to write is all I need.

  25. April
    September 7, 2011 | 5:25 pm

    Were you reading my mind when you wrote this? So much of what you said fits me perfectly. It is hard not to get caught up in the business of writing when there is so much information readily available. While it’s important to be informed, it’s even more important that you are writing because you love it. Sometimes I forget that. Thanks for reminding me.

  26. Lisa Ahn
    September 7, 2011 | 7:50 pm

    Oh my, it’s like you’re in my head! For the last few months, whenever I sit down to write, I have that imaginary audience in my head. Not the sweet, appreciative audience, but the big “R” rejection audience. My writing stalls out before I even start and then I’m off to Twitter or FB or blogs, to give myself a break.

    Two small changes have made a difference lately. First, we got a puppy. Added onto homeschooling and writing, the puppy shreds my days. I have less time to write, so I have to focus more intently. I’ve been trying to stay off social media during my writing time, and that helps.

    Second, I’ve taken on your book-a-week challenge. Spending that extra time reading is helping to inspire and jump start my writing. Plus, it feels like a goal I can actually achieve, something I have some control over (unlike the puppy, my young children, or the path to publication).

    Thanks for the inspiration and the insights!

  27. Natalia Sylvester
    September 8, 2011 | 10:58 am

    These are such amazing points, Nina. I think there are times when we can know too much about publishing…but you can never know too much about writing. After all, the writing is the craft we chose. It’s the craft we need to be dedicating our time and energy to. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in Twitter and blogs because we justify it by saying we’re educating ourselves. And while that part of the process is definitely necessary, we can’t let it become the priority.

    I miss my ignorant writing days, too! When I finished the first draft of my book I was 23 and had set a “deadline” of being published by 25. Now that I’m 27 I at least know enough about the process that I’ve stopped setting deadlines. But I miss the fearlessness I used to have back then. (The ignorance? Not so much.) I actually just wrote a guest post for someone along similar lines. Funny how we are all on the same page lately! 😉

  28. Cynthia Robertson
    September 8, 2011 | 4:15 pm

    I really needed to hear this this week, Nina. I had the goal of getting all my rewrites done on the WIP by September…and missed it by a mile. Then I (silly me) started getting all anxious and frustrated about it. And I know better! Goals are wonderful, but we shouldn’t allow them to make us feel bad. This is supposed to be fun, right?!
    Your post brought me back around to the right way of thinking.
    Thank you. ((hugs))

  29. sharon bially
    September 8, 2011 | 4:52 pm

    Belatedly (since after all, what IS the rush?)…. a very good question. There’s definitely what seems like an overload of impatience among writers. Part of it may simply be that drafting is a bit like pregnancy: it’s a tremendous relief when it’s over, and somehow we feel that it’s a transitional state we must inevitably complete. But there’s also that anxiousness to “make it happen.” I fear this has infected the publishing industry, too. I read way too many books whose endings feel terribly rushed.

  30. kathryn magendie
    September 8, 2011 | 5:51 pm

    So wise and true. and I had a great example of something that almost happened with my sweetie novel early on before my first book was published – every time I think how I almost rushed things, I go *whew that was close*-because everything worked out as it needed to because I stepped back and said, “wait . . .wait . . .”

  31. jenkleinbooks
    September 8, 2011 | 9:42 pm

    Am new to you, shot over here from Stephanie Alexander’s Cracked Slipper site. Just wanted to say that I’ve only had a few moments to peruse your blog tonight (children, writing, etc.) but that I love it. Bookmarked, will be back with more comments.

  32. […] From Nina Badzin: Why the Rush to Publish? Regular readers of this blog know I’m expecting baby #4 in early November. During this pregnancy I’ve been especially bitchy while I work on the newest novel. Whenever I sit down to work I’m badgering myself with messages like: You better get this book out now because you’ll have even less time in 2012. Stop wasting time. Write, write , write! Certainly there’s a place for getting as much out of my writing sessions as possible, but there’s no reason I have to be such a tyrant. [Read More] […]

  33. Katie
    September 12, 2011 | 7:39 am

    Nina, I am so glad you wrote this post- I really needed to hear this today. I am sorting out my daily schedule to try to find time for the things that matter to me most, writing is right up there at the top. Realizing I needed to be more realistic with what I can achieve within each day I had to cut some stuff out but I still feel like I’m dreading writing because I’m sacrificing other things to spend time doing it so it has to be a super productive time. Even blogging which started for me as a bit of fun has become obsessed with getting the ratings and writing posts fast enough to ensure I don’t lose readers but when i look back at my posts, the best ones were written before my blog became “successful” with its readership. I’ve turned my “babies” (my blog and novel) into monsters which terrorise and scare me.Like you, I’ve got to find a way to get out of this mindset.

    • Nina Badzin
      September 14, 2011 | 8:44 pm


      Yup, I “get” all of this. What you said here relates to exactly what I’ve been going through: “I still feel like I’m dreading writing because I’m sacrificing other things to spend time doing it so it has to be a super productive time.”

      As for blogging, how often are you blogging. I only post once a week, and that seems to work well for me. Going to check out your blog now! I know I’ve been there before, but maybe not for a little while.

      Nina :)

  34. Julia
    September 12, 2011 | 1:31 pm

    Although I did (a long time ago) give up on the rush to publish, I am feeling a little more urgency now — possibly because I’m in a new stage of life: both my kids out of the house so I have ample time to write. So I do feel the desire to get very very serious: with my craft, with my productivity, and–yes–even with my attempts to get published. And as I do, and perhaps related to my commitment to blogging or at least to daily writing, I am becoming a much more disciplined and determined writer while at the same time having a lot more fun in the process. Because, like you I’m in it for the long haul, and it’s definitely not too much to ask to have fun along the way!

  35. Jack@TheJackB
    September 13, 2011 | 12:41 pm

    Hi Nina. I hope that you are feeling well. When I was in my twenties I couldn’t imagine how I was going to ever buy a house before I turned 35. It drove me crazy because 35 sounded ancient to me.

    I bought my house at 31. It happened “earlier” through a confluence of luck and skill. I fell into a job that I was really good at and the timing was good so everything worked out.

    Now years later at the grand old age of 42 I smile when I think about the rush I felt to get the damn thing. If you’ll forgive me for sounding obnoxious, 35 is still very young and so is 42.

    I have become a big fan of life experience and the “seasoning” it provides. I think that it makes us better writers and provides some great tools/lessons/resources. Anyway, if you want it I am confident that you’ll get there.

  36. Annie Neugebauer
    September 14, 2011 | 11:27 am

    Wow, Nina… it’s scary how much of myself I see here. And what’s worse — most writers I know. We are all rushed and pressured. You’ve really hit the nail on the head. I’ve been spending time lately searching myself and trying to find ways to get back to the original idea: write what I like, for myself first. Your post really hit home for me today.

    • Nina Badzin
      September 14, 2011 | 9:46 pm

      Oh Annie–glad you understand, but sorry too because it’s not the best place to be (that place of pressure, but sort of “fantasy-land” pressure.) I don’t know if you saw all the comments, but some writers with novels mentioned (or maybe it was twitter) to try and enjoy this time when we can still direct our careers in a variety of ways . . . it’s all still up to us and our imaginations. For better or worse, I guess.

      • Annie Neugebauer
        September 16, 2011 | 11:11 am

        So true. This and Roni Loren’s guest blog at Writers in the Storm (about social media pressure) have really gotten me thinking. I’m going to make a few changes, for sure, to bring back the joy. Thanks for the encouragement!

  37. […] Why the Rush to Publish? (ninabadzin.com) […]

  38. alexandra174
    November 12, 2011 | 12:42 am


    If that didn’t feel like a mental spanking.

    In a good way, a very good way.

    And yet, the absolute accuracy of this makes my face burn with guilt.

    Time to change that…

  39. papayatree
    March 1, 2012 | 11:39 pm

    I spend way too much time on facebook but I tell myself that I’m too tired for novel writing at night. Maybe it’s time for a paradigm shift

    • David Clar
      July 23, 2013 | 6:14 pm

      You are not alone procrastinating over Facebook. It’s a hard habit to break that I developed over time. I tried disabling my facebook account for awhile and guess what? productivity increases by 150%! Though I’m always tempted to enable it during working hours I’ve overcome it through leaving my desk and have a small talk with my colleagues.

  40. Deb @ Urban Moo Cow
    October 24, 2013 | 8:39 am

    I am happening on this post at a very important time in my “writing” career. Thank you….
    Deb @ Urban Moo Cow recently posted..Anatomy of a Mom at a Pumpkin PatchMy Profile

  41. […] From Nina Badzin: Why the Rush to Publish? […]

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