Racing the Mutant Cheetah – or – how fast can you write anyway???


Okay, so a buddy of mine just posted on his Facebook page that he was worried about how other writers seem to be able to write thousands of words a day while he is just poking along with 500 words on a super-good day.

So I told him this…

(with apologies for the potty mouth)


Forget about writing. Let’s say you’re out for a jog. The Doctor has read you the riot act or your wife has told you that if you gain one more pant size that she is running off with the mailman, or maybe you just want to get out there and blow the stink off you. So there you are, your gray hair stretched out behind you, thinking roadrunner thoughts while living in a Slowpoke Rodriquez reality.

Then all at once this fucking young kid blows past you. I mean, the bastard is making it look effortless. Then this goddamned Detroit housewife, head in curlers and lipstick half on comes rolling on past you, making you look sad and sick. Then a three and half year old kid in a runaway pram blows past you while he is humming the theme from Rocky. What the fuck do you now? Well, you could beat yourself up and kick yourself for being the slowest bastard in the whole fucking universe, including that road-killed tortoise that is playing pancake-forever on the side of the road, run over by a kid in a fucking runaway pram. You could give up on jogging and plant your ass in an easy chair watching old Richard Simmons videos and waiting to fucking die – OR you could just say “Fuck that shit.” and just keep on jogging along at whatever speed that you can muster, reminding yourself that every step – and every single fucking word that you write – is taking you closer to wherever the hell that you want to go. Sure you could learn to write faster. You could write a billion words a minute and some goddamn hopped-up mutant cheetah from an alternate dimension is going to roll on scribbling past you at a billion and one words a fucking minute.

Just remember, you aren’t racing with that asshole mutant cheetah. This isn’t the fucking Writing Olympics. This is just you, doing your own thing just as best as you can. Forget about that fucking cheetah. I mean, didn’t your mother ever tell you that cheetahs never prosper?

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