Man Hiking

The Power of Slow in the Writing World

The indie author life can easily swamp authors with opportunity. The writing life can turn into a weary slog that never seems to bring success any closer. What if there was another way to supercharge your career?

Rest—Rest is the key to making connections, gaining insights, and creating inspired work.

After an extended pilgrimage hike, Joanna Penn was initially frustrated that she didn’t get any massive insight: “A few weeks later, I ended up going into almost a flow state, and I wrote two books in about four weeks (Your Author Business Plan and Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Virtual Worlds) and launched them, and I had some of the most insightful thinking I’ve had in a long time.”

Reduce—Can you narrow down your writing and publishing goals to one or two?

When author Shawn Inman was asked how he got faster at the publishing biz, he said, “I stopped lying to myself”. He decided to simplify his process.

“Stop lying to yourself” is a powerful strategy for cutting “extra” goals out of your life. A life with fewer goals is also mentally more comfortable and leaves time for friends and family.

Test. And Trust

The surprising truth about creativity—both for manuscripts and marketing—is that going slower makes you go faster. Give yourself credit. You are gaining insights and information that you can’t learn any other way. Don’t lose this advantage.

“The only way to learn what works for you, and what doesn’t, is to try things. The more you experiment, the harder you work, and the more you improve your craft, the shorter the Long Slow Slog will be. It’ll still be long, mind you. If you practice business as well as your creative attitude, The Slog will prove your art could be a full-time career, or not,” according to Michael W. Lucas in the book Cash Flow for Creators

What if you tested the simplest possible plotting or drafting process built on trusting yourself? Think how much more time you’d have to work (and play!) if your creativity weren’t hampered by fear or doubts.

Rest. Reduce. Test and Trust. Next month, we’ll cover ways to identify your essential work. You can do this. You go faster when you go slower.


“Mind Management, Not Time Management With David Kadavy” (April 26, 2021)

[Joanna Penn’s story about pilgrimage and delayed creative dividends]

SFA 094 – Breaking Six Figures Without Advertising and Reducing the Time It Takes to Revise and Publish (Six Figure Authors podcast, June 10, 2021)    [about “not lying to yourself” and “trusting yourself”]


Cash Flow for Creators by Michael W. Lucas [a.k.a. How to use the “Low Slow Slog” to put yourself in business.]


Picture of Laurel Decher

Laurel Decher

There might be no frigate like a book, but publishing can feel like a voyage on the H.M.S. Surprise. There’s always a twist and there’s never a moment to lose. Laurel’s mission is to help you make the most of today’s opportunities. She’s a strategic problem-solver, tool collector, and co-inventor of the “you never know” theory of publishing. As an epidemiologist, she studied factors that help babies and toddlers thrive. Now she writes books for children ages nine to twelve about finding more magic in life. She’s a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), has various advanced degrees, and a tendency to smuggle vegetables into storylines.

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