There probably is a rule for perfect and absolutely effective work. I just haven’t found it yet. I’m not writing full time (unless I’m unemployed, but even then looking for a new job is more important than writing). I can’t spent the same amount in front of the keyboard each and every day. And even if I could, I wouldn’t work with the same efficiency every day.
So when I read a book title like “First Draft in 30 Days,” I wonder. I know Robert Louis Stephenson wrote “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” in three days (then burned the manuscript, because it spooked his wife, and rewrote it in three more days). I’m sure I could technically write those 80 pages of text in three days as well – provided the ideas keep flowing and I have the time to spare.
But that’s the catch, isn’t it? Do I have the spare time? And if I have it, do the ideas keep flowing?
Maybe I’m just not organized enough, but I don’t really want to write a first draft in 30 days. Well, if I were paid for it, if it were, for instance, for publication in a pulp magazine, I might try to do it like that.
As I’ve written in this blog before, writing is an adventure. Cutting it short with absolute efficiency would be pretty much the same thing as booking a tour instead of trekking through the savannah on your own. You get to the same places, but it’s only an adventure if you’re doing it on your own and with all the risks included.
Maybe one day I will develop the efficiency of writing a first draft in 30 days. Maybe I will like it then. But currently, I’m glad I’m not 100% efficient.