Is There a Correlation Between Speed and Quality?

For the hundredth time, my name is Berin and I am a hack writer. I write for money, and to make a living I must generate a lot of content quickly. This does not mean that I am unconcerned with quality. Nor does it mean that my work is not good. There is no correlation between speed and quality.

Some people have a misconception that it takes years to write a good book. Not months. Not weeks. Certainly not days. These are largely the same sorts of people who still believe that creators must suffer for their art. That choosing to be a creator is an inevitable descent into poverty and despair.

Yeah, tell that to bestselling and beloved author Nora Roberts. In 2019 she released 5 new novels. Ray Bradbury is said to have written Fahrenheit 451 in 18 days — 9 for the original novella, ‘The Fireman’, and another 9 to expand it to novel length. Belgian author Georges Simenon, who wrote the Jules Maigret novels, reportedly took less than two weeks to complete each book. Most of Philip K. Dick’s novels each took about a week to write.

Meanwhile, fans continue to wait for the next installment of A Song of Ice and Fire from George R. R. Martin. Whether that extra time makes them better novels is entirely up for debate. I’ve venture to guess that expectations increase the longer the delay, so many people will ultimately be disappointed.

Correlation Between Speed and Quality

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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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