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Mike Landweber is a great PR associate editor and reader, who has something to say about the tenuous relationship between writer and time:

Writers often talk about what is the most important part of writing. Do you start with plot or theme? How about characters? Are those things more important than the style or the voice or the imagery? Of course, these are all elements necessary for a good story or novel. But I believe there is one thing that is more crucial to quality writing than anything else.


I’m not talking about time as a device within fiction. I’m quite simply referring to the amount of time it takes to write. It may seem obvious, but I find that writers don’t talk enough about time as a craft issue.

Three years ago, I was getting ready to leave my job. My wife and I had decided that I was going to take a year off from working so that I could do nothing but write. It was a selfish decision. I was going deprive my family of half our income so that I could tell stories all day. It is a pretty shaky business plan, after all, to expect not only that people will want to read what you write, but also that someone in the publishing world will want to pay you to make that happen.

But the decision to quit my job was not about publishing. It was about writing. And I had decided that writing was about time.

Writing is frustrating. The words never come out on the page as fast as the images flit through my mind. An entire novel can play out in my head in the time it takes to write a single chapter. But I have come to realize that being constrained by time makes me a better writer.

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