Don’t Microwave Egg Rolls: Good Things Take Time


I thought of you and where you’d gone and the world spins madly on.—The Weepies

I wanted an egg roll, but I didn’t want to wait. So I microwaved that little guy, and the result was a much too crispy outside and a cold and soggy middle. This sort of thing happens when you try to speed-up a process which is intended to take time.

Last year, I wrote myself into the ground.

If I didn’t have an article finished or a post scheduled, you better believe I would rise in the middle of the night to make that happen. Interestingly enough, when God told me to make room for Him and stop working full-time, I thought it was so I could throw myself headfirst into writing. Instead, He’s been telling me to slow down.

This proves difficult for a girl who likes to produce.

Months before my book came out, people started asking me about my next project. This made me both excited and nervous. Excited because what no one tells you when you are writing a book is you better love the topic you choose for your book because it is all you will eat, sleep, and talk about for years.

Working on something new sounded refreshing.

But I felt nervous too because there was so much to do with my newly released book. People try to tell you the hard work comes after the book is written. You think they are nice and well-meaning, and you ignore them. Thank you, sweet, little people (envision me patting them on the head), but it turns out they are right. The follow-up after you write a book is intense.

I was also nervous about the “What’s next?” question because the first thing I was asked when I met with a publisher at a recent writing conference was “How is your first book selling?” At that point, the book had been out for a little over two weeks, and I’m not going to lie, that’s some pressure.

And that brings me to now, work is aplenty, but none of it shows up on the old blog. Soon I’m headed to Texas and then to Minnesota to speak. I’m off to an author day at one school and a career day at another. I’ve got my hand in both print and online articles all over, but it makes me wonder…

I received The Sun magazine in the mail a few days ago.

When The Sun arrives, I want to throw myself into my bed and read it from cover to cover. Once I faked an illness so I could snuggle on the couch and read each delicious page. True story. Most authors of The Sun do not have snazzy websites nor do they schedule updates on every form of social media. That’s not to say that’s where I’m headed, but it’s just to say sometimes the producing of writing gets in the way of the art of writing especially in the fast-paced online world where a post written at 8:00 am is old news by lunch.

I want to make certain I’m not producing heaps of disposible content. I want to leave space for the real stuff, the type of writing which takes longer to cook. I don’t want to push myself before it’s ready, and I certainly don’t want a crispy outside and a soggy middle.

Your turn. Do you find yourself producing, producing, producing, or making time to savor? 

*And a great big whoops for the post which went out yesterday. It was a partial draft for a series I’m running in November (complete with all kinds of special guests!). Nice, but hey, here’s something fun: I’m running a series in November with all kinds of fun guests. Yes, I just repeated myself. Does that make up for scheduling a draft and actually sending it out to my entire email list? Does it? Does it?

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Another PS: A Goodreads giveaway is happening now. Head over to win one of five free copies of When More is Not Enough.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lisa Van Engen

    I love this. I don’t want disposable either… I’m trying to figure out what that means. I think you have embraced and it’s a beautiful thing. I think even though it seems counterintuitive, slowing makes that possible.

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      You know, I think there is a huge change coming. Writers just can’t keep up the frantic pace. Quality suffers. Instead of blogging, I see more people using different social media outlets for sharing.

  • June

    I think you are right, Amy. We can’t keep taking it in at such a rate either. I’m drowning in content. And I miss a lot of the “good stuff” because I just can’t read it all! Looking forward to meeting you in two weeks. Have a blessed weekend!

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      June, You are going to the retreat? YAY! Can’t wait.

  • mercynotes

    This is really good. I like the idea of letting your writing marinate. That’s something we talked about this weekend. Sometimes I am over blogging but I love the community of writers I’ve met and it always spurs me on to stay accountable. I might have the opposite problem as you, just a little bit. Maybe too much savoring (or sitting still?!), not enough production. But it’s getting better!

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      It sure is hard to find the balance, isn’t it? Plus, I think what works for somebody sometimes doesn’t work for that person all of the time. I think it’s about seasons too. Can’t wait to read about Storyline and all of the inspiration you found there.