Anything Good Takes Time

I’ve seen a lot of posts from other authors about writing fast. Telling others that if they want to succeed as an Indie author, they must “hurry up and write.” Write. Write. Write. Somewhere in the post they might mention quality, but then the focus returns to writing fast so the author can get more books published, which helps to sell the other books that they also wrote fast.
The desperate Indie authors are often lured into following this advice because… well, they’re desperate. Desperate for recognition. Desperate for justification that going “Indie” was the right choice, and desperate for the book sales that this “strategy” of writing fast promises to deliver. Unfortunately, I see too many writers heeding this advice despite the consequences.
What’s Wrong With Fast?
Unless you’re in a race, “fast” is usually a problem. Think about your favorite restaurants. (Once you get to know me, you’ll realize that food and coffee are high on my list of passions, so all thoughts usually go back to one of those.)
I don’t know about you, but I keep returning to the same restaurants because they always serve me great food. The calamari is done to perfection, the seafood ravioli I have no words to describe, and the tiramisu…fahgettaboutit!
I’m a picky individual. My wife would add four or five adjectives prior to the word “picky,” and a few of those adjectives I wouldn’t put in print, but that’s neither here nor there. Yes, I am picky, and if that restaurant didn’t serve me absolutely magnificent food, I wouldn’t go back. I don’t really care how fast they serve my food. If the meal is a little late, I’ll have another cappuccino, or another glass of wine while I chat with my wife. In any case, anticipation makes the meal taste better, doesn’t it?
Quality Counts
Think about this—if you’re looking for referrals on an electrician or a carpenter, do you ask how fast they did the job, or how good a job they did?
You don’t build successful businesses on going “fast.” You build them on quality. Even Fed-Ex didn’t build their business on speed. It might seem like it at first, but think of their motto: “When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight.”
Fed-Ex didn’t say, “we’ll get there faster than UPS, or faster than the Postal Service.” What they did was guarantee that their package would be there the next day. And then they delivered on that promise. 
Laying Bricks
My wife and I got married young, and the only job I could get was construction. I became a bricklayer. One day I was up on the scaffold laying brick and the owner of the company came by. I was full of youthful zeal and wanted to make an impression, so I laid bricks as fast as I could. After a few minutes, he called me down from the scaffold.
“You were going mighty fast up there, young man.”
I beamed with pride, dreaming of a raise even as he spoke. “Yes, sir.”
He placed his arm on my shoulder and started walking along the scaffold at the bottom of the wall. About halfway down he stopped and pointed to a spot maybe ten feet up. “You do all this work?”
“Yes, sir.” Now I knew the raise was coming.
He nodded, then he said, “You see those two bricks up there? The ones sittin’ crooked in the wall.”
I gulped, and quickly realized there would be no raise. “Yes, sir.”
“The crazy thing about bricks, is that a hundred years from now, after we’re long gone, they’re still gonna be there. And maybe somebody will be standing right where we are and looking up at that pretty wall. And then one of them is gonna say, ‘look at those crooked bricks.’ When they see those bricks, they’re not going to wonder how fast you laid them, they’ll just know they’re crooked.”
Crooked bricks

I nodded my head. And I knew what I had to do. I went back up the scaffold, took the bricks off the wall, and started relaying them—straight.
Back to the Books
Straight! That’s the way I like my books. I don’t want someone picking up one of my books five, or ten, or fifty years from now and wondering how fast I wrote them. I want them to sit down and enjoy them.
Maybe over a good cup of coffee. Maybe over a chat with their spouse.
One last thought
…which do you prefer—instant coffee, or coffee where the beans have been hand picked, roasted to perfection, and then brewed for exactly four minutes in a French Press?
Yeah, me too. I don’t like instant coffee, and I don’t like fast books. 

Guest post by Giacomo Giammatteo, author of Murder Takes Time, and A Bullet For Carlos. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 41 loving “friends.”


  1. Great post!! Interesting reading. I really like the author's philosophy. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jo: Thanks for allowing me to share my rambling words with your readers.


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