My journey to publication has taken a lot longer than I'd planned. When I seriously started writing in early 2010, I figured I'd query in 2012 and have a book out by now. HA, HA. Seriously, oh, Tara of old. There are a lot of reasons why that didn't happen. I trunked my first book, and then my second, third. My fourth book was going to be the one I queried, but then there was the fifth, but then my sixth book happened. It was the one that made me stop flitting from manuscript to manuscript. I loved the idea enough to work on it for two years, to re-write it once, and keep editing it through many drafts. During this time I also polished my craft, toughened my skin, and did research on the industry.
Even though I knew I was doing was right for me, sometimes I did feel like I was living in the slow lane. I'd look on Twitter and read about people finishing a draft in four months and getting an agent and book deal within the year. I'd fret and wonder if I should pick up the pace. If everyone else is working so fast, why shouldn't I?
It's hard to be in the slow lane. I've doubted myself more than once, but ultimately, this pace worked for me. My writing pace is hare-like. I've been known to finish a draft in three weeks. So I get the writing fast thing, it's just everything else that I approach with tortoise-like grace. Perhaps I'm too cautious for my own good, but pushing myself to go too fast just ends up with me doubting myself. So I'll stay in the slow lane-for now. As I become more familiar with the industry, and grow as a writer, I'll probably up my pace.
But if you're in the fast lane, that's okay too. It doesn't matter what everyone else is doing. Find a pace that works for you, if you're the hare, the tortoise, or somewhere in the middle.