There's no arguing about it, we live in an immediate society. With texting, cellhones, ebooks, music downloads we can have what we want when we want it. Which is now. See, I just downloaded a book while writing that sentence. No one wants to wait anymore, and I think that impatience is affecting the way we write and read books.
I've been seeing more and more people, whether it's a reader waiting for the next book in a series or a writer wanting to release a book, that would prefer a sub-par now, rahter then to have to wait for it.
I see the pressure this puts on authors. I've even seen authors that believe if they don't put out two books a year they will never succeed. Two books a year is crazy! Very few people (none that I know of but I won't rule it out completely) can write that much that fast and still write really well. If authors give in to this 'have it now' mentality are we creating a world with lower expectations? Or is it the readers lower expectations that are pressuring the author to do less than their best.
It's kind of like McDonald's vs gourmet. Some people like it fast and cheap, some only want quality. I guess most of us have times for one and times for another. But what kind of world do we want for our books? And what kind of books do you want as a reader?
As a reader, I would rather wait and have a better quality book, with a better quality reading experience. When books are rushed they may get to me faster, but they leave me unsatisfied. Maybe it's the dissatisfaction of a lesser quality book that causes us to hunt for the next one, something to satiate the reading need. Maybe if we read books that transcended us, that caused us to think and ponder and feel, books that we couldn't get out of our head when done, we wouldn't feel the need to immediately toss it aside and find the next replacement. Maybe those better quality books would teach us to wait.
Do you feel the pressure? Do you give into the mistaken apprehension (for it is mistaken) that you have to publish two books a year to be successful?
I'm trying to teach patience to my children, and I can tell you they're sure teaching it to me, but do you think, over all, waiting is a lost art?