June 7, 2010

All About You: How Do You Do It?

I thought today's post could be all about you. If you write, what does your schedule look like? Do you write every day, or whenever you find a moment to yourself?
What time of day do you prefer to write?
What gets in the way of your writing time more than anything else?
Do you reward yourself if you reach a certain goal? What's the goal and what's the reward?

Please comment. I can't wait to see how you guys do it!


Alex said...


First off, let me offer my appreciation for your blog as one that- though I do follow a fair few- your's is one that I'm always in the mood to read; partly because I like your writing style and partly because what you say interests me to the point of distraction.

Back to the point, however...

Considering my age (15), it's not my aim to write a novel, but I feel my input could be beneficial.

I personally don't have a schedule for anything because I don't believe in them. I am, admittedly, OCD, but I have never been able to stick to a schedule or a plan, incidentally also in writing.

I tend not to write everyday, yet I try my utmost best to write something every week: be it a short story; a section of a longer story that I mentally develop; or a Haiku to clear my thoughts.

Preferably, I will write in the evenings because it is when I am at my calmest: knowing that little is expected of me after 8pm. I have written at other times but I try not to, the reason being the point of the next paragraph.

Moods. I am a teenager and perhaps hormones have a hand in mood changes, but I try to write when I am neither happy nor sad, angry nor hopeful, only when a peace. This helps to make my writing clearer and allows the ideas to be more fluid than before. This is my biggest obstacle.

Due to my minimal writing time, I have never rewarded myself, but I am not as committed, and I may biasedly (?) say can't be, because of school and other clubs.


Rabia said...

Hi, Emily,

It all depends. When I'm working on a first draft, I try to write at least a few hundred words every day. Since I've been focused on HTRYN novel all of this year, my writing time has been spent on combing my manuscript, brainstorming, filling out worksheets, playing with the SFRs--you know how it goes! Since HTRYN is a cerebral process, I've had to take several mental breaks. Now that I've finally started my cut (just today, yay!)I expect I'll be working on it for at least an hour every day.

I write at night, after the kids are in bed. It's the only time of the day that I don't feel like I'm on call. Sometimes I get a chance to write during Quiet/nap time in the afternoon, but I can't rely on it.

Even if I'm not working on my fiction, I find myself doing a lot of writing. Blogging and journaling take up a lot of time and words!

Unknown said...

Alex, you don't know how amazing it is to hear that you like my blog. It's pretty cool that you can write, even on a semi-regular basis. I know I didn't in high school.
You said you only write when you're calm. But being a teenager, with such strong emotions, I'd recommend keeping an "angry" journal or a "happy" journal and just spewing out what you're feeling when you have those kinds of emotions. I know a lot of writers who would pay good money to get into the head of a teenager who's in the throes of a strong emotion. And it may come in handy later.

Rabia, congrats on making it to the final cut. One big push. The lesson's a pain, but SO worth it. I'm just now discovering how much nicer it is to write at night. It's more reliable than nap time.
And blogging, journaling, etc... counts! The muse is still at work. I think it's beneficial to have more than one medium for my creative side to work through.

Unknown said...

Joseph posted this in reply to my post that appeared on facebook:
"When I do first drafts, its 2,000 words a day, which takes me 3-4 hours. Later drafts I do set pages (2nd drafts around 8 pages, 3rd 16 pages, 4th was 32 pages a day or so). I take two months off between drafts to distance myself from it.

All and all, A Monstrous War took me around 9 months to wrap, its 105k words. But its never really done, is it? I find myself changing words here and there, finding little mistakes that have slipped the net half a dozen times.

I'd love to write when I liked, but work has to come first, so I tend to be a night writer. "

This sounds a lot like the process I used for Shadow Bound. The drafts get faster and faster. It can get pretty exciting. You get that surge of adrenaline sooner and sooner each time you finish a pass.

Prue said...

Hi Emily,

I wish I had a writing schedule! Like Rabia, I'm currently doing HTRYN and enjoying every moment but it requires a lot of mental effort and the occasional break when the last thing I can think of is writing. I'm hoping that when I get to redoing all those new scenes the discipline of writing every day will set in again.

I came late to writing fiction but NaNo'ed my way through 50,000 words at 2000 words per day and loved the daily writing. Mostly done between two and four in the afternoon after having an active morning. It worked well for me and having that time in my room, devoted to creativiy, was something I looked forward to and really relished!

HTRYN is a joy, a challenge, a bright light in my life, but THERE IS NO WRITING YET! Soon...I keep telling myself...soon. Until then, I sift through the plot in my mind, run scenes through in detail, go over dialogue. I long for the time when I start spooling all those thoughts out onto paper. Most of all, I want that daily routine of writing. After a month of it on NaNoWriMo, I got a taste of what it could be. And that taste was better than any food or fine wine :)

Glad I found your blog! Thanks for all the useful comments and support and I'm so pleased you got through HTRYN and are setting yourself the short story challenge. Good luck!


Unknown said...

Think of it as building up steam so you can power through lesson 17. It's a doozy (but worth it).

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