June 29, 2011

Establishing a Writing Routine: What Works for Me

My writing routine has evolved. Mostly, it centers around my kids' nap time. It also depends on what I'm working on. First drafts can be written between breaths. Whenever I get a free moment, I can sit down (butt-in-chair or BIC) and pull a couple hundred words from my muse. (Where'd you think I pulled them from?)

That doesn't work for revision, though.

Something about rewriting a scene drains me. You may recall, I'm writing by hand because, well, it works for me. The content is better (setting, conflict, voice) but it's EXHAUSTING! When my kids (finally) go to bed, I go back to my room, pull out my notebook, and pick up where I left off the day before.

Thirty minutes later, I'm resting my head on my arm with my eyes closed, trying to recover. It's physically draining.

I'm lucky to get more than four pages written.

Now, typing those pages up on the computer takes no time. It's not nearly as demanding, mentally. I usually type up the week's handwritten pages on Saturday. It comes out to about 1800 words a week.

For those of you who haven't done the math yet, that's 300 words a day. (I take off Sundays.)

Really? That's pathetic.

It's okay. You can say it. I used to write five times that. But the thing is: I'm going to save myself a whole draft. So I like to double that number. :)

Another thing I need: silence. Some people like to work with music. I've done that, and it works really well for me if I have music or dancing in the scene. Otherwise, I find it builds the world in my mind without it being on the page. (I'm not sure if that makes sense.)

But the kids have to be asleep and I can't write in the same room as my husband if he's listening to something on the computer. Sometimes I get really lucky and he'll take the kids to the park or the pool. That's prime writing time, right there. Pure quiet.

I love it.

No comments:

.i2Style{ font:bold 24px Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif; font-style:normal; color:#ffffff; background:#67b310; border:0px none #ffffff; text-shadow:0px -1px 1px #222222; box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -moz-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -webkit-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -moz-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -webkit-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; width:96px; padding:20px 43px; cursor:pointer; margin:0 auto; } .i2Style:active{ cursor:pointer; position:relative; top:2px; }