How do you write?

Some people make writing like a ‘job’, eg: they have a writing work schedule, say from 9-10AM. Or some have a daily goal: 1000 words or 2 pages. Some people disconect the internet and go into hiding when they write.

I’m interested in how you all write? What is the process? What helps you to NOT procrastinate?

I ask, because I am embarking on my first novel and would like some feedback on what helps other actually sit down and write.

  • You must write, instead of thinking about writing. (7)
  • Finish what you start. (8)
  • Inspiration is mainly a matter of forcing yourself to write.
  • To avoid being disappointed, minimize expectations. (5)
  • Write for only ten minutes.
  • Vomit out your first draft. (4)
  • Write as bad as you can.
  • First part is to sit down to write. Second part is to write. The first part is harder then the second part. (1)
  • The secret is to start small. Finishing is a series of small starts.
  • Writing is just talking on paper. If you can talk you can write. (2)
  • Look underneath the hashing of your monkey mind.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, don’t be surprised. (2)
  • Say something simple to someone. (3)
  • If you have something to say, but don’t know how to say it, then start saying it. (2)
  • Perfection is the enemy of progress.
  • Don’t tinker endlessly with your piece. (6)
  • You must make your piece available to the others. (6)
  • Start with your most important message.
  • Imitation leads to inspiration, which leads to your own style. (2)
  • Insist on not being a perfectionist. Insist on it. (2)
  • As soon as you’ve finished one piece, start another. (6)

i This is a simple corollary to the law of inertia.
(2) Joel Saltzman
(3) See the posting with the same name
(4) Calvin Trillin
(5) Chinese fortune cookie
(6) sfwriter.com/ow05.htm
(7) Out of hundred aspirant writers, half will never get around to start writing anything.
(8) Out of hundred aspirant writers, half will will never finish anything of what they have started.[/i]

Unlike Wock I prefer clothed solitude with marginal distractions. My typical environment is the living room couch with only marginal music or silence. I ask that the fam only interrupt if death is imminent or some one needs a body part reattached.

Atypical would be the coffee shop. I have too many acquaintances there to actually get anything done these days (small town). I only attempt this when the fam has friends over and I am not able to get them to go away for a time.

A point to note is that for me this is all a spare time thing. In theory I have a paying job so my environment is just what I find easiest to get my thoughts on screen.

I forgot. I skip straight to the 5th law a outlined by bob.

I would not recommend my method to anyone: Since I got the MacBook, I find myself sitting in a recliner actually writing fiction while my husband watches Survivor in the same room.

If this results in particularly bizarre fiction, I’ll let you know.

I sometimes go to the coffee shop; like Jaysen, it’s a small town, and often I get nothing done. Sometimes, by a peculiar twist of fate, the coffee shop is filled with tourists and I can write in peace.

The key to all this is that I grew up in a large family and I can tune out a lot, as long as no one is bleeding.

I’m a night writer… I just don’t seem to be able to “switch it on” until around 10pm, often I’ll write for an hour or two, but there are times when the clock just melts away and before I know it it’s 4 in the morning and I really should be getting some sleep.

All of this, outside of the day job.

I write at any time of day in a little brown-paper notebook with any pen I can find.

I aim to write for 10 minutes a day but I’ll often go beyond that. I don’t define any rules on what I write, or even how, as long as I write something.

I usually write in my studio here at home, though I do sometimes go out to a coffee shop or the library. My natural writing time is the evening/night, but when I indulge that my life gets out of sync with everything else and that becomes a problem (which, in turn, interferes with my writing, so…). I usually try to write in the late morning to early afternoon since I am not a morning person and can’t even think in words until I’ve been awake (using the term loosely) for at least an hour (and after a large cup of coffee or tea).

Find what works best for you and then adapt it as well as you can to how you are living your life. It’s hard enough to write without going against your own nature, too. 8)

[quote=“loft”]
Some people make writing like a ‘job’, eg: they have a writing work schedule, say from 9-10AM. Or some have a daily goal: 1000 words or 2 pages. Some people disconect the internet and go into hiding when they write.

Writing is a job. I rise at 5, make coffee, feed the cats, look at the overnight email for emergencies, and then write away on the book du jour until 9. Seven days a week. Then I eat, shower, respond to the morning’s emails, and plot the rest of the workday. If I owe a magazine piece, I write on that until noon. If I have stuff that needs editing, I edit until noon. Then I eat lunch, walk to town, walk to the beach, walk to the post office, stop at the store, lug stuff home, do whatever chores need doing–garden, woodbox, prepwork for supper–then I let the weather tell me how to finish the day: if it’s nice and it’s summer or autumn, I go do something outdoors, with a pocketful of index cards to capture ideas of possible later use. If the weather sucks and it’s winter (which in Maine means most of the time), I sit back down at the computer and write or edit as the need demands until time to start supper. Weekends I sluff off a bit and write only until nine. After that, I spend the rest of those two days naughty-copulative-verbing around and taking things easy. But I still write every day for three to four hours. Otherwise, how would I ever get anything done?

I typically write in a illegal room I built in the garage (for any code enforcers out there, remember that I write fiction), but occasionally will head with a laptop to the local coffee place, where people leave me alone because I’m usually the only odd fellow drinking tea. Day work is for copywriting and other cash writing; nighttime, usually from 8 or 9 to midnight, is for soul writing (which, thankfully also brings in cash, though, unfortunately, not in banded packs of $100 bills quantity…yet) Like Ahab, it’s mostly an every day routine, with the hours switched up and expanded on weekends within reason while still keeping in step with the family.

I’m just a hobby (not-commercial) writer, so writing is not a job for me, but merely fun.
I started very motivated, sometimes doing ~2000 words a day. Then I got vacation, then a pause of writing… and when I sat in front of my laptop, I just “couldn’t” write.
Of course, there were phases of “I never can write anything good” or “this never turns out that good as I’m expecting”, but that was my first pause in writing. It’s not that I had no ideas - I knew nearly exactly how to go on - but I just didn’t want.
A friend said that it’s my hobby, so if I didn’t want, why force myself?
Now I kept myself busy with other stuff, now I have new inspirations, and now I’m gonna write on. :slight_smile:

From 6:30-7:30am before my day job, and from 7:30-9+pm after day job and dinner dishes, I usually sit at my laptop, 'net connected, and do one of the following things:
-freelance
-write
-edit
-research
-play MMOs. (Does it mean anything that I can take a 2-year break from one and still be recognized when I come back?)

That last one is good for breathers and for encouragement. I can count on some fellow players to kick me if I’ve made no progress. My character isn’t a newbie and has decent levels, but I can still get whupped if some of my in-game friends decide I need it. (Especially if they team up on me or get the game “gods” to help. I don’t multitask well.)

For me, even if I know what I want to write, sometimes I can’t make myself sit down and do it. I could plunk down in the chair and type it up, but something, laziness perhaps, holds me back.

I try to stick to writing 500-1000 words per day. I keep the target low as I like to make time for editing while I write. I don’t really stick to the three draft approach very well. For me, drafting happens basically in ‘real time’ so I have less work later in round two and three of the editing process. This approach works okay for me as I’m used to multi-tasking in a corporate environment.

My hope with this method is that by the time I get to the second draft, there won’t be 20% left to cut(S.K.'s rule) and I can focus more on things like tone, style and logical structure problems.

That’s just me. Call me crazy… :smiley:

Your crazy.

Lol! There seems to be an apostrophe and an ‘e’ missing somewhere. You might’ve done a bit too much chopping on that final edit… :smiley: Just ribbing you!

Anyway, I don’t think there is any concrete formula to follow concerning the writing process. It’s really up to each of us to decide how we work best. I try not to wade too deep into writing methods or long-haired theory. It’s too easy to get lost in the details and ultimately not get anything done.

A good example of this happening comes from the music side. Back when Logic was still an Emagic product, it used to come packed with several ridiculously thick manuals in three-ring binders. Not only did they cover how to use Logic, but also got really deep into sound production theory. I’ve heard anecdotaly of Logic users getting lost literally for months, even years in the manuals and not getting any sound production done. Since Apple took over Logic, the software is so much more streamlined and easier to use.

I just try to keep in mind that all we’re doing as writers is trying to pull stuff out of our heads and plop it down on paper in a coherent fashion not fret too much over the details-unless I really need to. :smiley:

cheers Go, refusion! :smiley:

Most people cut 20% in the second draft? Shoot, I always gotta add.

remembers her 72k second draft that was pulled out of a 17k first draft and starts twitching

I also edit as I write, but it doesn’t feel like multitasking for me, because my single “task” is getting the scene out properly.

Okay, it’s past my bedtime, and I can tell I’m probably at my most coherent atm, so I’m gonna go to bed, now.

Well, I don’t think most people cut 20% in the second draft. It’s just a recommendation from Stephen King that some like to follow for drafting. :smiley:

isn’t 2 20% of 10? So I hit the 20% mark.

Ok, I admit it. I always mess up the your you’re when I am doing too many things at once. Which isn’t really a problem except that the odds of occurrence seems to be rapidly approaching 1. This mans I need to spend less time on the net. I guess I should just unpl

Yeah, you’re right. But hey, don’t sweat the petty things. Just pet the sweaty things.

Anyone care to try a vic-k worthy response to the above? I am not up to the task.