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Thread: I'm doing it all WRONG!

  1. #1
    Phil Captain Pike's Avatar
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    I'm doing it all WRONG!

    I listened to this guy on NPR, can't even remember his name now, a successful writer, being interviewed. The thing that stuck in my craw was that he insisted that one must write for at least an hour every day. Now, I have heard this before, and I do try to do that, but, lots of times other things happened before I can get started. Before you know it, I'm in bed, tired.

    But the thing about it was, this guy said, that if we didn't write every day, then after a couple days pass us by, it might as well be months! This made me feel awful. I've got about six things somewhere between started and finished. My routine is: I'll dive into something I've been working on, if I'm not hot, then I move on to something else. It's like a computer program, stuck in a loop, executing down a list, getting to the bottom, and then, you've got it, go_to_top. In the loop I execute, I even allow for reading the book I'm into. It might look like this:

    top:
    add to document0
    add to document1
    ...
    add to documentN
    read some Stephen Crane
    go to top;


    So, now I see my problem! I might never visit the same document two days in a row! And I thought I was so smart! I'm really bumming! Someone tell me there's gotta be more than one way to skin a cat!

    Ничего нет лучше для исправления, как прежнее с раскаянием вспомнить.

  2. #2
    A ist der Affe NickAdams's Avatar
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    Joyce Carol Oates wrote for only ten minutes a day, before she was published.

    I have more than a few projects and might not work on any for months. By standard, I will never complete any of them, but I don't believe that. I work on them in my head until they're right. It's going to take writers like us to prove them wrong.

    "Do you mind if I reel in this fish?" - Dale Harris

    "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." - Ernest Hemingway


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  3. #3
    solid motherhubbard's Avatar
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    I heard the same interview (love NPR). I think he is just saying that it takes discipline. Sometimes we have to work on something we don't want to work on to get done. If your publisher wants something by next Tuesday then you have to work.

  4. #4
    Registered User Durgamol's Avatar
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    oh my, i don't believe You have to write evryday - of course if You want to finish soon, that would be the best way. But there are many people who never printed anything before in their lives and they work somewhere for living. They write hoping it will be a book in future, but can't do it everyday. And one day they are really succeeding - because of determination.
    So i would say that you have to know what your goal is. That's all - there is no one way for eveyone!
    "They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how, and how much?"

    -Arundhati Roy "The God of Small Things"

  5. #5
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    Yes he means discipline but you do not need to feel bad about that. You can keep a diary, make critical annotations on what you're reading, write down a new recipe, an account of some practical task, a biographical excerpt - anything. It doesn't have to be just creative fiction. It's about the process and keeping the brain engaged with language.

  6. #6
    writer
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    Writing every day, in a journal or working on your stories is definitely essential to developing as a writer, not completing a story. If you want to gain skill, write every day.

    Personally, I write at least three days a week, but I'm in college and have classes, homework, and the like. I have been working on the same story (which is now at over 180 pages if typed) for eight months. I don't think I'll finish it by the end of summer. Editing takes even longer.

    Anyway, just write in a process that works for you. If getting to it on the weekends produces the best result, then go for it. Don't listen to the whole military regiment theory, discipline is good for any skill, but you need to do what is right for you. Just know there are tons of us who don't write every single day.
    "Writing is nothing more than a guided dream"
    -Jorge Luis Borges

  7. #7
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    I say write in a way that pleases you. I'm the perfect example of life getting in the way. I was just rediscovering my love of writing and painting when I found myself pregnant with my daughter. I have a 4 year old son and my 8 month old daughter. I'm also finishing off a Marketing degree so there is little free time in my home. Not that I mind either of my kids, I adore them both, but two young children, neither of whom are in school yet wort of get in the way. Plus most of my down time is devoted to college. I've been working on ideas for a novel for years now. Sci-Fi was the way I chose to go, but it is demanding to develop my own world. Liberating but demanding. So I don't write every day. Some nights I just get a feel and I will sit and write for an hour or make notes regarding characters and such. Other times I will go a year without making tome to pursue my writing. I don't feel any better or worse for it. It just means that when I find time my muse is screaming ideas in my ear rather than whispering. Sometimes that is what it takes to break through the rest of the commotion in my life. Good luck with your writing but never feel you have to write a certain amount because someone says you should.

  8. #8
    Phil Captain Pike's Avatar
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    Of course you all are right, and I really appreciate the feedback. Maybe we'll all be published procrastinators someday!

    The thing with me is that it's almost like digestion. I'll be hungry for certain foods and they're what satisfy. These are like the experiences that I have which get squished around inside of me and eventually THEY'VE GOT TO COME OUT! Sometimes I feel like, if I don't write I'm going to explode like one of those horrible cut open fish in a Breughel painting -- spilling out all over. The only thing that helps the feeling is to write, and it feels good and the stuff that comes out is agreeable to me. Now, can I sell that? That's another thing, maybe an ego thing, I don't know.

    Some people go mad, driven to do things they don't understand. Maybe I used to be a little bit like that. I'm grateful that today, I know that writing is something I'm driven to do, and blow hot or cold, I'm going to write. See that felt good!

    Ничего нет лучше для исправления, как прежнее с раскаянием вспомнить.

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