Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Seven Things I Do When Writing

Weston Ochse hit me with the challenge to list seven things I do when writing. I pass this challenge along to Gene O’Neill (Gene O’Neill) and John Palisano.

(As an aside, this should be a list of seven things I ‘wish’ I did rather than what I actually do... the list would be so much easier to compile.)

1. I write whenever I can find some time away from work and teaching and kids and other life responsibilities, but I find the best times for me are early morning (7:00 – 11:00) or mid-afternoon (3:00 – 6:00).

2. Regardless how busy I am, I author at least one word every day. Yes, that is ONE word; Meaning, if I’m stressed for time, I force myself to at least open a work-in-progress every single day and add something to it, so that it continues to be fresh in my mind. Ideally I aim for 1,000 words a day, but if I write only that minimal ‘one’, it’s one more word than the day previous. Usually if I only write a minimal amount over the course of a few days, I find myself scripting in my head, so that when I do sit down for some hours, I let everything that’s been bottled up just pour out.

3. I allow myself ‘social media breaks’. Jonathan Maberry says he attends social media for five minutes of every hour and writes the other fifty-five minutes. During the social media break, he adds comments or tweets or posts (and not just promoting himself, but promoting others as well) or adds to conversations about writing. I attend this advice.

4. I drink coffee and water both by the gallon.

5. I always read what I’ve written last before I start penning something new.

6. I read the works of others in between my own writing.

7. I resent myself for not writing more, for not writing better, for not inciting the world to herald me as the wonder of our generation. I fill myself with doubt and suspicion whenever somebody gives me a compliment or an editor accepts my story for publication. I think I’m terrible, then I think I’m brilliant, then I’m terrible again (all depending on the weather, and time of day, and what I just ate), and I tell the voices in my head to compromise that I’m somewhat average, but to keep at it, and each day I’ll get a little better.

8. (Okay, #8 is technically beyond the limit of the seven-list challenge, but who says writers have to follow rules?) I work on multiple projects simultaneously, and eventually finish most of them.


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