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louisgodwin
10-20-2006, 07:23 AM
Mine? Well, they're incredibly inconsistent. I can sit down for 30 minutes and crank out 2 or 3 pages, and the next night I may sit and daydream in front of a blank screen for 2 hours with nothing to show for it except a few uninspired sentences. It's not really writer's block because it's never the same from night to night. Sometimes I feel the magic.... other times, blah!

Simon Woodhouse
10-20-2006, 08:06 AM
I write in short bursts of no more than an hour at a time. If I try to stick at it for longer than this, I end up writing drivel. I read a bit of advice once that said it's better to leave your writing at a point where you want to go back and carry on, rather than trying to wrap things up at the end of every session.

Moonfish
10-20-2006, 09:31 AM
Mine are very varied too.
If I'm really into a project I work in the mornings, before I take on anything else that day. This way I make sure to prioritize my writing over everything else. I usually have as a goal to write 2000k a day (five days a week). Sometimes I don't achieve it and I try not to beat myself up about it.

When I'm not deep inside some project I am more erratic - work a little here, a little there, sit down at a café with a notebook, sit in front of the computer, sometimes with no reslut at all. Or like now when I should be writing but instead I'm here...

P.H.Delarran
10-20-2006, 09:36 AM
I'm loud and messy. I talk out loud, laugh, yell and cuss. I scatter reference books all over the desk and floor and frequently get up and pace while talking out a sequence.
I scare the dogs often with this behavior.
I'm also inconsistent and rarely write for more than an hour at a time straight through.

Nakhlasmoke
10-20-2006, 10:51 AM
Full of interruptions, but I seem to work better that way. I've also found that if the document is always open, then I'm constantly adding to it, which helps.

KTC
10-20-2006, 02:27 PM
I have no set session plan. I write when it hits me...I may be at a computer, or somewhere with nothing but a pencil and the inside of a takeout menu. I can sit and write for 10 hours without stopping. Just depends on what comes to me and at what speed it comes to me.

Kate Thornton
10-20-2006, 07:17 PM
Quiet and peaceful, with about an hour at a time. Or not.

BottomlessCup
10-20-2006, 08:57 PM
I spend a lot of time "prewriting."

I usually spend about two months on that stage, writing around two to three hours a night. I end up with asmany as four notebooks full of notes and outline and character sketches and bull.

Somewhere in there, it starts to feel like it's time to write the thing. I know it's time when I start getting quiet. I'm thinking about the script all day.

Then, I sit down to write it and usually vomit out a first draft in about a week. During that period, the writing is constant. I don't want to talk or go out or watch TV or anything. Just write.

I put the first draft aside and come back to it in a few weeks for rewriting.

It's a weird system, but it works for me.

wordmonkey
10-20-2006, 11:42 PM
I find short bursts very unproductive.

I know a lot of people will do an hour a day and that works for them, but I'm not even warmed up by then. I need a good chunk of time. But for as bad as I am in a single hour, the longer I work, the more the kinks disappear and the words start flowing. I type faster, my thinking is clearer and the work is better.

When I was finishing my first "written" draft of my first novel I had a weekend where I could work nights. Friday night I had about 11pm thru to 4am. Same Saturday night. I pumped out 20,000 words.

Now when it comes to editting the work, I can do that in short bursts and even with interruptions around me. But writing... I NEED big juicy chunks of time.

scarletpeaches
10-20-2006, 11:45 PM
Fits and starts.

Occasionally, I get in the zone and can't not write. I go for hours and it's quality stuff. :)

I don't believe in waiting for inspiration to strike. If you wait for the muse, she'll get bored. You have to sit at the computer and then she appears. She lives in your hard drive!

I just need to have more self-discipline.

CaroGirl
10-20-2006, 11:50 PM
Inconsistent. I like a good, big chunk of time, but if an idea strikes me, I can hammer the bones of it out whenever the mood moves me.

I like to edit in large chunks, too, like when I read. I edit as if I were my own reader, and need to really feel a connection to the plot and flow of the prose to effectively edit it.

ChaosTitan
10-21-2006, 12:07 AM
Depends.

Writing sessions on my own work tend to be chaotic. I'll check my email, post on the boards, pull up a story and start to type. Write for a while, check some blogs, write some more. Go into the chat room for half an hour. Write. Watch a TV show and write during commericial breaks.

Writing sessions with my co-writer tend to be day-long marathons. From lunchtime until late evening on Sundays, usually in blocks of five to nine hours, we write back and forth. Breaks for food, bathroom, stretching, sometimes a walk down to Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee just to recharge.

But always something in the background, be it music or a movie I've seen a dozen times.

Unique
10-21-2006, 01:42 AM
Often Interrupted.

:::pick up the pencil:::: 'MOM!'
:::pick up the pencil:::: 'Mom!'

:::pick up the pencil::: 'Hey, Mom'
:::pick up the pencil::: 'Mom!"

::::break the pencil in half and throw it at the wall::::
"GEEZ, Mom! You don't have to get so upset."

Then::::::Headbang:

jbal
10-21-2006, 02:05 AM
It takes me about half an hour or more to get in the right frame of mind, during which time I usually start by reading the last thousand words or so, making minor corrections. Then I putz around for a while trying to put myself back in the scene. If I can get away with the prep time uninterrupted I can usually produce about 700-1000 words in the next 45 minutes to an hour. Then it's break time, and if it's still pulling at me, I go back for no more than another hour or so. For me to have this much time in a single day is a bit unusual, and I've never produced more than about 2000 words in a day.

Freckles
10-21-2006, 02:09 AM
I'm one of those hot or cold people. Some days, the ideas just keep coming and I can crank out an entire column in one sitting. But other days, the Muses don't like me for some reason and it's like pulling teeth. Go figure!

arrowqueen
10-21-2006, 03:14 AM
Write a bit.
Wander into living room and have mouthful of cold coffee.
Write a bit.
Go out back door and have half a fag, while staring vacantly into space.
Write a bit.
Stare at wall. Notice seam of wall-paper looks as if it's coming away from wall. Get up. Poke it. Decide it's fine.
Write a bit.
Go out back door for other half of fag. Have chat with old lady next-door.
Write a bit.
Decide it's not going to rain after all. Wash knickers. Hang on line.
Write a bit.
Wander back into living-room. Peer hopefully into cup. Cold coffee all gone. Put on kettle, Make more coffee.
Write a bit.
Story finished.
Check over and remove mistakes.
Print out.
Check over again.
Remove more mistakes.
Reprint relevant pages.
Print cover sheet.
Fold story.
Stick in envelope for posting.

The end.

Repeat, with variations, every day.

louisgodwin
10-21-2006, 09:09 AM
Stare at wall. Notice seam of wall-paper looks as if it's coming away from wall. Get up. Poke it. Decide it's fine.


:roll: OMG! I've actually done this before. HA!

arrowqueen, you should submit that whole post over in the poetry forum. I think the obvious title should be: "Write a Bit."

Jenan Mac
10-21-2006, 10:10 PM
Ideally, I walk the kids to school, come home, grab a Coke and sit down at the computer for the next two hours.
That's ideally. What happens is that I usually get great ideas while I'm waiting for the traffic light to turn left into Target for cat food, and have to write stuff on my hand with the half-melted pen on my dashboard.

Puma
10-22-2006, 06:02 AM
Writing sessions? What about the pre-writing/rewriting sessions? I think about where I am in my story as I drive to work and sometimes have trouble putting it away when it's time to start the 9-5. I check on the internet for needed pieces of information during lunch or edit read parts I've printed out. Back to thinking out the story on the drive home. Finally after supper's over I can write and go at it with a vengence (while I consume a lot of coffee and burn up a pack of smokes) until it's time to get ready for bed. And then, I can't go to sleep because I'm still mulling over what I wrote or what I should have written or have yet to write in my head. At some point in time I fall asleep and wake up the next morning to start it all over again. Hooked? Sounds like it to me. Puma

Gwenzilla
10-22-2006, 07:06 AM
For me, the place has to be right. Luckily, there are a lot of values of 'right'. My workspace at home is in the bedroom I share with my husband. We sleep in a loft bed, and my desk is underneath. There are twinkly lights strung up below the mattress, so I have nice, soft lighting. My desk is set into our big bay window which looks out onto the park. I need to be able to look at something that's not a computer screen sometimes. It's nice to look out and see traffic going by on one side and the trees swishing in the wind on the other, nice to see the reflections of the lights in the window. The other place I spend a lot of time writing in is a local wood: I take my laptop there, have endless cups of tea at their outoor café, and write in a setting very much like the place my current project is set in.

Music is important. I have a playlist of music that inspires whatever I'm working on, and I keep that on shuffle on the mp3 player or the computer itself while I'm working.

I find that being in a physical space that says, 'this is a writing space' to me nad having the right music helps pull it all together to the point where I can usually just dig right in and start writing. I work part time, three days a week, so my writing times are the two days I do not work, weekends, late nights, and occasionally lunch breaks at my day job (where there is a garden that is a lovely space for writing). On days when I'm writing at home, I get up, get husband and kid off to work and school, make myself a cup of tea, and get to work, just as I would if writing were a full-time occupation. I start with any research tasks I need to accomplish, then make notes and get writing. I don't turn the phone off or refuse to answer the door, and I tend not to use headphones unless everybody else in the house is asleep. When I'm writing at the wood, I get out of the house as early as I can, make sure the writing music is cued up on the iPod, and listen to music and think forward to what I'm going to write that day on the short bus journey to the wood. When I get there, I start with a walk, eventually arrive at the café where there are tables, chairs, sometimes scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, and I write for as long as I can there, three or four hours. I finish up that day with a walk through the wood to the bus stop for my journey home.

Maybe it sounds a little routine, but I find the ritual of being in the right place physically helps quite a bit with my journey to the right place mentally.

triceretops
10-22-2006, 07:30 AM
Mine are pretty consistent in an abnormal sort of way. I write at light-speed for 30 minutes, then play around in AW for ten minutes as a break. Then repeat this for about 8-10 hours. I do pull about 2,000 words a day or much better this way. I dunno, I have to have AW on as kind of a night light to help me get through it. Since my existence is so solitary, I imagine that there is a crowd of people just inside the next door next to me. So I pop in on the party when I can.

Tri

writerterri
10-22-2006, 11:21 AM
I'm evil when I write. If you interrupt me while I'm in deep thought I'm not responsible for your blood loss. Interrupt at your own risk.

writerterri
10-22-2006, 11:27 AM
Write a bit.
Wander into living room and have mouthful of cold coffee.
Write a bit.
Go out back door and have half a fag, while staring vacantly into space.
Write a bit.
Stare at wall. Notice seam of wall-paper looks as if it's coming away from wall. Get up. Poke it. Decide it's fine.
Write a bit.
Go out back door for other half of fag. Have chat with old lady next-door.
Write a bit.
Decide it's not going to rain after all. Wash knickers. Hang on line.
Write a bit.
Wander back into living-room. Peer hopefully into cup. Cold coffee all gone. Put on kettle, Make more coffee.
Write a bit.
Story finished.
Check over and remove mistakes.
Print out.
Check over again.
Remove more mistakes.
Reprint relevant pages.
Print cover sheet.
Fold story.
Stick in envelope for posting.

The end.

Repeat, with variations, every day.

Which half of a fag are you interested in first and does he enjoy your having him? Please PM me with pictures. :D

SeanDSchaffer
10-22-2006, 03:26 PM
Mine? Well, they're incredibly inconsistent. I can sit down for 30 minutes and crank out 2 or 3 pages, and the next night I may sit and daydream in front of a blank screen for 2 hours with nothing to show for it except a few uninspired sentences. It's not really writer's block because it's never the same from night to night. Sometimes I feel the magic.... other times, blah!


Lately, I've been writing more heavily than I normally do. In the last three days, I have finished ten chapters of my present second draft. Basically, my sessions are however they turn out. Like yours, they're pretty inconsistent. Part of the reason they're so inconsistent is that I am online so much any more. Also, I find that when I am depressed, I write more than when I feel good.

A few weeks ago, my answer would have been quite different. I would write maybe four pages a day, every day, and the work was tedious and hard. Now the work is highly enjoyable.

I think part of the reason my work is so enjoyable now, is that I am not taking myself so seriously as I did before. This makes my writing less of a chore to me and more of a fun time, something that I can actually enjoy like I did when I was a teenager.

Arisa81
10-23-2006, 02:43 AM
Mine vary widely. Some days I will write (an do other writing related tasks) all day with short breaks for food and drink. Other days I seem to wander around as if I have nothing to do. Sadly, the latter happens too much.

I'd like to set some kind of loose schedule for myself and stick to it. Write for 30 minutes. Take a short break. Write for 30 minutes. Read. Write etc.
I would also like to the mood to write. I listen to a lot of radio talk shows that are very distracting. Maybe more light music, silence even. I really go for the silence when I am reading.

For me it's a self-control issue, which I am working on everyday. It's hard to be your own boss sometimes.

JDCrayne
10-23-2006, 03:24 AM
I've also found that if the document is always open, then I'm constantly adding to it, which helps.

Yeah, I do that too. My "desktop" is divided into quadrants, and I keep the WIP document open in one of them (the others are the browser, email, and an empty for whatever arises). When I have a bright idea I just click over to the document and write it out. Generally speaking, I write in short spurts at the beginning of a novel but when I get past the half-way point I tend to spend four or five hours per day writing. Probably because the plot and direction are clearer in my mind by then. *shrug*

TrainofThought
10-23-2006, 05:31 AM
Mine? Well, they're incredibly inconsistent. Iím with you on inconsistency. I can revise for six hours satisfied with the results, and the next time, revise for a few hours with little results. Itís usually because my head and heart isnít in it at the moment. Sometimes my imagination comes alive at night, which is not good when I have to get up for work.

sammyig
10-25-2006, 08:32 PM
I work best when sitting at the kitchen table. Because I don't have a laptop- this means that I am writing in longhand, then having to retype it when I get upstairs to the computer. While this does make for extra editing, I had to think of the time wasted not writing.

I seem to work in bursts like many others here.

Some days, I crank out only a few sentences or a paragraph, other days, I can crank out 14 pages. It all depends on my brain.

Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2006, 08:43 PM
Often Interrupted.

:::pick up the pencil:::: 'MOM!'
:::pick up the pencil:::: 'Mom!'

:::pick up the pencil::: 'Hey, Mom'
:::pick up the pencil::: 'Mom!"

::::break the pencil in half and throw it at the wall::::
"GEEZ, Mom! You don't have to get so upset."

Then::::::Headbang:
That's why I wait until everyone is asleep. Otherwise I'd hear. Son1: "Dad!" Son2: "Dad!" Wife:"Ed!" Then::::::Headbang:

But if I wait until they're all asleep, then I sneak downstairs, turn on the stereo, put on some vinyl. Pop open a beer. Plant myself in front of the computer and... zzzzzzzzz! :sleepy:

DTNg
10-25-2006, 08:53 PM
I wake up at 4:00 every morning and work before my husband and son wake. I find it's the best time. The guys are sleeping, no one is going to call, no stores are open, nothing is on television and I don't want to make much noise for fear of waking anyone. I also work for a couple of hours while my son is in preschool.

Since I'm easily distracted the rest of the day, I update my blogs and take care of email and other business because it doesn't require as much of my concentration.

MyFirstMystery
10-28-2006, 03:15 AM
I sit down at my computer, procrastinate for a while (10 minutes to 2 hours) by reading, posting on Absolute Write, listening to books on tape, tidying up piles of paper, blogging..

FINALLY I open up my manuscript and begin typing. Three hours later I look up, surprised at the clock, and notice I've written 2000-3000 words. I shrug in wonderment and then turn off the computer. I write nothing for two weeks.

Then I repeat. At this point I'm trying to decrease my intervals between writing.

CBeasy
10-28-2006, 03:27 AM
I don't write professionally, yet. As a result, I just carry around a notebook with me whenever I can to write down ideas. Once I've got enough for any one particular piece, I sit down and try to write it. Every now and again, I'll get a great idea, sit down, and just write. I personally think the stuff I write on the fly is better then the stuff I spend days brooding over.

LeslieB
10-28-2006, 03:40 AM
Often Interrupted.

:::pick up the pencil:::: 'MOM!'
:::pick up the pencil:::: 'Mom!'

:::pick up the pencil::: 'Hey, Mom'
:::pick up the pencil::: 'Mom!"

::::break the pencil in half and throw it at the wall::::
"GEEZ, Mom! You don't have to get so upset."

Then::::::Headbang:

I can relate. Oooooh, how I can relate.

*open word document* "Mommy!"

*put fingers on keyboard* "Honey?"


We now have a running joke in our family. My husband and I love The Venture Brothers. In one episode, an alien appears and announces that he's just there to observe humanity. Whenever anyone spoke to him or noticed him, he would bellow, "Ignore me!"

So now when I start writing, it isn't long before my shouts of "Ignore me!" are ringing through the house.

dclary
10-28-2006, 04:00 AM
What is this thing you call... "pencil?"

Pat~
10-28-2006, 04:24 AM
What is this thing you call... "pencil?"

It's the thing you scribble with when inspiration hits as you're driving down the tollway.

Pat~
10-28-2006, 04:39 AM
I do devotional writing (poetry and devotionals), so my sessions are a little different. I wake up early, get some coffee and a banana, and head to our library. I carefully skirt piles of books to settle down into my favorite armchair, and start by spending about an hour or so of devotional reading and meditation (Bible, and the writings of Fenelon, a Kempis, or some other Christian mystics). That flows into journaling in what I guess you'd call a spiritual journal. And that supplies the ideas for my poems and devotionals or articles. If it's a writing day (Tues. or Friday) I go ahead and write while the idea's fresh. Usually when I'm writing, nothing short of a housefire would interrupt me. When I wrote my 1st book, I'd write for 6 or 7 hours straight sometimes. Now that my projects are shorter, I don't write that long without a break; but even with poems, I'll write until they're finished, at least to my initial satisfaction.

emsuniverse
10-28-2006, 08:35 AM
I'm really lucky, because I don't require much sleep. I write mostly at night. That's when the house is quiet, everyone is asleep, and no one is around to bother me. I think I do my best work between ten p.m. to two a.m. I try to get at least 2,000 words a day. Granted, I usually delete half of that when I open up the MS the next night.
This weekend, however, I intend to do a marathon writing session. I'm extremely close to finishing my second draft of my novel (I'm down to line editing!), and I want it finished by Monday. Monday, I keep telling myself, is the day that I start shooting off agent queries. I have the synopsis written. I think I only rewrote the damn thing about ten times.

We'll see if I actually get everything done by Monday!

Carrie in PA
10-28-2006, 08:48 PM
My sessions vary widely, too. The past 3 or 4 days, my sessions look something like:

Open document
Open Internet
Go back to document
Read last couple of paragraphs
Type 100 words
Check email
Check AW
Write 14 more words
Check other board
Check AW
Write 75 witty responses
Go back to document, giggling
Type 6 words, think of snappy comeback
Go back to AW
Write 32 more responses, 4 of them serious
Go back to document
Type 150 words
Reward self by checking AW
Spend 2 hours in posting war
Go back to document
Type 17 words.
Check wordcount
Get annoyed because I've been writing for FOUR hours, dammit, how come I only have 287 new words??

Actually, I've been getting a lot more writing done. I did just over 3000 words the other day, in spite of AW OP's best efforts. LOL!!

janetbellinger
10-28-2006, 10:26 PM
My writing sessions look like they take place in slow motion lately. I used to write off the top of my head, go where the pen took me, but now I tend to think more. I don't know whether this is good or bad. I think though I won't have to do as many revisions. Of course I will though, for I cam constantly changing my mind getting new ideas for my novels, and revising them.

engmajor2005
11-05-2006, 12:50 AM
I sit down, preferably in dead quiet or with music playing, under low-lighting. I start writing either on a new project or continue and old one. My goal is to write until I don't know where to take it anymore. Sometimes it's thousands of words, sometimes it's a sentence or two. When I get to that point, I go to another project. When I don't have any more new thoughts to go anywhere, I'm done. I may write again that day, I may not.

Of course on days I have to work (meaning most days) I write as the time allows. I have a couple of free hours each morning and spend most evenings writing. I don't always work on my projects each day; but I do always scratch down ideas or notes to myself, or give thought to my writing.

Freckles
11-06-2006, 03:43 AM
I had one of those hot days last night. I sat down to write my new column and the world just came flowing out! I wrote 600 words in 40 minutes...and now I'm a week ahead! :)

I love it when that happens, don't you?

engmajor2005
11-06-2006, 07:40 AM
Here's a funny writing story.

A week after some friends and I went to see The Mothman Prophecies (great scary movie--go see it) I decide to write my own Mothman short story. So I'm sitting at home with my notebook, scribbling down prose with a Bic pencil into a spiral-bound notebook. I need a break, so I start staring at the wall and notice a watch reflection (you know the kind). I start playing with it, moving my wrist to make it do loops and draw designs. Eventually, something strikes me as odd:

I'm not wearing a watch.

Scary movie + Scary story + Scary happening = Done for the Day!

louisgodwin
11-07-2006, 08:31 AM
Okay, I'll bite. So what was causing the reflection?

Or are you just jackin' with us?

engmajor2005
11-08-2006, 04:37 AM
Okay, I'll bite. So what was causing the reflection?

Or are you just jackin' with us?

No, I'm not jackin'. And to this day, I don't know. The rational and logical explanation is my overactive imagination; my mind had been functioning for a long time and I needed a distraction. So, I saw ther reflection and started to play with it. Then, my conscious overtook my sub-conscious and..

Either that, or the Mothman was messing with me.:scared:

(Or, one could say :crazy: )

I wonder which argument Ockham's Razor would shave off?