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Azure Skye
01-29-2007, 06:19 AM
Today, I pushed to get a thousand words down on paper. Today, has not been a very good day as I have something else on my mind but I pushed through it. As I pushed the words out, I wondered if there was anything to learn by doing this. Is there anything beneficial to writing when you just don't really have it in you? Does one learn important writerly things when one does this? I'm sure there is but right now my brain is oatmeal.

I'm talking about the occassional pushing and not a constant uphill battle.

I did learn that if I had to do that constantly, I would want to stop writing. It wasn't fun.

:flag:

Silver King
01-29-2007, 06:41 AM
I did learn that if I had to do that constantly, I would want to stop writing. It wasn't fun.
That sounds like torture, Azura. Why not find what's most comfortable for you and stick to that regimen?

(I know you've heard it a hundred times, but you have a great username.)

Dixie
01-29-2007, 07:27 AM
I just tell myself 520 words a day. I actually started out with a daily pledge of 500 - I hit 520 by mistake and now I just say OK I will push the limit everytime. It really pushes your creativity and concentration. More times than not I find myself rambling on like an idiot. I don't know if that's good for my brain or not, but that's what I do.

I've thought about seeing if I could push 1,000 words in one day just to see if I could do it, but at the same time I don't want to burn myself out either.

triceretops
01-29-2007, 07:45 AM
Dicipline is certainly important to every writer. Sometimes we just don't feel like it. But what's really stopping us? Procrastination? We have no taskmasters or employers leaning over our shoulder. We have to be our own boss and motivation. How bad do you want it? Bad enough to push all those feelings of dejection and inferiority behind? Then you've learned something afterall, haven't you?

Tri

jdkiggins
01-29-2007, 07:51 AM
Is there anything beneficial to writing when you just don't really have it in you? Does one learn important writerly things when one does this?
I'm talking about the occassional pushing and not a constant uphill battle.
Iíll submit my thoughts even though I do find lately Iím in a constant uphill battle to push myself to write. My battle is not about not having ideas or skill, it is due to lack of ambition and quality time.

Today while AW was being updated, and while my mom was still sleeping, I decided to push myself to use that time wisely. I learned a few things.

When I push myself, IÖ
a) accomplish what I set out to do.
b) pay closer attention to detail.
c) command a more diligent and thorough search for the right words.
d) become more ambitious.
e) find my entusiasm peeked.

So, I would say, yes, pushing myself to write when I donít think I have it in me has been a benefit.

I am writing.

Sean D. Schaffer
01-29-2007, 08:07 AM
Today, I pushed to get a thousand words down on paper. Today, has not been a very good day as I have something else on my mind but I pushed through it. As I pushed the words out, I wondered if there was anything to learn by doing this. Is there anything beneficial to writing when you just don't really have it in you? Does one learn important writerly things when one does this? I'm sure there is but right now my brain is oatmeal.

I'm talking about the occassional pushing and not a constant uphill battle.

I did learn that if I had to do that constantly, I would want to stop writing. It wasn't fun.

:flag:



It could be you're pushing yourself beyond what you're capable of handling right at the moment. Perhaps, like Silver King suggested, you could go with a regimen you're more comfortable with and stick to that.

Also, I find if I take a break every, oh, twenty minutes or so, and take that time to stretch and get away from the desk, I become more resilient when I go back to work on my writing.

I hope this helps. :)

virtue_summer
01-29-2007, 08:49 AM
I've been doing this lately and it's the best thing I've done for my writing. My experience was different from yours though. My issues tend to be with getting my butt in the chair and writing the first few sentences. My critical voice in my head is worried the story will never be good enough and likes to procrastinate. After those first few sentences, though, it tends to get easier. Then it starts to be fun. When I do waiver it's usually because the critical voice has come back. In the past I let it win sometimes but lately I'm working to push myself to write more words until it goes away. Those words can be torture like the first few were but again it tends to get better. It's rare for me to have a writing session that lacks any fun.

skelly
01-29-2007, 12:42 PM
Azura, I have had that happen to me. I have been doing the 1000 words per day thing for about six months solid, and it has gotten a little easier the longer that I have stayed on the regime. I still encounter what happened to you though ... those days when the words just won't come. When this happens, I keep pushing for a little longer, just to make entirely sure that the log-jam in my head isn't going to clear up any time soon, then I finish out the days quota of words by having my characters swerve right out of the story and into utter absurdity. One morning when I was wool-headed, and the words wouldn't come, my male and female leads decided to climb a mountian and make love at the top of it. Then a bunch of orcs attacked. Then a humongous David Hasselhoff attacked (I had SpongeBob on the brain at the time), then flying saucers landed ... you get the idea. I figure, what the hell, I'm gonna wind up cutting most of that sort of day's work anyway, why torture myself over it.

Azure Skye
01-29-2007, 06:34 PM
That sounds like torture, Azura. Why not find what's most comfortable for you and stick to that regimen?

(I know you've heard it a hundred times, but you have a great username.)

The thousand word a day thing is just for thirty days or it was. I might need to rethink it because I had intended to edit my other ms while I was writing this one and then I realized, I should edit the other ms first and write a little bit on this one. I would like to get in the submission game this year. To do that, I need to polish the other one.

Oh, and thanks.



I've thought about seeing if I could push 1,000 words in one day just to see if I could do it, but at the same time I don't want to burn myself out either.

I do worry about burn out. I tried this before but my word count was 1,300 and it lasted all of two weeks. After that I realized that I needed to rest a little.



When I push myself, I…
a) accomplish what I set out to do.
b) pay closer attention to detail.
c) command a more diligent and thorough search for the right words.
d) become more ambitious.
e) find my entusiasm peeked.


When I push = a, d, and e. Unfortunately, I tend to skim over what I'm doing which is why I had to ask myself if pushing actually helped me.

I'm glad you found some time to write.

Azure Skye
01-29-2007, 06:54 PM
Dicipline is certainly important to every writer. Sometimes we just don't feel like it. But what's really stopping us? Procrastination? We have no taskmasters or employers leaning over our shoulder. We have to be our own boss and motivation. How bad do you want it? Bad enough to push all those feelings of dejection and inferiority behind? Then you've learned something afterall, haven't you?

Tri

Yeah, discipline is probably something most of us need to learn more of. I have a good bit of it but not enough to say, write eight hours a day. Not that that's a goal of mine or anything, unless I was under a deadline.

veinglory
01-29-2007, 07:01 PM
When I push, I learn that I write as well that way as when waiting for the muse to strike. Sure, it's less fun, but that's the only difference.

Maryn
01-29-2007, 07:35 PM
I figure that every writer who hopes to have a multibook contract, with real and immovable deadlines, had damned well better learn to push instead of waiting for the Muse, who doesn't respect calendars. Yeah, it's so much better to write when I'm in the mood, with a great idea I'm eager to work on, but if I'm to consider myself a professional, I'll also write--and pretty well, I hope--when I'm totally not in the mood, too, or I may not meet my deadlines.

Maryn, who intends never to have to return an advance, if she gets one

AnnieColleen
01-29-2007, 08:03 PM
For me it depends why I'm having to push. Lack of sleep is killer for me -- if I've gotten into a pattern of 2-3 nights in a row of short sleep, I'm much better off catching up on that even if it means no writing (or rather, staring at the screen) for that day. The times I try to push on regardless, I find myself fighting hard for a few lines and getting stuck, wondering if the scene even belongs, etc. Come back to it rested, and the same scene works fine.

If it's distraction, procratination, self-doubt, etc. -- I've found that I'd better push through it, or I'll get into a pattern of no work that gets worse the longer it goes. The scenes from these sessions, looking back, work as well as the ones written by inspiration (or, pushing through will often get inspiration to show up).

Cat Scratch
01-29-2007, 11:07 PM
Sometimes it's the only way to get through a difficult point of the writing process. I find if I push through and end up with a pile of crap, that's more than what I started with, which was nothing. I rarely find that I spend that time and end up with nothing I can use. At the very least, I end up with an example of what doesn't work, and then I can take it in a different direction.

I always feel it's better off in the long run to push through in times when I'm not feeling it. It gets easier every time, too.

Azure Skye
01-30-2007, 12:08 AM
For me it depends why I'm having to push. Lack of sleep is killer for me -- if I've gotten into a pattern of 2-3 nights in a row of short sleep, I'm much better off catching up on that even if it means no writing (or rather, staring at the screen) for that day.

I hear ya on that one. I can't do much of anything if I need sleep. Last night I had to stop writing so I could get a power nap. It worked.

RG570
01-30-2007, 12:15 AM
I like to push my writing no matter what my mood is. I like disciplined, unromanticised writing. My output is more consistent this way, both in quality and quantity.

aadams73
01-30-2007, 12:17 AM
I'm another pusher. I have a routine and stick to it whether I feel like writing or not. Discipline is a good thing.

wm_bookworm
01-30-2007, 07:01 PM
My biggest issue with pushing is that a lot of times it tends to get unfocused. You read it the next day, ask yourself why that is in there, and then delete.

I do agree that you should still write the 1000 words for the day. I disagree that it should have to be on your WIP. I'd much rather pound out a 1000 word short story that I can laugh at tomorrow before wiping from existance than to risk tarnishing my precious story with drivel.

But hey, what do I know? I'm not published. =P

bardwell
02-01-2007, 05:12 AM
I often push myself to write. Sometimes it results in crap, but I'm an endless massager of everything I write anyway, so even if what I churn out is "See Dick. See Dick run," I know I'm going to fiddle with it every time I look at it and in a week or so it won't bear anny resemblance to what I "pushed" out in the beginning.

lfraser
02-01-2007, 02:03 PM
If I force myself to write dialogue when I'm feeling stuck, sometimes one of my characters will say something that triggers a whole line of thought that carries the story forward in some odd new direction. But mostly what I learn when I push is that if I sit at the computer for long enough, a page or two will get written, and even if most of it isn't very good, I've got a draft of part of a scene that I didn't have before.

Sean D. Schaffer
02-01-2007, 07:57 PM
I know I posted further up-thread, but I didn't really mention what I learn if I push myself. Because of this, I would like to tell you all what I have learned since I started pushing myself to write:

I've learned, if I push myself to a limit I can handle, I do write more often and better than if I do not push myself at all. I'm finding it's a lot like physical exercise. If I push myself too hard, I hurt myself. If I push myself to a goal I can comfortably reach, I build myself up to being able to handle more.

And my writing becomes more fluid, more usable, and more readable. I think that's the real beauty of pushing myself to work.

But again, pushing myself beyond what I'm capable of will burn me out quicker than anything else possibly could. I think it's a balancing act to find out what you are capable of, and keeping to what you are capable of handling.

Then, over time, like with exercise, you build up your ability to handle more.

That's what I've learned since I started pushing myself a few weeks ago.

I hope this helps.

:)

Azure Skye
02-02-2007, 01:19 AM
I know I posted further up-thread, but I didn't really mention what I learn if I push myself. Because of this, I would like to tell you all what I have learned since I started pushing myself to write:

I've learned, if I push myself to a limit I can handle, I do write more often and better than if I do not push myself at all. I'm finding it's a lot like physical exercise. If I push myself too hard, I hurt myself. If I push myself to a goal I can comfortably reach, I build myself up to being able to handle more.

And my writing becomes more fluid, more usable, and more readable. I think that's the real beauty of pushing myself to work.

But again, pushing myself beyond what I'm capable of will burn me out quicker than anything else possibly could. I think it's a balancing act to find out what you are capable of, and keeping to what you are capable of handling.

Then, over time, like with exercise, you build up your ability to handle more.

That's what I've learned since I started pushing myself a few weeks ago.

I hope this helps.

:)

I think finding that balance is very important. By pushing myself to do 1000 words a day, I think I was setting myself up burn out and inevitable failure. Pushing is good, straining is not.

Jamesaritchie
02-02-2007, 02:52 AM
I don't know about learning anything through pushing, but I know that when I look back at writing that was pushed from a distance, say a week or two later, it's every bit as good as writing that was easy and flowed. Often better. As they say, "Easy writing makes for hard reading."

Pushing is also how you expand. A thousand words a day is not very many words unless you aren't used to writing a thousand words a day.

Having said this, I still believe time is a better measurement than word count. You can cheat on word count, decide you're just going to get down a thousand words, regardless of quality. It's tougher to cheat on time. You sit at the computer for a given number of hours, regardless. You don't have to write, but you aren't allowed to do anything else. No internet, no games, no research, no anything. It's amazing how the word count grows when you aren't allowed to do anything but write.

Dixie
02-02-2007, 03:38 AM
Now you're just cruel James, usually I have 2 or 3 windows going at the same time on the computer. That goes against anything Ive known, LOL.

lfraser
02-02-2007, 06:09 AM
I've been very diligent about doing my two (or more) hours every day for the past month. If I hadn't, I would probably have half the word count that I have today. Because I know have a two-hour session coming up the next day, I start to go over bits of dialogue for the upcoming scene, or run the scene through my head, so that when I actually sit down to write it's all there.

Akuma
02-05-2007, 09:01 PM
Pushing is frustrating. I usually end up deleting entire pages of what I had done during pushing (I store the deleted stuff in a seperate file in case I want to go back and scrounge for something).

But after day and day of pushing, after deleting and writing and deleting again, I will emerge with a scene that gets me back into the swing of things.

It's a love-hate relationship, and totally worth it.