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Pamster
08-16-2007, 03:41 PM
Hey all,

Just a thread to ask the question if you could just sit there and write would you? Would you crank out 40-50 pages of really strong work? Or would you be stuck for ideas if put on the spot? Could you really put forth some hard work into a day and write the hours away?

I ask this because I can and frequently do get caught up in my writing, I just so badly want to get to the ending, that the story moves along as I keep breathing life into it through words. It's a awesome feeling to have hours to be able to write and I treasure the school year for the break it brings.

Summer was nice and I got a book written and all, but I am more then ready to welcome in the rest of the year. My son is going on eleven, so you can imagine how much I love the school year, even if he wasn't autistic. ;) It makes writing so much easier when I have those nice solid hours of free time to write, write, write. :D

Anyway, I saw the other thoughtful threads posted recently and it made me ask the question of my fellow writers here at AW. Would you have it in you to sit and write, write, write all day? :D If dinner would cook itself and you could have small breaks for meal prep and execution of chores would just spontaneously happen. Mountains could literally move if this happens to you. LOL ;) :D

But the question remains, would you be able to sit and write your heart out if you had nothing but time to do it in? :D

Sean D. Schaffer
08-16-2007, 03:48 PM
Hey all,

Just a thread to ask the question if you could just sit there and write would you? Would you crank out 40-50 pages of really strong work? Or would you be stuck for ideas if put on the spot? Could you really put forth some hard work into a day and write the hours away?

I ask this because I can and frequently do get caught up in my writing, I just so badly want to get to the ending, that the story moves along as I keep breathing life into it through words. It's a awesome feeling to have hours to be able to write and I treasure the school year for the break it brings.

Summer was nice and I got a book written and all, but I am more then ready to welcome in the rest of the year. My son is going on eleven, so you can imagine how much I love the school year, even if he wasn't autistic. ;) It makes writing so much easier when I have those nice solid hours of free time to write, write, write. :D

Anyway, I saw the other thoughtful threads posted recently and it made me ask the question of my fellow writers here at AW. Would you have it in you to sit and write, write, write all day? :D If dinner would cook itself and you could have small breaks for meal prep and execution of chores would just spontaneously happen. Mountains could literally move if this happens to you. LOL ;) :D

But the question remains, would you be able to sit and write your heart out if you had nothing but time to do it in? :D




Well, I'm a Disability recipient. I have all the time in the world and I HATE IT! I hardly ever write, and if put on the spot I would probably crumple under the pressure.

Usually, I'm either taking care of the house to keep busy, or listening to music, or sleeping. I normally try to let the inspiration come to me, not me go to it, so I'm pretty much unable to just sit down and write. I have to have something to say, or I won't write it down.

Shadow_Ferret
08-16-2007, 03:53 PM
Hey all,

Just a thread to ask the question if you could just sit there and write would you? Would you crank out 40-50 pages of really strong work? Or would you be stuck for ideas if put on the spot? Could you really put forth some hard work into a day and write the hours away?



I'd like to find out. There are times when I can sit and knock out several thousand words at a time. I doubt that I could crank out 40-50 pages in one sitting. My ideas come in spurts.

Seeing how I have to work for a living though, and I don't ever see that changing, the chance to just sit and write for hours at a time is just a pipe dream.

Birol
08-16-2007, 04:24 PM
I don't think I could write 40-50 pages. I just don't write that fast. But, I have had times in my life like you describe. The problem for me is, when I zone like that, I forget to take care of myself, so I can only sustain those bursts for short times. Even when I've had a chance to plan for them, because I knew my schedule would allow them, and have been able to prepare easy and nutritious foods in advance, I fail, even more than normal, to sleep. The body will only tolerate extreme lack of sleep for a limited time.

CaroGirl
08-16-2007, 04:34 PM
If I had all the time in the world to write, I'd write, but I'd also spend too much time messing around, taking "breaks" like visiting AW and such.

I'm looking forward to the school year too, because my current contract is ending and foresee more time to devote to submitting my last novel and rewriting my current novel. I also need time to polish and submit the short stories that are waiting. Let the goal-setting begin!

Pamster
08-16-2007, 04:53 PM
I wonder how it is that I can write so much in one sitting, it's like watching a movie and writing down what happens. :) I just get started and can't stop. But then there are times when I just can't write too. I have a lot going on with my son IRL and I know most of you are the same way, taking care of life around you while working on your writing. :)

I love it when he's in school and I can sit and work uninterrupted for the most part. Summer is like running around behind him cleaning up things in his wake. Kids are just like that I think. ;)

Anyway, been awhile since I have been able to write like that, but I know it's lurking inside waiting for the next opportunity to come out and be formed. I have two new books I am thinking about too, it makes me happy to have more then one thing to think about creatively speaking I mean. :)

Willowmound
08-16-2007, 04:55 PM
I can only write for five or six hours straight. After that, my brain is on fire. By this time I will have reached about 2000 words. It's all I can do in a day.

Interestingly, during the week I have less than an hour in the mornings to write. And I frequently produce 400 words in this time. This doesn't compute.

It is, however, the way it is.

jodiodi
08-16-2007, 05:15 PM
I spent days writing when we lived in Alaska and I wasn't working fulltime. And I tend to write fast. I don't think I could do it every day for months on end, but as long as I had ideas to write, I could do it. I don't know how much I could write in a day since I've never timed myself.

Birol
08-16-2007, 05:42 PM
My ideas come in spurts.


but as long as I had ideas to write, I could do it. I don't know how much I could write in a day since I've never timed myself.

See, ideas just aren't my problem. I've got notebooks of ideas for novels, short stories, and NF articles.


I wonder how it is that I can write so much in one sitting, it's like watching a movie and writing down what happens. :) I just get started and can't stop.

I don't think that how you "see" the stories is that unique. When I was first starting out, I could have written more, faster, but then I was less aware of the nuances that made story and the use of language. These days, I turn out much cleaner, more focused, more directed first drafts, but they appear on the page slower, even when I'm zoning.

Pamster
08-16-2007, 05:55 PM
That's awesome Birol! I definitely consider myself a much better writer now that I have a few movels under my belt. If only I can get one sold now, that's the trouble, all the query writing and submitting, it's so draining but MUST be done in order to get a deal out there with someone for your work and to try to make a go of making writing a career. Thanks for the great feedback on what it's like for you now and was like before. :D

Thanks for the awesome replies everyone, I am so pleased by the variety of answers. :D I feel better about my own style knowing others out there are going through similar things. :D

KTC
08-16-2007, 05:57 PM
I took place in the Muskoka Novel Writing Marathon in July 20-22. I sat for 43 hours pumping words out. I wrote a full novel without an outline (I think 133 pages). I can do it.

Siddow
08-16-2007, 06:07 PM
I am soooo looking forward to having hours a day to myself to get in the zone and write. As my household is now, I have, at most, fifteen minutes at a time before I'm interrupted. So this is how my writing goes:

first session of a new work: slam down 500 words, then someone asks for a drink, or a cookie, or for me to wipe their butt.

second session: Read over the 500 words, delete a few sentences, rewrite a bit of dialog, add another 50 words or so before someone asks for a blanket, for a toy that's on the top shelf, or another cookie.

third session: frantically typing, interrupted by word 100, because the kids are screaming in the next room, fighting over the toy I got down last time.

Sigh.

I could, and have, write 5000 words a day easy, when I'm uninterrupted. In my mind I imagine that in the future, once all my kids are in school, I'll have less housework because nobody will be around to pour chocolate milk on the carpet. There will be quiet, because I don't watch daytime TV and I find music distracting, and nobody will be around to turn it on. And I will have enough discipline to stay off the internet, or I will send the modem to work with my husband.

Just two more years. Meanwhile, I'll just keep first drafting novels, and writing (and submitting) short fiction.

reenkam
08-16-2007, 06:08 PM
Well, for this week and next week my life basically is "Sit down and write." I'm between jobs and school, so I'm trying to get as much work in as possible.

I'm a pretty fast writer and it all comes down to if I feel like doing it or not. Over the last three days I've done about 26k words on a WIP without any problem. I've done beta reading, and casual reading with movie watching mixed in. If someone really made me sit down and write for a day, I could probably hit 100 pages. Ideas for me kind of just...fall out of my head. I have no idea what I'm going to write until it's on the screen.

I am kind of looking forward to the school year, though. I think that because I spent the summer getting so many books ready to go I'll be able to do at least 1k words a day with classes and everything, though it's very likely that I'll hit 5k a lot of days. I tend to work better underpressure, so I'm looking to get some major stuff done before this year's over.

scarletpeaches
08-16-2007, 06:11 PM
I find the more time I have, the more time I waste. There have been occasions where I've written all day and got 6-7,000 words in, but those days are rare.

I write best in the evening and I can usually get 2,000 words done in two hours, so that seems to be just perfect for me. Trouble is, it's not just about having a two-hour window. If I know I have to go out, or I've got something to do as soon as those two hours are up, I can't settle into the writing. So it has to be a couple of hours with a little bit of free time tacked onto the end so I don't feel rushed.

maestrowork
08-16-2007, 06:23 PM
I can't, not hours and hours and 40-50 pages. I just don't work that way -- I have too many censors inside. I did write for six hours straight one time and pumped out about 4000 words (which is about 20 pages). That was an extraordinary day. But my streak is more about consistency than spurt of creative madness. It took me 14 months to write the first half of my first novel, and only a bit over 3 months to write the rest (about 50,000 words). I was still "slow" compared to other writers, but that were the most productive 3 months.

With my current WIP, it comes and goes. I was able to write about 40,000 words in a few months, and then it got stuck. I'm just slowly getting myself unstuck again.

It really depends on my mood, I guess, and I know I can do it (well, not 40-50 pages a day, but at least a good chunk of words), but I'm one of these moody type. I work well under pressure -- that is, if I MUST or someone will kill me (I usually pump out my weekly column at the last minute.. write about 600 words in about an hour). Most often, however, I don't want to stress myself out, or see it as a chore -- so if I force myself to write when I don't feel like it, I would feel like torture. I know if I work under those circumstances (much like my previous day job), I would burn out quickly and I don't want to get burned out.

Azraelsbane
08-16-2007, 06:29 PM
I can only write for five or six hours straight. After that, my brain is on fire. By this time I will have reached about 2000 words. It's all I can do in a day.

Interestingly, during the week I have less than an hour in the mornings to write. And I frequently produce 400 words in this time. This doesn't compute.

It is, however, the way it is.

This makes sense to me, because I always write more efficiently when I have a time limit.

Back in the spring I was turning out 8ish pages a day, now I do more like 5, and I don't double space my work while I write.

I write A LOT, and from the time I was in high school I'd often write straight through the night and only realize it when my alarm went off (yeah, I was a zombie by senior year).

I'm lucky that my husband is very supportive when it comes to my writing, because usually once I'm in front of that blinky cursor, I've really checked out. I forget to eat, sleep, you name it. Not to mention that people have to ask me the same question 6 times to get a befuddled "Huh?" out of me. ;)

So basically after all that rambling, the answer is yes. If I could sit in front of a computer and write all day every day, I would.

Claudia Gray
08-16-2007, 06:40 PM
If I could write full-time, I think I could be fairly productive. I don't think I could do two chapters a day every day -- but I think I'd have some days like that, and even the lower word-count days could be put to solid use (research, editing, rereading, etc.) I am doing okay with productivity while having a full-time job, and although I'm aware that in some ways the pressure makes me productive in my writing, I think I could adjust and work faster if I had all day to do it. Ah, someday --

Kate Thornton
08-16-2007, 07:19 PM
No.

I think I write mo bettah when I have little time and a deadline looming. Otherwise I tend to dawdle around or spend hours on one or two sentences or messing about here.

maestrowork
08-16-2007, 07:33 PM
I just had a thought -- I am a social writer. I need to be social, live life, have fun, in order to have that creative fire in me. I need to be around people. If I have to sit down for 10 hours writing 5000 words, every day, it would drive me crazy. Even when I was at my most productive, I still needed to stop, get out, mingle with friends, and go to parties. I can never be a reclusive writer.

scarletpeaches
08-16-2007, 07:34 PM
Heh. And I'm the exact opposite. I could quite happily lock myself away in my house for hours on end, writing, writing, writing.

I get my fix of social life, then have a few weeks where I don't have one at all. I've always been an all-or-nothing person, always will be. Feast or famine, you could say.

jodiodi
08-16-2007, 07:43 PM
I'm with ScarletPeaches on this one. Except that I have no social life. My husband and I spend all our time together and we're both happy to be hermits.

Pamster
08-17-2007, 01:06 AM
Things are really looking up here, we just got a new car and life is sweet, I finished a great book this summer and I am ready to see it sell, so it's been the write query, rinse repeat routine for awhile. But it's all worth it, now I have to get with it and write book two of a YA set, not a series, just a few books I have in me wanting out. :D

It's really awesome to be able to come here with my peers and to share in the whole craft of writing from grammar to what kind of writing instruments do you use, this board is all about being friends with others who love the eart or writing. I want so badly to get sold and published but it's not a fast business. If I get published in five years from now I will be happy. Just hoping I can help things along by getting my work out there.

You guys as usual are awesome. :D Thanks everyone for the thoughtful replies, I really am enjoying this thread. :D

http://www.cyber-soup.com/pamster/redcar.jpg

Sean D. Schaffer
08-17-2007, 06:52 AM
I just had a thought -- I am a social writer. I need to be social, live life, have fun, in order to have that creative fire in me. I need to be around people. If I have to sit down for 10 hours writing 5000 words, every day, it would drive me crazy. Even when I was at my most productive, I still needed to stop, get out, mingle with friends, and go to parties. I can never be a reclusive writer.


I think that might be what's been holding me back these last ten or fifteen years. Before I went on Disability, I had very little time to write, but I wrote a lot and very well. Now that I have lots of time to write and do nothing else, I find myself doing everything I can not to write.

I rather miss the days when I had loads to do every day and maybe an hour to write altogether. I would love to experience those days again.


And I will ... as soon as I can find some part-time work.

:)

wayndom
08-17-2007, 08:47 AM
No.

I think I write mo bettah when I have little time and a deadline looming. Otherwise I tend to dawdle around or spend hours on one or two sentences or messing about here.

Man, that brought back memories! Before I wrote my first novel, I was a radio news reporter for four years (and that's what reawakened my desire to write).

In radio news, they give you whatever background is available on the story, then you hop in your car with a cassette recorder, a reporter's notebook and a pen and drive to the story. If it's breaking news (an accident, murder, whatever), they'll say, "We need a report in an hour," as you go out the door. The story is a twenty minute drive away. You start dreaming up possible lead lines while you're driving, but never end up using any of them, since the story is never exactly what you expected it to be.

You get there with forty minutes to learn the facts, interview the principles, decide what recorded quotes you're going to throw into the story, write it, then call the station and read it over the phone with cassette deck in hand, finger on the pause button, ready to drop that juicy quote in the middle.

Then you have to write two or three more versions (for the evening newscast and tomorrow morning) before heading out to the next story. Generally did four to five stories a day...

What I learned from all this is that the difference between writing fast and writing slow is the amount of time you spend sitting on your hands.

As a result of this "training," I wrote my first, 100k word novel in a month and a half (with rewrites); my second (first published) in three and a half months (including three and a half rewrites).

But ever since getting published, my output has steadily declined.

First novel: 4000 word daily goal, would accept 3500.
Second: 2000 word daily goal, would accept 1500
Third: 1000, most anything.
Last novel (now finished): Anything. Took forever. (But it's good!)

Pamster
08-17-2007, 06:07 PM
I am glad my output is going well, it's so hard to think of losing what I've got in terms of ability to write prolifically as I can. I did write over 60 double spaced pages in one day, on my memoir when writing came easily to me. It's like I described above about things doing themselves and mountains can move when it happens to you. Has it ever happened to you waydom? Welcome to the board BTW, my first time meeting you. :)

Thanks for the replies everyone. This is a great thread and I appreciate each of your thoughts. I definitely relate to being on disability Sean, I have nothing but time and love it when I get to use it all. Only have to wait until Monday before I start writing on the new book. That will be when Jackie is back in school. :D I am very grateful for my family, they are a source of great strength for me as I try to be looking at things in the long term. It's just so wonderful to have people around you who love you all pulling for good things to happen for you. :) :snoopy:

I hope everyone has that feeling since we each have our circles, we have felt that feeling of being loved and loving others without question, especially if you have ever had kids. :) :D

wee
08-21-2007, 01:35 AM
I'm a stay-at-home mom, too, finding time to write during naptimes & here & there. My hubby also has to be gone irregularly for his job, and imagine his dismay that while I do miss him, I get excited about the extra time at night to work on stuff .... LOL

I miss my oldest so much now that she is in school that I'm not looking forward to my youngest going in 2 years, however much extra time it will give me to write.

And I'm developing tendonitis or something in my wrists, so my typing has to be limited.

So why do I keep using up time & typing here? Gosh, I don't know. If I'm already not maximizing the time I have, then I can't really say the answer to your question is yes, right?



wee

Penguin Queen
08-21-2007, 02:04 AM
No.

I think I write mo bettah when I have little time and a deadline looming. Otherwise I tend to dawdle around or spend hours on one or two sentences or messing about here.

Yup. Thats me.




But ever since getting published, my output has steadily declined.

And that.
A couple of years ago, I used to have this day job in an office which was intensely boring & pointless, & took up most of my time. I'd spend twenty minutes in the morning wiating for the train, & on the train, feverishly scribbling out plot ideas, and then I'd chomp at the bit all day to get home & get on the computer & write them down & get on with my novel.
Ditto the travelogue I was wrting interspersed with the novel.
Then I took off 7 months last year to go live in Buenos Aires and write full time. I finished the novel during the first month. It felt odd but very satisfying to be writing full-time.
I then spent the next six-ish months piddling about and producing mebbe 30,000 words of the traveloge. Ive been working freelance from home in the year since I got back from Argentina, and apart from radio work (with deadlines) Ive written about 5000 words in the past 10 months. :-/ My first book has been published, which is wonderful but seems to have caused me to put myself under a lot of pressure.
I'm hoping to be able to shake this block, fear of success, whatever it is, off now - Ive had a new idea for a story, and Ive decided what I'm going to write next; and Ive learned a lot this year about working from home and husbanding my own time. Ideally, I would of course want to write full time, but I know that I woudl need a certain amount of structure, a part-time job that takes me out of the house a couple of days a week and a proper social life.

Ava Jarvis
08-21-2007, 03:33 AM
A year ago I would have said no. And yet for the last two weeks every night has been almost nothing but writing, with the weekends being the exception---then I just sit there and write for 14 hours.

It scares me.

lucky8
08-21-2007, 03:54 PM
To start with I would probably be very unproductive if allowed to write 24/7 but eventually I think I would get into some kind of rythm and be able to write for long periods at a time, it's how I always used to work before school and work became so time consuming. For some reason when I write at weekends, when I have lots of free time, I always struggle and go so slowly, but during the week when I can maybe only write for an hour, or less, I get loads done.

Karen Junker
08-21-2007, 11:23 PM
For some reason, I don't write when I have the time. When I have a deadline, I get panicked and feel that my writing sucks! Mostly what I do all day is critique other people's writing and judge contests, read AW and try to come up with a reasonable way to fix the plot I seem to have mangled.