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Thread: What are your writing sessions like?

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  1. #1
    Back from the dead louisgodwin's Avatar
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    What are your writing sessions like?

    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!

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Simon Woodhouse's Avatar
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    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.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Moonfish's Avatar
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    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...
    "Let yourself burn" - N. Goldberg

  4. #4
    here for a minute...catch me? A. Hamilton's Avatar
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    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.
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  5. #5
    yes Nakhlasmoke's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    Indonesian Yak Keeper JDCrayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakhlasmoke
    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*

  7. #7
    Stand in the Place Where You Live KTC's Avatar
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    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.
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  8. #8
    Still Happy to be Here. Or Anywhere Kate Thornton's Avatar
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    Quiet and peaceful, with about an hour at a time. Or not.

  9. #9
    Getting settled BottomlessCup's Avatar
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    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.
    "I don't see why Chris would want to be a writer. Furniture moving is a respectable job." - My awesome great-grandmother.
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  10. #10
    ook wordmonkey's Avatar
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    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.
    An infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time, could write the complete works of Shakespeare. My deadlines are usually a little tighter than that, and I just have the one monkey.

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  11. #11
    Living the dream CaroGirl's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #12
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    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.

  13. #13
    Around
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    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.
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  14. #14
    Agent of Doom Unique's Avatar
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    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:::::

  15. #15
    Court Jester Shadow_Ferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unique
    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:::::
    That's why I wait until everyone is asleep. Otherwise I'd hear. Son1: "Dad!" Son2: "Dad!" Wife:"Ed!" Then:::::

    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!
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  16. #16
    Geek Unique LeslieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unique
    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:::::
    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.
    Not doing anything with my life is surprisingly time consuming.

  17. #17
    Unabashed Mercenary Requiescat In Pace dclary's Avatar
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    What is this thing you call... "pencil?"
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  18. #18
    Luftmensch Emeritus, A.D.D. Pat~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclary
    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

    Every writer is a skater, who must go partly where he would and partly where the skates carry him ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Inspiration will find you, but it must find you working. ~ Picasso

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  19. #19
    Self-Banned jbal's Avatar
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    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.

  20. #20
    Oooh, the Rainbow Connection Freckles's Avatar
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    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!

  21. #21
    RIP, our sarky besom Requiescat In Pace arrowqueen's Avatar
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    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.
    [b][color=darkorchid]Rejection is Nature's way of telling you to write better.[/color][/b]

  22. #22
    Back from the dead louisgodwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arrowqueen
    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.
    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."

  23. #23
    It's a dorky day! writerterri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arrowqueen
    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.
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  24. #24
    The Deadliest Bunny Jenan Mac's Avatar
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    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.



    The bones tell me...nothing.

    (Willow)

  25. #25
    Retired and loving it! Puma's Avatar
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    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

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