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  1. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Do you write every day...no matter what?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cazann34, Oct 24, 2013.

    I watched a program a while back about an author ( sorry forgot his name) who said that he wrote every day, no matter what was happening around him. He even wrote on family gathers such as Christmas day. He never had a day off, not even on day of his fathers funeral.

    It got me thinking whether my fellow forum members write every day no matter what? I had stopped writing. I just didn't feel up to it. The last thing I wrote was my brothers eulogy four months ago. I just couldn't find that place I go to in my head to find my inspiration. I had no 'happy place' I'm not one of those writers who can write no matter what personal upheaval is invading their life. Are you? Do you write...no matter what?
     
  2. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    For the past year I've probably written something (a poem, character, scene, something for the RP scetion here, piece of a novel I'm working on etc.) evey day. It's not because I tell myself I have to write every day, it's just because I like writing a lot. For me writing can be either a hobby, a way to express myself, an escape from real life... anything really, so I don't see why I would not write everyday.
    If there will be a day or a week when I don't feel like writing I won't do it though.
     
  3. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    same. sometimes i just don't write, sometimes i push myself to though because I wan to end a chapter.
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    No, I don't write everyday, but I try to. I suppose out of the seven days of the week, I write for about five of them (I take Sundays off because of personal beliefs). But if I actually counted writing something not at all to do with any projects I am currently working on, then I would say that I do indeed write every day, be that uni notes or whatever.

    But I think as long as you want to write and make every effort to do so almost every day, I see no problem.
     
  5. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    Come hell or high water.

    Yeah, I do my best to get a good hour in each day- three is ideal, two is good, one is minimum. Unfortunately, due to a new job and general life upheaval, I've only been able to do the minimum this month; I barely get myself situated before it's time to head off to work. It's frustrating, but I'm pleased the habit I built over the summer has withstood the stress. It makes me think I can actually do this.

    The hour I spend working is, quite literally, the best hour of my day. My life is miserable (melodramatic, I know, it's just difficult right now)- I work seven days a week, live with my parents for the first time in five years, and honestly feel like I'm getting nowhere in life. I use my writing to give my life purpose, a direction in which to move. I'm able to latch to that hour, hold onto it, and realize that life won't always be so frustrating. Eventually my one hour of happiness will become twenty-four.
     
  6. Kathrin Doelle
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    Kathrin Doelle New Member

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    I don't write every day. Sometimes I don't write for weeks. I need to be in the mood for it, and I have found that when I force myself to write, the outcome is usually mediocre at best. Having said that, I only write fiction, no poetry or short stories, so I'm writing parts of a longer story, nothing you could start and finish in a day. When I write a chapter, I really need to dive into it. I effectively become part of the story, I create the characters and their actions, but I also observe them, and you need the right mind-set for that. I'm also very fussy about my style of writing. If or when I force myself to write, it just doesn't look right, it doesn't read right. For me it's quality, not quantity, and time isn't important.
     
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  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I wish. When I'm interested in a project I can go strong for weeks - five pages a day, five days out of a week. Weekends
    are not my best writing times. I tend to veg out after grocery shopping. But in between I get a little stale and anxious. Right
    now I'm working on a ya novel. The first time I've attempted ya in years - the first chapter poured out in one day but that
    was weeks ago. :confused: I don't know why I stall out. I thought about keeping a diary to record my writing habits to see what gives.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  8. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Damn I wish I could. Currently I'm writing just short stories and when I begin to write it's okay. I write every day until I finish it.
    But when the story is finished I too can go for many days without writing. Maybe it's that "fear of blank page" or how do you call it, going on.
    I guess if I started a novel I would write at least 5 days a week, every week. At least until the final exams.
    But I think about stories and what could I do better every day, so that's a bit of a consolation haha. :D
    Joke aside, I'm planning to do most of the writing in summer, that's when I have the most free time.
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't. If I'm writing, I need to be able to concentrate and write at least 2000 words in a session -- I need to complete the scene or the short story that I'm working on. I can never quite get it back if I'm interrupted before I get it out onto the page. Weekends are almost impossible for me to carve out any sort of time when I can be by myself to write. That leaves the weekdays, and although if I really made it a goal, I'm sure I could carve out some time each day, I just don't. It seems like I have so many other little things going on that I run out of time. By the time the kids are in bed and my husband is asleep, I'm too tired to write.

    I do, however, do something writing related almost every day. (Sometimes it's even checking a site like this and thinking about and responding to questions or thoughts about writing issues.) Sometimes it's reading a book about writing. Sometimes it's trying to find something to send out to my critique group (I usually send an excerpt of my novel draft or a short story I've written). Sometimes it's going through the pieces the other members of my critique group sent for critique. And sometimes it's reading a book that I think is roughly in the same genre/category as what I like to write.

    When I'm really lucky, I spend two or three days at a writing conference, and I get to spend the whole day devoted to writing-related things. I also will count my writing group meetings.
     
  10. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I find that very uplifting. Thank you.
     
  11. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Would you still write the day a loved one died? Would you still write the day of their funeral? Would you sneak off during family gatherings to write? Those of you that do write every day. These questions are directed at you. Do you write every day...no matter what?

    I'm not trying to pry into your personal life, it's just when I was hit with a death, I could not write. Writing was the furthers thing from my mind. And I don't write on family gatherings. Family times are precious to me and they deserve my full attention.
     
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  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I am capable of coming on here, I am certainly capable of writing.
     
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  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm surprised that no one else seems to have picked it up on this thread, but I'm sorry for your loss. I feel that your question is far more loaded than we realise. I liked what you said about family gatherings being precious - yes they are, and I think it's better this way - as in, better that you don't write on those few occasions and devote all your time to the people who matter. Writing, as much as we love it, as wonderful and meaningful as it might be, can never replace the people in our lives. While I'd certainly regret it if I never wrote a novel, I think I'd regret it more if I lost out on time with my family. I also don't think it's necessary to write everyday - look, at the end of the day, writing is for you. You write because it brings you joy. If it's not bringing you joy, if it's not what you need that day, then don't write. Writing does not control you, it is not some master or dictator you must submit to and that somehow you've failed if you didn't write. Writing is meant to be liberating, not oppressive.

    I think we all need different things at different times, and at a time when you're faced with death, it's not something you can push away, dismiss or just ignore. Death changes people, and we all need different things and have different ways of coping with that change, of growing, of finding peace and finding our feet again when it seems like the ground beneath us has given way. Surround yourself with what you feel you need, with people who love you, with the silence and the space and solitude that you might need for thinking, for that darkness to dissipate. Now is not the time for force - write if you can, when you can, but don't worry too much. There're really far more important things in life. You will come back to it. When you're ready, you'll come back to writing, and the paper and pen will be right there waiting for you :) You won't lose it, it always comes back. In my opinion, there is a time and a place for everything.
     
  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I just read an interview with Anne Rice, in which she said that sometimes she goes for months without writing anything on the computer. She said she's always writing in her head, though, and stories are always cooking in the back of her mind.

    I would hope that people find their own level here, and don't feel guilty or inadequate if they don't sit down and write every day. It's not everyone's method.

    It certainly isn't mine. Lots of time goes into planning my novel, writing notes as thoughts strike me, getting settings established in my head, playing what-if games with my characters, researching particular plot threads, etc. This doesn't all happen on paper.

    When I do sit down to write, I'm often at it for most of the day, now that I'm retired and can do what I want.

    I used to have a job that wasn't predictible as to work hours. I found this incredibly frustrating. I would plan to write, and then somebody would ask me to change shifts or work doubles or whatever. Sometimes I worked mornings, sometimes afternoons.

    I managed to finish the first draft of my first long novel while I was still in that job. I did this by going to bed very early at night—between 8 and 9pm—and getting up every morning at 4.30 am to write. This gave me a full night's sleep, plus allowed me to work in peace at a time of day when nobody bothered me. No phone calls, no doorbells, nobody stopping in for a yak, etc. It also got me writing when my subconscious mind was at its peak of production, which comes just after waking.

    I know this schedule won't appeal to everybody, but it does work. On the days when I had to work at 8am, this gave me a couple of hours of fresh and sassy writing time before I had to skedaddle. On days when I didn't have to work till noon, well, that was heaven ...I got a LOT done!

    @cazann34 and @Mckk
    Mckk says it very well. Of course you shouldn't have to explain why you don't feel up to writing at times of stress, trauma and grief. Some people will find writing theraputic at these times, but most of us certainly won't.
     
  15. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I loved an interview with Simone de Beauvoir where she tells about her working habits: a few hours in the morning, after breakfast, a few in the afternoon, when she visits Sartre. And then she says for Gerard Genette: he works for 12 hours a month, when it suits him :)
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for the past almost 20 years, my entire life has been devoted to one aspect or another of writing, so my answer would have to be 'yes'... even during the decade and a half before that, while still raising the youngest 2 of my seven kids as a single mom, and running an upscale 'rooming house' in 1/3 of our home, i still wrote just about every day, both to earn a living and because writing is what i most love to do in life...
     
  17. A.L.Mitchell
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    A.L.Mitchell Active Member

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    I always try to write everyday but it is also nice to rest. If you don't rest then you be a bit too close to your work, what that's my thinking but everyone is different from each other.
     
  18. Hunter56
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    Hunter56 Member

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    Sometimes I'm able to write for a week straight, and then I can't for a few days. Writer's block will usually get to me, especially recently.

    Forcing it is usually a mixed bag, sometimes it'll work to an extent while other times I can't get five words in before becoming too frustrated. Then I get frustrated on days that I don't write at all — knowing the fact that I had a day to write and didn't do anything with it — even if I did have writer's block.
     
  19. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Very true. This is my favourite place to procrastinate.


    I work early shifts, starting at four and six. Eight hours later, I get home and do about two hours of school work (full time job, part time student), then I think: Okay, time to write!

    Then I wake up two hours later with my face on the keyboard and my day is over:(. I always think I can stay awake, but I never can! My days off are usually spent finishing up schoolwork and taking tests, at that point I'm so tired of thinking that I just play guitar, write songs, or visit this place.

    I get the odd 500 words in here and there, though. I've made peace with that.
     
  20. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    @cazann34 - I'm sorry for your loss. I recently lost my stepfather, and I gave the eulogy at his funeral. The funny thing is, I knew as soon as I first heard the news that I wanted to give it, and I never wrote anything down, not even notes. But I did give it a lot of thought.

    As for your question, like many others, I cannot write every day - life just doesn't allow it. I'd say I usually tend to writing projects for a part of the day five days per week, commitment contingent. That doesn't necessarily mean actually writing. It could be reading, researching or even jotting down ideas (example: yesterday was a brutally busy workday for me, rushing from one place to another. But at one point I had about an hour before a meeting was to begin, so I took out a note pad and started jotting down some new ideas for my current project).

    Joseph Wambaugh (The Onion Field) once said that he forced himself to write at least 1,000 words every single day. If it works for him, fine, but I couldn't operate that way. When I write, it's because I have something to say. If I don't, then I don't.
     
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  21. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    I am sorry for your loss. With my own grandmother's death back last year, I hadn't written much of anything the day before or on grandma's funeral. It was horrible all around because we were within a couple of days of seeing her that weekend... and just like that, she died.

    I at least write in my journal, but even I have had my days where I write nothing at all in it, and have even gone TWO years without updating once. I go for months without writing stories, but once I have a good story idea going, I pretty much write nonstop, though I left one just cold recently to start another. So I don't write every day at all.
     
  22. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't write every day. I do, however, think about my writing every day - there's usually a problem or two with whatever story I'm working on, and I'm thinking about that. I'm generating, considering, and making notes on ideas for new stories. I'm alone a lot, and I'm almost always talking to myself about my stories. In a way, they're like children, and I feel like I'm raising them as much as writing them.
     
  23. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i dont always write, but im always doing something towards it, whether it be research, character profiles, jotting down ideas...
     
  24. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    "I don't always write, but when I do, I write 'Dos Equis'." - the most interesting man in the world.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
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  25. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    @cazann34 I, too, am sorry for your loss. That had to be hard on you, I'm assuming. It's really great that you mention family gatherings because I think it is important to put the work away for some time with them. We only get this life with them once, so spending time among loved ones and truly appreciating it is important, in my opinion.

    To answer your question, I don't write every day (if we're talking purely creative writing). Some authors and professionals will have you believe it is imperative to write as much as possible, and I agree, but it's important to step away from the page and live. These days it's not easy to make time for both, so I'd say I live a bit more than I write because--let's be honest-- it's not easy to write without experiencing or seeing or reading things. I spend a lot of time talking with people and learning about our shared world. I go for walks, cook, and draw. I do keep a journal that I write in as often as I can make time. Alas being a college student requires me to direct my time elsewhere, though this Forum affords me the opportunity to procrastinate a little (more than I should).

    As much as I love writing, I realized that my writing s my way of capturing or recreating things I love about living. Or, more accurately, exploring aspects of life that in ways that cannot be done in normal settings. I write out of internal motivation, and when that is gone, I read, edit, or "explore".
     
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