1. LegendsTheFour
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    LegendsTheFour Member

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    Writing Routines

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LegendsTheFour, Oct 1, 2013.

    What are your writing routines? I just started up writing and find it hard to dicipline myself... Sometimes I write heaps, but then it takes another 3 days before I write another word... Sometimes I simply don't have time to write which is fare enough, but sometimes I just derp on FB or internet...
    So what are your writing routines? How do you dicipline yourself? Have many words do you actually write when you're first starting up? Thanks!
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    The best thing to do is to stick to a schedule. I'm pretty sure you have enough time to write everyday, but just don't think about it. Your downtime is when you can write (instead of watching TV, going for a walk, etc.). These are all good things to be doing, but if you want to start writing properly, these all take second place.

    Within reason, of course. People either stick to a daily word count or a daily time limit (for myself, I write enough everyday that I don't need a daily goal anymore. I used to, though, and that's a good way to begin). It's up to you which one you choose. I would suggest a time limit, however, as you say free time is limited. So that's a good starting point. If you can keep up writing daily, you are well on your way to developing discipline! :D Try to stick to it, but don't worry if you miss a day.

    As for Internet, turn it off, if you can. Even though you could turn it on again, you'd be surprised to find that you are still more motivated to work when it's off and you "can't" use it.

    Hope I've helped in some way. :)
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...i don't have any routines other than sitting down and writing...

    ...i don't have to... i write whenever i have something to write about and keep on writing till it's finished... writing to me is like breathing... it's not something i have to plan or force myself to do...

    ...what do you mean by 'first starting up?'... do you mean with each project?... or back when i first started writing seriously?... and per hour/day/week, or what?

    ...in any case, i never keep count of how many words i write or how fast i write... i write for as many hours as it takes to finish something, whether it's in one day, or a month, or a year...
     
  4. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    I'm one of those people who writes for a living, so a schedule is a must. If I don't meet deadlines, I don't get paid on time and the kids don't eat. So I get up and write for a couple hours. Then I can get dressed. Another couple hours. Then lunch. Then I write straight until dinner. I write 5000 words a day. If I meet that quota early, I edit for the rest of the day. Right now, I'm on a break. But in 5 minutes, it's back to writing (and not on the internet).
     
  5. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Well right now, I'm in a hobby-stage. I got material that needs to be finished and edited but it's going nowhere right now. Soon I will be making some bucks. But do I try to schedule myself. I always plan to write at least an hour a day so I don't forget. Hopefully I can finish a book instead of jumping to another project because I had some "idea". I can come up with a million stories, I just need to finish one first. So trying to force myself to write has been a major improvement to me. Over 4,000 words on my first e-book in progress. Woo!
     
  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Right now it's been when the mood strikes then I write. But I'm not sure I like basing something on mood. So
    right now I'm trying to set a goal for myself - ten pages a day. Don't know if it will happen but even if I don't
    get the full ten pages, I'm going to try and put something on paper, everyday.
    To make my time count I've eliminated t.v. - that's not for everyone - but axing a non essential show can help.
     
  7. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Obviously you got to eliminate t.v!
     
  8. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    During the weekday, it's difficult for me to write. I just switched job positions, so my commute time is full of preparing for my day and making sure everything is on schedule. For a while there I was writing during my train commute, which was about 45 minutes every morning. On the weekend I normally try and write all morning, which ends up being until noon or one when I realize that I haven't eaten yet.
    I find that writing everyday helps keep everything moving properly, and I have less word block because of it.

    Speaking of which... I need to get back to it!! Sometimes reality jus takes over! Argh!
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Is there such a thing as an "essential" show? ;)
     
  10. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Haha! When I was 14 Twin Peaks was very essential. Maybe I'm getting older or just more picky nothing on tv seems very
    essential. Although I'm getting addicted to finding things on Youtube. After years of searching someone finally uploaded Turnabout
    a t.v. show I was looking for forever! It didn't come in very good but it was such fun to see it.
    I can lose hours on Youtube downloads. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Have you noticed there is a stickied thread, "What's Your Writing Process?"
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    kudos to you for having beaten the odds and gotten to the 'for a living' stage, leighann!

    what brand of writing supports your family?
     
  13. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    I write books (and I blog a little, but that hardly pays the bills, LOL). Just over 2/3 of my income comes from non-fiction; the rest is from fiction.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what kind of non-fiction?
    does your publisher assign the topic, or do you have a free hand?
    and are you an 'expert' in the subjects you write about, or is research enough to do the trick?
    is your publisher one of the 'biggies' or an independent/niche house?

    sorry to sound like i'm grilling you, but it would be invaluable info for anyone who hopes to make a living as a writer... and i'm always on the lookout for successful examples like you, to give my mentees and clients hope... if you'd prefer not to provide the info in public, could you please email me?... and i'd love to be able to use your books as good examples, too, if you wouldn't mind giving me some titles... i know that might be seen as touting them, which isn't allowed here, but a pm or email would be much appreciated by myself and those i help, who'd benefit from knowing success is possible...

    much thanks!

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  15. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    Okay, some useful information. This is based entirely on my own experience, you understand. Other people may have had a different experience.

    I don't do assigned topics. I am an expert in my chosen fields, meaning I have either education and/or life experience. And by life experience, I don't mean I've read a few books. I really do believe that if you're going to make it in non-fiction, you absolutely must have some credentials. For example, I write about horses, cats, and dogs (under one pseudonym). I can discuss shows, health, behavior, and training. I have diplomas that cover most of these things (I am a licensed trainer and I studied as a vet tech) and experience in the rest. I don't write about reptiles because I don't have any relevant experience or education. I also write new age non-fiction (under a totally different pseudonym), and I have plenty of relevant life experience to back that up, including radio and television interviews (I'm never doing television again). If you want to be taken seriously as a non-fiction writer, you must be able to explain why you're qualified to explore your chosen topic. The "but I've read 5 books on the subject" line really isn't going to fly.

    As for the publisher... I think most authors will find themselves having to go with the smaller publishers at first. The big guys aren't all that interested in unproven authors. I had to start with niche. Most people will find that submitting to the big guys is a waste of time (and usually requires an agent) until you've shown you can sell. Here's the other thing I tell people about working with publishers: you MUST be willing to work with an editor. You WILL be edited. It's not an option. You can't opt out of the editing process. Even if you've worked with a freelance editor, an in-house editor will still invade your book. If you're married to the words you've written, it's not going to work. If you're not okay being told, "section C needs to go and section D need to be changed and section E needs to be more detailed," then you're only wasting your time. It's okay to fight against changes you don't believe in. It's not okay to dismiss everything the editor says out of hand. This is the problem a lot of unpublished writers have, at least in my experience.

    And here's where someone usually asks me "What about self-publishing?" I really can't say anything helpful there. I don't have the experience. I have recently started working on a series of really small books that would be suitable as e-books only. These I intend to self-publish. I just want to see how the whole process works. Will it be successful? I really have no idea.

    Fiction is a totally different animal.
     
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