1. friendly_meese
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    friendly_meese Member

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    writing to other stuff ratio

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by friendly_meese, Aug 5, 2014.

    However you define success as a writer, if you consider yourself successful, I have a question for you: what is your ratio of writing to everything else you do that the profession of writer requires. In "writing" I include not only cranking out first drafts but rewrites, editing, polishing, organizing a specific work and research directly related to that specific work. In "everything" else I include reading other people's work, watching films or TV shows or attending plays within your genre, doing research not related to a specific work, studying writing and related skills, communicating with agents and editors, submitting work for publication, etc etc etc.

    Someone told me that, if you want to be a professional poker player, you should do four hours of study for every hour of play. Does a similar rule apply to writing, in your view?
     
  2. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    I view writing as an art form. The way you get better is by doing. Once you know proportions it's time to put pencil to paper or once you have a story, start telling it. Just like when you draw something right when you start learning to draw, it doesn't look like what you imagined. The more you draw the more you can tell what you're good at and what you're not.

    As for "everything" else, I will do research, when I need it. If I want to know a good word for something, I'll do research. If I want to know if certain bits of information are important, I'll do research. If I want to procrastinate and not write, I'll do research.

    To address the question "Does a similar rule apply to writing, in your view?" it depends on the individual. There are as many writing strategies as there are stars in the sky. I don't need to research things other people do and I need to research things other people don't.
     
  3. davidharper
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    davidharper New Member

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    Full and nice thing you shared here for writing.
     
  4. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fifty fifty sound fair. Naturally like all averages, it is subject to a great many variables and interpretations.
     
  5. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    You probably want a ratio that's more skewed to the actual writing and editing, since the other bits seem a bit more ancillary until you have a WIP turned into something more.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely not, in my view. To me, that would be a bit like an athlete engaging in four hours of study--that is, reading books about his sport and watching movies of other athletes--for every hour of practice. Or the same for a musician spending more time reading about music and going to concerts than actually sitting with the instrument and playing.
     
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  7. Rusti
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    Rusti New Member

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    Considering poker that is very true. On the higher limits the competition is so tough, you've got to be amazing to beat it, plus beat the rake. So you play one session, then review all the hands, think of ways you played. But the ratio imo is nothing like 4:1 study four, play one, but the other way around, study one, play four.
    As for writing, or for anything you do in life it holds true. But this ratio is just a generalization.
     
  8. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a habit of doing far more 'everything else' - mostly reading - than actual writing, but I don't think that's a good thing. When I've been writing more often, I've noticed a definite uptick in quality, and those muscles atrophy if you don't keep using them.
     
  9. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I've found an engrossing author, so about 5hrs of my day is devoted to reading that work at the moment. I write solidly for maybe an hour or at best two. I have no idea how this stacks up 'professionally' but as I'm a hobbyist at the moment I let myself get away with it. :whistle:
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I guess I spend 99.9% of my time doing everything else. Writing is honestly a last resort. Which sounds crazy, but is sadly true. That's why my productivity is... well... shameful.
     

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