Writing Everyday

write_everyday

Photo Credit: Shift Writing

I’ve been pretty vocal about my opposition to writers having to write everyday. And also to word count goals and a million things that other writers seem to think are necessary to be able to call yourself a writer. All because I managed to write a book by doing it my way. Well, my way hasn’t worked the second time around and I’m about sick of it. I still don’t believe in this whole write everyday business or word counts or any of that stuff, but I’m in need of a change of pace. Right now.

People tell me that not writing for nearly two months is nothing. But these people don’t realize that I wrote my first book in less than three months total. So again, it doesn’t matter if two months of not writing isn’t a long time to you, it’s more like an eternity to me. This is the longest I’ve been away from my characters since I created them. Not any more.

I’m not going to set any goals for myself in the coming days or weeks because this whole thing may prove useless. But I’m going to give it a shot. If I fail, then so be it. I need to at least try to get some writing done.

I know a number of you write everyday or most days or whatever it may be, but I don’t want to hear about it. What I do want to know is whether you’ve ever changed any part of your writing process. If yes, how did it go? Major failure. Success. What?

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70 thoughts on “Writing Everyday

  1. Yes and no. Both good and bad. I’ve tried a number of different strategies to increase my writing productivity, but none of them last very long. I don’t know if I’m ADD or what. I’ve had great success with switching things up a bit, and massive nothings. I never hold myself to word counts or goals because then it feels like I’m forcing myself to do something that doesn’t want to come naturally. That probably doesn’t help at all. But I switch it up every now and then to help me get out of a rut. Most of the time it works.

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  2. I changed my writing process many times, I started writing my first novel without any goals or guidelines and it worked well at the time because I was determined to finish my first ever manuscript but it didn’t work with my next novels because once I did it once I didn’t care about finishing just as much and started to struggle to keep focus in the middle. I started planning out times to write, setting goals and thinking about word count more which really help keep me focused. I also outline way more with every novel. Once I started hitting my goals writing became fun again.

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  3. I’ve gone probably a whole year without touching my book/characters. If I’m not feeling it, it doesn’t happen

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  4. My mentor tells me to write when I feel like it. I haven’t written my novel or screenplay in about two weeks. I’m going through a personal matter and I’m not focused on writing. But, I can write a blog every other day, sometimes every day. I guess it’s just time management. Sometimes writing the same time when you feel like writing helps. But, once you start, you get lost in the words and can’t stop. I know how you feel. I’m in the same boat.

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  5. I write a minimum of 500 words every single day. Usually it’s closer to 1,000. I would never have finished most of my projects if I hadn’t given myself that challenge, and by now it really feels more like a lifestyle than a challenge. It works really well for getting me around blocks, etc, because the words do not have to be anything GOOD, they just have to BE, and that really helps to just get everything on paper without worrying about quality immediately.
    My other stipulation is that I refuse to edit while I am writing, and I’ve found that to be really helpful as well.

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  6. Interesting discussion. I’ve set writing goals for myself and time and time again miss the boat. One thing or another tends to pull me away or distract me…but the bottom line is, every once in a while I add to my work in progress and, guess what, I make progress. Weird.

    I read somewhere it takes 10 days of repetitive effort to establish a routine..something like that. Establishing an exercise routine is a good example. But, first things first, show up. Sit down at the same time every day and write, or don’t write, but at least show up. That’s routine no. 1. Then, the more you sit, the more you might actually start to write. That’s my theory and I’m going to stick to it.

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  7. Good luck to you! Sitting down and doing it is the hardest part!

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  8. Personally, I try to keep it all flexible. Different books, I’ve found, have different requirement. My first book took years to finish, the final draft alone took 15 months (near 600 pages). The second book popped out in 9 months (560 pages). I felt sure that 12 months would be plenty for book 3. That’s due next month and I’m not going to make it. I’ve extended it by 3 months.

    Sometimes I write every day – I try to – and other times I take time away, otherwise you burn out. So it depends on the difficulty setting and how much strain you’re under.

    In my opinion, there is no right way. I would suggest experiment, let whatever work, and when it stops working, change to something else, a different rhythm.

    I don’t know if that helps or not. Good luck, whatever you do.

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  9. When it comes to writing, the best approach is the one you’re most comfortable with. If I sit down to write and find I’m struggling, I get up and walk away. If I only write 200 words–great! It’s still something. Sometimes, I take a hit-and-run approach. If I’m messing about the house and a sentence or phrase comes to mind, I’ll run upstairs and write it down. Then I call it quits. Writing, although hard work, should be an enjoyable experience.

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  10. I really do not have a writing process–I simply write when I have the time and for the length of time I am willing or inspired to. I too do not worry about word counts–when I feel the story is done, then its done. I guess the only goals I set for myself is a proposed end date of when I would like to finish a story, such as by the end of the year, March, etc.

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  11. I can’t write unless I feel that thing – you know it? That writing inspiration BUZZ that overtakes your mind and you just have to pick up a pen or a stub of a pencil or write it in your mind and remember it so that you can put it to text at another time? I wish I could write every day, that I had that discipline … I might be a better (read: more productive) writer, if I could.

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  12. Pingback: Do I Have Second Book Syndrome? | Write me a book, John!

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