Writing on a Schedule

Okay guys, there’s this NaNoWriMo thing coming up next month and I’ve already begun seeing the posts about people prepping and planning for their month of writing. I am not one of those people and I’ve made my stance about NaNo very clear. I hate it. I wrote a post about it earlier this year. So the timing of this post couldn’t be any better.

Okay. Not talking specifically about next month, I am still very much against writing on a schedule. I mean, the whole thing about it getting your creative juices flowing or that it helps you get words down that can be edited later or whatever reason people try to come up with is flat out annoying. Who came up with the notion that ALL writers must write using the same philosophy? Who decided upon some of the other “rules” of writing? Cause I don’t have a handbook here and I’m not paying any union fees for collective bargaining on my behalf.

You’re probably reading this as me hating people who write on a schedule. That isn’t true. What I do hate is when someone who writes well on a schedule seems to think that their particular writing philosophy should be followed by every serious writer out there. If you decide to write 1,000 or 3,000 words a day for a set period of time, be my guest, but don’t sit there and say that because you think it works for you that it absolutely positively must work for me too. ┬áCause no. Why don’t you let me figure that out.

I’ve tried it in the past and it doesn’t help me accomplish much of anything because instead of writing a story I find myself writing words that have no business being written. So if writing on a schedule works for you, great, but don’t tell me that it should work for me too.

“Write What you Know” or “Write What you Read”

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Photo Credit: Ezine Articles

I have to be honest here. This was the first time since I adopted my Monday-Friday blogging schedule a few months ago that I wanted to just skip a day. Not that I think any of you would notice or care, but blogging is kind of important to me. Sounds stupid but it is. My reason for almost not posting today was because Team USA is set to play Germany today in their final Group Stage match right around the time this post will be scheduled to publish. I’m not the biggest soccer fan there is, but you bet your you know what that I’m a fan of Team USA. I was going to write about them and the World Cup and all of that, but I guess not.

Okay. we’ve all seen the writing tips credited to famous authors and also the advice that just seems to be from nowhere. I can’t tell you how many times in the last year I’ve read the phrase “Write what you know.” More honesty, I hate reading this crap. Write what you know. Well what if you’re like me and you don’t know a damn thing about writing or being a writer or plotting or any of that stuff? And your life experience is as ordinary as it gets.Then what the heck is the advice? “Write what you know nothing about?” That sounds about right to me. I’m sure y’all think I’m exaggerating when I say I don’t know anything about all this writing business, but I am telling you right now that I’m being completely honest when I say I’m clueless.

Let me repeat what I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Here’s how I write: I sit down. Write between 700-1500 words. Stop. Go about whatever else I’m doing that day or night. Write another 700-1500 words to finish up that chapter and move on. I’m not thinking about anything I know. I’m just writing whatever seems like it continues the story okay.

Now, I’m not sure that I’ve ever read anything about “Write what you read.” Maybe it’s been said a bunch and I’m just not in the loop, but maybe it hasn’t. No matter if writers all across the world believe in this philosophy or not a single one, this is me. You guys should know pretty well by now that I read crime fiction all the time. I love it. I write it. Why is this? Because over the years i feel that I’ve read enough perfect writing in the genre that has given me some ability to write my own stories. I’m not saying I’m some expert or that my writing is any better than the next guy, but I am saying that I write what and how I do because of what I’ve read. That’s it. Plain and simple.

My question for you is this: Do you believe in either of these writing philosophies?

If you haven’t heard “write what you read” before, then feel free to go ahead and credit the saying to me. Ha. Just kidding. Kinda.