Thursday, April 15, 2010

Writing A Book - It Takes Commitment To A Writing Schedule

Writing a book is a long process filled with highs and lows. Some days the writing comes easy, while other days the process is tedious and difficult. But the key is to work on a schedule and write a little bit everyday. When I started writing, I suffered from only writing when I was inspired and that's why it took me nearly eight years to finish a novel. But with more experience and much more understanding, I now know what it really takes to get the job done. You can't work through the writing hangups, the writers block, the procrastination, plot issues, characters that won't cooperate, boring dialogue, blah, blah, blah, without committing to a writing schedule and sticking to it. Writing makes a writer, not writing makes a wishful writer.

7 comments:

jessjordan said...

*ducks head in shame*

I feel like this was written directly for me. You are so right, and it's taken me awhile to accept this simple fact. My muse takes quite a few vacations; I can't afford to wait on her to get back.

I would like to try using writing prompts again, which I did a couple years back, when I was in a writing workshop. It's hard on my own, though, for some reason. I think people feed off of each other's creative energy, and I miss that.

Michelle said...

My apologies to Jane Steen. While moderating comments, your comment didn't post for some reason. I was able to save the text, so here it is:

Jane Steen writes: "So true. I started on my WIP at the beginning of February with a commitment to write 250 words at least every other day. That soon turned into a commitment to write 700 words every day. I then realized that at this pace I could have a completed draft in a little over 100 days.

As it has turned out, I am on track to finish way ahead of schedule because writing every day has really helped me improve my word count. I know it seems a bit "unartistic" to fixate on word counts, but it's really helping me. If I waited for the Muse to turn up I'd still be at 5K.

What I'm wondering, though, is how to manage the revision process with the same degree of commitment. And then the process of querying, building a platform and all the other stuff that writers are supposed to do. Any tips?

Michelle said...

Jane-

I've found that I CAN follow a similiar schedule with revisions. Here's how I've been doing it. I set a number of words I want to either review or write, let's say 1000 words. So each day I need to have reviewed or written 1000 words of my novel. I remember where I started in my revision by saving a bookmark there, then I highlight the text when I'm done to see how many words are in that section I worked on.

It has been working miracles in getting me to stick to a steady revision schedule.

Michelle said...

Jess-

I've been there! Don't give up. I think most writers have succumb to the "writing blues" in their careers.

I say if writing prompts help you then go for it.

Some of my writing friends do well in writing groups because it requires them to work on material to present once or twice a week. The deadline aspect seems to help.

Good luck & don't give up!

-Michelle

Jane Steen said...

Wow, that's a useful hint! I will save it for future reference. Thanks!

Ms Kitty said...

Once I made the commitment to write every day I was shocked at how fast the book got finished. It is truely worth the effort to set aside an hour or two every day.

I'm not sure why having a word count goal is undesirable. I love knowing that I've written a thousand words or more. Gets my mojo going.

Gaurhav H Atri said...

Hi,
I have not seen many suggestions so simple yet wonderful, that's the way to help any aspiring writer, good one.
Thanks and Regards
Gaurhav