Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Writing Day

by Dave White

I get home from work, shower and get changed. It's usually around 4:35 on a gym day, 4 on an off day.

I sit in front of the computer and check my email, check Twitter, then check and see if there is anything cool going on. Usually there isn't.

Start music. Usually a live album or something long. I hate shuffle. It always picks songs I hate.

Finally get around to opening Word and the novel or story file. Check up on where I left off and think about where I want the next scene to go.

Write a word. Usually "the."

Check Twitter. That Steve Weddle is on there a lot.

Write a few sentences. I know where I want the scene to go, but I'm having trouble with description. What's the day look like? Are the characters inside? What the hell does the room look like?

God forbid it's just one person all alone. I have to describe all that? Better find someone for him to talk to.

Type for what feels like forever. I must be close to 1,000 words.

Check word count. 171.

Check Twitter. Yep, Stringer is watching football. Check Rutgers basketball message boards. Nothing has changed on that front.

Write some more. I really like where this scene is going. Could end up with a nice dramatic plot twist. Check word count.


Write some more. Check Facebook. Check Facebook again. Update my status to something witty. Wait for comments.

Ah, I got it! I know what he does!

Back to manuscript. Write straight through. Hit 1,000 words. Breathe a sigh of relief. Save file. Listen to the end of the live album. God this encore ruled.

Put on TV.

I know when people watch me write, they always think I don't do anything. They always see me on websites and messing around with email. But while I'm doing this I'm thinking. The plot is rolling around in my head and I just need the spark to push through. And in order for my subconscious to work, I need to be doing something else.

Facebook, Twitter, and message boards are great for that.

But when I revise, I usually need to go some place without Wi-Fi. I need to focus then.

What is your writing day like?


Darren G. Miller said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been wanting to see the minutiae of a writer's day, especially when said writer has a day job and family.

It helps to know I'm not alone in that.

SueH said...

I dream of the day when I can give up my job (coming soon, I think) and skitter briefly around the housework/laundry/cooking etc. in order to free up 'writing time'!

But then, having cleared the decks, so to speak, the urge to write has to be cajoled into being.

Mind you, once the muse strikes I can forego sustinance and rest and work flat out.

With family issues changing I'm looking forward to some seriously quality writing time :-)

Jay Stringer said...

my writing is generally done late. 10pm till 1am. Maybe a bit longer if i'm in the groove.

punctuated by walks, showers and cups of coffee so that i can think.

Dana King said...

Actually, a lot like yours. A million things can distract me when I'm drafting, though it's probably fine, as the core thread continues to run in the background, probably even smoother without my conscious interference.

Editing requires attention and silence. I can't even listen to music when I edit.

Steve Weddle said...

Now that you're off work for four months, I guess this changes.

Dave White said...

Er. I'm not off work yet. And I only get two months. And I'm getting married in August. Oh yeah, I'm gonna have a ton of time.

Ron Earl Phillips said...

That vaguely sounds like my evening last night. Though I'm sure I could have cut the time in half if I turned off the wifi on my computer during "writing time", but who am I kidding I have to check all these places to affirm I exist and not lost and alone in my office.

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Funny, with every book I write I end up with a different kind of writing day. The current one is a lot like what you are dealing with. I'm lucky to squeak out 750 words...then again I'm also doing page proofs and promo I guess that is taking away from my productivity. But with other books I would sit down and find myself at 1,500 words in a hour. I really wish that writing day would return....I wish....I wish....

Mike Dennis said...

The Internet is probably the biggest non-writing consumer of my time when I sit down to write. I got married a few weeks ago and we went on a honeymoon cruise. I had my laptop and thought, Aha! I'll be out in the middle of the Caribbean Sea with no Internet, no email, no cellphones, no must-see TV. I'll get plenty of writing done, right?

Well, I was, after all, on my honeymoon.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Internet is the biggest curse. Well, not the biggest. Smoking was.