Sunday, February 21, 2016

Writerly Routines

by Kristi Belcamino

One thing I'm completely fascinated by is other writer's routines.
At one point, when I was frequently interviewing other writers, I'd throw this question into the mix.
I always want to know where, when, and how other writers write.
Do they get up at 4 a.m. and write for three hours before the kids wake?
Do they, like Joelle Charbonneau, write everywhere and anywhere, including in the car or on a bench while waiting for a child to finish an activity.
Do they fit in writing after a day job, writing from 6 p.m. to midnight?
How about my friend, Sarah Henning, who - I think, forgive me if I'm wrong, Sarah - has been known to write on her phone while she's on the treadmill.
Or my friend, Kate, who will write on her lunch hour?
Do they, like me, write from 9 to 12, Monday through Friday?
When and how do you write?
Meanwhile, check out this Brainpickings post on writerly wake-up times and productivity.
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Dana King said...

There are two basic things I stick to, with room for some variation in each:
1. I have a set amount of work I have to accomplish every day before I can stop. I can do more, but not less. When drafting, it’s one single spaced page a day on work days, two on weekends. When editing it depends on what I’m working on, but I have a target before I sit down for the day.
2. I take most, sometimes all, of the summer “off,” by which I mean no work on the novel in progress. I may do some editing or write some shorter pieces, but whichever novel I’m working on sits, wherever I am in the process. I used to write (almost) every day, all year, but found I was burning out.

On workdays I write either right before or right after supper; on weekends it’s usually in the mid-afternoon, after the household chores and errands are finished. On weekdays I write for an hour or maybe 90 minutes; weekends twice as much. I should say I type that long. Some aspect of the story is almost always bouncing around in my head unless something else holds my complete attention. My most “productive” time of day is often the morning shower, after a night’s sleep has had a chance to sort things out without my conscious interference.

Kristi said...

This makes me feel better about taking summers off to be a full-time mama.
I used to feel restless and guilty for not writing during that time. I often am reading friend's manuscripts, etc., though.