Thursday, March 8, 2012

Writers Write Here, There, Everywhere

Writers write. But how much and how often are questions new writers want answered by the pros.

I've absorbed many stories of writers' "practices." Looking for the one that fits you? Well, you'll have to figure that out solo. Here are some of the more interesting ones I know (I usually forget which writers they apply to):

At a conference, one author, who was writing before a panel, said that he wrote whenever he had 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes, that's all. Whenever the opportunity popped up. Add the minutes over the course of a day, and bah-boom, a book is drafted in a few months.

I heard a novelist speak recently who is a "marathon" writer. Sits and writes for 16 hours straight then takes a few days off. She's finished with a book in about three months.

Stephen King, I've heard tell (could be specified in his book about writing), is a 4/4: four hours of writing paired with four hours of reading each day. He took years (something akin to a decade or longer) to write his newest book, 11/22/63: A Novel. On again, off again, and the job eventually gets done.

One of the biggie names in romance closets herself off from fall to spring, not even bothering with the clock. She takes the summers off. Another biggie writes every day, eight hours a day, and never takes a day off.

Then there is the writes-rather-than-sleeps crowd. Up at 2, write until 5, 6, 7. Or something to that effect. Do it over again in the morning. Honestly, I'd bust a blood vessel and forget my name.

Yesterday, I saw a post about Jonathan Franzen. He hasn't written in 26 months. Ouch. But, he can afford it.

Me? I write when I get the urge and can't set it aside. It comes pretty often. I'm glad for the gift. Long-hand or computer, either will work. I wish I had more time, but bills, kids, life in general, has an insideous way of distracting me.

What about you?

(psst--Any errors of fact are my own. Corrections are appreciated.)

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