Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How many hours?

Right before my writing workshop began on Saturday, I mentioned that (at the time) I was honing in on 50k words for my work in progress. (while 50k is my "official" on the Camp NaNoWriMo site goal, I'd really like to write to "the end", which seems like it'll be more like 60-75k and I don't know if I can get there by Friday but I want to try, so I haven't validated yet but I have ordered my t-shirt. I'm at 56,550 words as of this blog post)

The person I was talking to expressed his surprise/support/admiration/whatever and then posed a question I was somehow unable to answer: "How many hours a day do you write?" he asked, innocently.

Well.

When I'm writing, I'm never just writing, is the problem. I'm scrolling through Imgur. I'm checking my email when I notice I have a new one. I'm researching minutia, a fractured fragment of which actually ends up in the story. I'm taking the dog out, making dinner, etc. etc. etc.  Sometimes I'm also watching something online or on Netflix, and that can become a sticky wicket, because sometimes I want to watch anime, and I do not speak Japanese (other than exclamations like "nando" and queries like "nani"? [which I probably didn't even spell right]), so I have to pay attention to the subtitles. (Knights if Sidonia is very good, by the by. Attack on Titan is as well, though I haven't finished it yet).

So how many hours? A day? A week? I don't know. I know I can, uninterrupted and synapses firing, get down a thousand words very quickly. But then I need to know when the last day fireworks are in the summer at the shore. Then I need to know if October for the bad thing that happened is the right month for the story or not. Earlier? Later? Then I need to consider just how many more references I intend on layering in, and whether I should write the study guide for the high school classes which will curse my name in the decades to follow when my works are required reading. (fun to think about, right?)


How many hours?

10 comments:

  1. I'm weird when it comes to multitasking. I've always said I write better when I have my chat program open and conversations going at the same time, but I usually find it difficult to write when the TV is on. Music is hit or miss.

    And yes, I also sometimes think of things while writing that I NEED to know right!this!second! :D

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    1. I'm probably weird in that I really miss AIM. Remember the AIM days? Facebook messaging and/or Google hangouts isn't quite the same.

      Music, I typically have music. Varying playlists or a song on repeat (the members of my household are good sports about this, I must say).

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  2. The Internet can be very distracting; I suspect that writers who worked on typewriters or wrote longhand got a lot more work done. Even when I just bring my journal and a pen to a coffee shop to write, I often end up spending too much time on my cell phone, surfing the Internet or reading various Tweets.

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    1. There are times I sort of yearn for the visceral experience of writing on a typewriter (my grandparents have a typewriter, so I did some of my very early writing on it) but retyping everything? A whole novel? Through the edits? I might rather lie on the floor and cry.

      But yes. The Internet is a very shiny, very distracting Thing which looms upon my consciousness.

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  3. I'm super-impressed that you've written 56,550 words so far. I'd love to write a novel one day but there's no way I'd ever have the discipline necessary, even if I had a good idea and the talent to follow it through. (You spelled "nani" properly, by the way!)

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    1. Well thanks very much!

      Discipline is a slippery concept....does it take discipline to write every day? Yes. Will everything I write every day be immediately acceptable for public consumption? No, probably not. But then, does it take discipline to allow yourself to write that sloppy first draft, with the notion you'll edit later? Yeah, probably. But when you break it into steps like that, maybe it's not so bad? ^^

      Write, and see where it takes you!

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    2. I guess if the discipline is divided up into bite-sized chunks...

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    4. Give it a try!

      Plus, adjust your goals. "Write a novel" sounds insurmountable; "write a short story" might seem easier to take in hand. And some short stories can grow into the next story, and the next one....

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    5. With my work ethic, "Write a sentence" might be more my pace! What you say is true, though. There really is no way to write something but to write it.

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