Thursday, September 8, 2011

Writing at your own pace

Now I'm sure we've all heard of or possibly (if we're really lucky) ran across that "uber writer".  You know the ones I'm talking about. The agent and publisher's ultimate fantasy writer.  Yeah. Them.  

Those freak of nature, regimented writers who delight in waking up at 4:30 AM every morning to get in their hour workout before enjoying their usual morning breakfast of dry toast, two strips of crisp turkey bacon, and coffee (their writer brain food).  Then spend an hour to an hour and a half responding to ridiculous amounts of fan mail which they typically can't get through in one sitting due to the enormous quantities.  After which they're experiencing some zen-like euphoric feeling that compels them to tackle that 5000 word count goal for the day, which they've breezed through daily for the last however many years they've been successfully writing and producing numerous best sellers for their publisher.

Oh! Not to mention they have an ASSISTANT! Ugh. If you're detecting a hint of envy somewhere in there...I plead the fifth.

Because let's face facts. I am definitely not that writer.  Most days when I do manage to convince myself I'm somewhere close to being a semi-decent writer I usually spend a few hours just staring at the screen like some useless zombie, trying to sell myself on the theory that what I have to say and/or the story that I'm trying to tell is actually a story at all, and bonus, is one worth telling.  And sometimes, yes sometimes, if I'm lucky I can convincingly convince myself that "Wow, this is pretty darn good!" to which I begin hammering away at my keyboard like some crazed junkie cranked up on the good stuff, hoping to get something worth while out of me before my buzz wears off.  Those days and moments, I typically try and relish when they decide to make an appearance, which they rarely do lately.  But most days, especially lately, I'm lucky to get a sentence out if the mood just isn't in me.

And I've spent a lot of time in this place lately. The dreary one-sentence phase. Just call me the one-sentence non-wonder. That's me.  Now on the bright side I figure if I keep a this rate, averaging 12 to 15 words a sentence, one sentence per day. I'll have a full first draft manuscript completed in about 23.5 years...the year 2035. I'll only be 51.  Hm. I guess that's not too bad considering...

But honestly, being in the slumps of the writing process I see as just another part of my writing process if you can believe it.  I know I know, how can not writing, being uninspired, and stressing out over whether I should waste my time and the time of the rest of the world trying to write a book that should more than likely make its permanent home at the bottom of my trash bend be a process? Well, because this is my writing process.  And no, I can't explain why. 

But yes, I do realize that for some this may seem pretty unconventional, while for others you may relate quite well to my method of chaos and randomness.  But as I said, it's my process.  And if I'm going to write my stories, and tell them my way, then I need to do it my way.  There's no real structure or uniform to this process. It is what you make it.

That is until I actually write something worth publishing and then may have to get my act together, but until then.  This is me.

So as I sit here staring at the blinking cursor on the opened file of my current WIP trying to determine if today is a juiced up junkie day or a zoned out zombie day, tell me about your writing process?  Are you the freakishly put together, clean writing space, on time, by the schedule sort of writer or are you the there's method to my madness type of writer?

Tell me. I'm listening.

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


  1. Sometimes clearing my writing space removes distractions. And I do have a schedule. But then days like yesterday happen and there goes the schedule. But each new day is a fresh start, and I try to forget about what I didn't do yesterday. Maybe I will get that sentence written today after all.

  2. haha. I love your writing!!

    Since I've been in college, I've had a lot of these days. I think, maybe, I was tired of my old wip and so I started a new one, and not it's like nothing ever distracted me.

    Except, the current problem is FINDING the time to write. lol.

  3. love this! Its these personal stories that give me more appreciation and love for you authors!

  4. My process sounds a lot like yours! Only I haven't taken ownership of it like you have, though I admire that you have.

    I too am envious of that writer who actually writes AND exercises, but not only am I envious, I strive to be that. I lean toward a type A personality, so even if I am making progress, if it's not constant and structured and in my face, I bemoan myself and feel like nothing's happening. :/

    Anyway, I really like your writing style, Blaire! Your blog post was a pleasure to read. :)

  5. Hi Blaire,

    I used to crank out 3k words a day, no problem. Lately it's been closer to 500. Today it was 3.

    Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your positive attitude. It's inspired me to go stare at my blinking cursor for awhile longer.

  6. Haha! Glad I could help Charlotte. Honestly, I really think it helps being part of a community of other writers going through or who have gone through what I'm going through now that really helps me get through these slumps of mine.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I'm glad I discovered you, Blaire. As if I needed yet another distraction that tears me away from my writing, but I'm not going to hold it against you. Honest! :-)

    I've never tracked the daily speed of my writing--indeed the idea never occurred to me until I joined Twitter and saw so many writers commenting on their word count goals. Maybe this is because my writing started out as a hobby. Writing is one of my creative outlets. I crave it, along with my other favorite pastimes. When I don't have a creative outlet, bad things happen...people DIE! (Sorry, sometimes I can't resist channeling Austin Powers.) Okay, maybe it's not that dire, but I'm definitely a major GRUMP when I can't spend time in my head doing creative things. Of course, this doesn't mean that I'm anywhere close to being an uber-writer. There are way too many distractions in my life for that to be likely any time soon. And freaking Twitter isn't helping! I just signed up a couple of weeks ago because it came to my attention that once you publish a book it's necessary to market it. Go figure. So now, I'm belatedly building my "author platform", a term I hadn't even heard of until recently. For the past two weeks, more often than not, I've reached the end of the day saying, "Okay, tomorrow I'll ACTUALLY do some work on my story." Sigh.

    And don't get me started about my struggles with trying to come up with interesting things to blog about. I've never felt so positively UNinteresting in my life. Not a good mindset. LOL

    Uber-writer? Heh! I think not!

    Oh well. There's always tomorrow...