Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fits and Starts

I try to do my writing according to a schedule. Every day, at about the same time, I'll sit down at my computer and open up the file with my current WIP, and try to write.

So many other writers out there, many of those with a lot of success, claim that the only way to write is to do it every day. So I try to.

The problem comes in when I fail to do it.

It isn't that I don't try. I do sit my butt down in the chair and try to make the words come out, hoping that my fingers will guide me to write some brilliant dialogue or come up with a unique twist on the same old plots that we've seen time and again.

But some days, nothing happens. Sometimes, nothing happens for weeks or even months at a time. I'll have a project that I'm working on, one that I'm in love with and think has oodles of potential, and can't wait to sink my teeth into it and really get it down on paper . . . but for some reason, I just can't write.

And then there are other days, days when I sit in my chair and start my session, hoping to get a good 1,500 to 2,000 words out, and those words fly by in about an hour and I can't seem to stop myself until I've passed 4,000 or maybe even 5,000 or 6,000 words.

I just recently had a long skid like I described above, where for weeks on end that turned into months, I'd try to write but stare at a screen that had looked the same for almost as long as I could remember. Then, just out of the blue, it changed. I could write again. And the words started to flow better than they ever have.

It used to be that if I had one of those days of amazing output, I'd inevitably hit another day like I described above where nothing would happen immediately afterward. It might last for two days, even. And then I'd be back on my schedule, cranking out 1,500 or 2,000 words a day most of the time. Right now, that isn't what is happening. Right now, I'm writing between 3,000 and 6,000 words a day, pretty much every day. And it has been going on for over a week.

Needless to say, I'm in awe. I don't quite know what to do with myself.

But I know better than to complain. As soon as I start complaining about it, that's when the drought will hit again.

It seems, no matter how hard I try to become a disciplined writer, one who can produce the same amount of quality work day in and day out, I just can't seem to do it. So I've decided I'm not going to give myself a hard time about it any more. It may work for some authors. But my system seems to work for me.

Any way I look at it, I'm still producing the same number of manuscripts in the same amount of time. Ever since I started writing, I've been a two-manuscripts-a-year writer. It doesn't seem to matter if I write the requisite 1,500 to 2,000 words a day every day, or if I take two months off with zero words, and then cram in 30,000 words in a week. It is always two manuscripts a year.

Are you a disciplined writer? Do you write every day, or on specific days? Or do you write in fits and starts like I do?

**Originally published at Lady Scribes**

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