Thursday, November 29, 2012

Writing Routines - What's Yours?

by Stephanie Morrill

I have always been fascinated by writers and their routines and how they split up their time. I don't expect to unlock some trinket of time management that will magically fix my frustrations (though that would be nice), but I'm intrigued by the seemingly endless ways there are to go about spending your time as a novelist.

This is a link to an article that talks about various writing routines of famous authors like Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury, and Jack Kerouac.

I was fascinated by this quote in Ray Bradbury's interview. He says:

"I can work anywhere. I wrote in bedrooms and living rooms when I was growing up with my parents and my brother in a small house in Los Angeles. I worked on my typewriter in the living room, with the radio and my mother and dad and brother all talking at the same time."
He was a teen writer! Just like many of you carry your notepads or laptops around the house, he was doing the same thing with his typewriter. I find that thrilling to think about.

A few of the others worked through chaos as well, including E.B. White:

"...the members of my household never pay the slightest attention to my being a writing man—they make all the noise and fuss they want to. If I get sick of it, I have places I can go. A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper."

Isn't that so true? I could always find something else to do besides write, especially now that I have marketing responsibilities on my shoulders. When I get to write, it's because I'm making the choice to protect it, and to respect my dream enough to fight for it.

hat was one of the key themes Jill and I ended up with for the Go Teen Writers book that'll be releasing this March. That writers who succeed do so because they respected their dream and didn't wait for ideal conditions.

What's something you're doing to respect your writing time? And do you write better in chaos or quiet?

And don't forget your writing contest entries are due on Monday!

26 comments:

  1. Oh, I most certainly write better in chaos 90% of the time. When you have 6 siblings, you get rather used to all the noise. And the quiet seems so very, very, LOUD.

    A GO TEEN WRITERS BOOK?!?! I've never heard of it. Now this I shall have to see. *Grins excitedly*

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    1. YES, we're very excited! March 1st is our release date :)

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    2. Will we be able to get it on Kindle?

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  2. I shut myself up in my room to write. I CAN write with distractions, but not very well. I'm the kind of person that's interested in everything around me and I get distracted constantly. Besides that, I'm an extrovert so I love to talk with people. So I have to go my room, shut my door, and put in my earphones to play some music. Unfortunate side effects to that are that I get kind of snappy when people disrupt me.

    However, I've always wanted to write in a cafe. I'd probably put in my earphones and ignore everybody, but I've always wanted to do that.

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  3. TV is probably the biggest thing for me to block out. Even if it's a show I hate I watch it because I have to know what happens in the end. But, other than that, I am great in chaos. I can zone out pretty well. My Family has eight kids so it's constantly noisy. 4 of my siblings have elements of ADHD and 2 have elements of ADD and 1 has elements of OCD and anger management problems. All but one are younger than me too. There is no quiet in my house : ) But, I do tend to write slower since most of the time I am figuring out what sentence I wrote last.

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    1. I can relate at least a little, out of my five younger sibilings, 1 is ADHD and one had anger managment problems. I personally am CDO (OCD in alphabetical order) S i have to write in perfect order. noise is fine, clutter is NOT!

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    2. I am with you there. I can write in lots of noise, not lots of mess : )

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  4. I write any time all the time. At least right now. My schedule usually includes about two to three hours of writing but now while I'm in the throes of inspiration I'm writing every moment the computer is free.

    I just put on Pandora when I write it blocks out some of the noise but usually I end up listening to the stuff my Dad transcribes in the next room instead. I have four siblings so perfect quiet is not an option but I've found that if I don't make quiet a priority it doesn't bother me.

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  5. One of the things college has taught me is the importance of respecting your writing time. Last semester, I focused only on school, and didn't do much writing as a result of that. I was also frustrated a lot, since all I really wanted to do was write stories, rather than research papers. So this time around, I'm learning to achieve a balance. So far, it's been great. I take time to escape and just write.
    As far as where I write, it's easy for me to block out the world when I'm in the middle of writing. I love writing in a cafe with classical music playing, but I also love writing in the quiet of my bedroom, too.

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  6. My ideal is a quiet house, an uncluttered desk, and a steaming mug of coffee or tea or hot chocolate by my side.

    The reality is that I homeschool my kids, so it's pretty rare the house is quiet during the day, since they're always here with me. =) I'm disorganized, so my desk is rarely clean. And I also like my husband, so evenings after the kids are in bed are spent with him, LOL. I've learned to write in every moment I can grab between school lessons and meal-getting and game-helping. It's chaotic, but when I'm in the groove, I can get just as much written amid the chaos as in silence.

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  7. I usually write locked up in my bedroom. I have five siblings (three younger who fight like cats and dogs) but as long as I am alone in the room, their noise doesn't bug me. That much. Just praise the Lord I have a bedroom door that locks! (Took me three years to convince my dad I needed one...)
    Something also worth mentioning is that when the noise DOES start to bother me, getting a cup of something tasty and warm always cheers me up.

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  8. I have five sibiling too! but all of mine are younger and the youngest is in the terrible twos. I am homeschooled so i am so used to working while the area around me is in chaos. In fact i am so used to it that i actually work better in chaos then in silence! i think having somthing to block out helps me to focus. i generally type at the kitchen table, or sometimes on the couch when my family is watching a movie.:) somehow having the tv on hels me to focus. go figure right?! If my family is out of the house i go to my room and turn on my classical musis really loud so i have noise to block out so i can focus. For some reason music with words distracts me, so i can ot turn on the radio. only classical CDs. In order to type my area has to be organized!! i am incredibly CDO!!! (thats OCD in alphabetical order) Noise does not bother me, but clutter really does. My bookshelf is organized by, 1. height of books, 2.Series of books, 3.color of books 4.genre. that how CDO i am!

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    1. Please forgive my many misspellings! i forgot to proof read. i am doing NaNoWriMo and it is killing my spelling.:)

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    2. I know what you mean. NaNoWriMo is great, but sooooo bad for the spelling and grammar!

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  9. I don't concentrate very well so I like to be alone. Last week, I was alone a lot and very determined Im pretty sure I got over 10,000 words! I wish that could happen more often but it doesn't. For me it takes planning, protecting the time, and determination. I can always find other things to do. Or things vaguely related to writing but not actually writing to do. I prefer the keyboard on my alphasmart to the keyboard on my computer. It seems like more and more keyboards and getting more compact and that hurts my hands, the alphasmart is a more comfortable, less painful size for me. And obviously less distracted :). Another thing is with determination if I know I'm going to have day without a lot to do l I schedule times on my phone in different incraments like write 10-15 minutes and do my best to stick to it. I can get a lot done that way. Like I said I don't have a great attentionn span, planned breaks before I float off really helps. Just the other day Rachelle Gardner did a post on a tidy that says 3 focused 90 minutes sessions is the most productive for people.

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  10. I write better in quiet, I think. With only one younger brother (who likes to hide upstairs with his ipod), our house is pretty quiet most of the time, so noise is a giant shock and distraction. I love writing the most when I'm alone in the house, though. No fear of anyone coming in and looking over my shoulder, or asking me to do something. Also, I find I enjoy writing a lot more when I'm supposed to be doing something else. hehe. ;)

    Unfortunately, my "writing time" is whenever I feel like it, which isn't often. BUT! Thanks to the 100 4 100 challenge, I'm doing MUCHMUCHMUCH better!! :D

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  11. I find that I write best when I have about 20 minutes of time set aside, which I try to do each day, and no distractions.
    Listening to music can help, though I find music with lyrics is a bit distracting. Classical/instrumental stuff is good, and I also discovered some foreign-language Disney music which I love. That way I don't accidentally type out the lyrics xD

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  12. I sit in the hallway when I write (the internet in our house doesn't reach my bedroom, and I need to have easy access to google for research) so I'm used to blocking out the TV downstairs and my parents talking. I only have one younger sibling, but I can't imagine trying to focus with seven! It must be something you get used to over time. I have a lot of homework now since finals are coming up, but I dedicate as much free time as I can in the evening to writing.

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  13. Yep, big-family-chaos-and-writing for me too! :) I have an older sister who brings her littles to our house and, with the babies running around, you either let them run in circles around you while you write...or run after them. xD I can't write when it's totally quiet. It's too distracting.

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  14. So before this year, I was what I called a "weekend warrior." In other words, I only wrote on the weekends but "wrote a lot." (Yeah right.) This year I finally just bustled down and started waking up an hour early every morning so I could write for an hour everyday before school. After the first four days and when I was finally okay with waking up so early, I realized that not only do I write BETTER in the mornings and it is quieter then too but getting my writing done so early makes me even more progressive throughout the day because I feel good about myself and I don't have to worry about finding the time to write.

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  15. Oh mercy--being the second eldest in a family of nine children, I have had to learn to work in chaos. I literally write anywhere. My WC goal per day is usually one thousand words. I find it a nice round number, and often will exceed it. If I'm on a good role and don't encounter a lot of trouble with scenes or characters, I can average a little over one thousand words in an hour. :)
    I remember reading that Sir Walter Scott wrote two books simultaneously. He'd have two desks in his study--on on either side of the carpet--and he'd pace up and down thinking and when he had an idea, would dash to either desk and scribble like a fury, then resume his pacing. I've never decided how on earth that would work out! :D

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  16. I like quiet when I write, mainly because when there's noise, it's someone wanting me to do something, or look at something, which makes it very hard for me to keep concentrating on my writing.

    However I write mainly in the evening so quiet's pretty easy to come by then. I just sit at my desk, put on some music, and then write. Has to be my desk because otherwise I get too distracted and won't write anything!

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    1. I write best in quiet but that doesn't always mean that I always get it. I have to make it sometimes. I got these soundproof headphones and bought a bunch of instrumental music and movie scores from itunes and use that to drown out the noise of my family talking about the X Factor and whatever else they talk about. I sometimes have to REALLY crank the volume! I have this twisted theory that I need something to distract me from the distractions. Thank goodness for movie scores then! I would bring my computer to my quiet bedroom room if I could but I don't have a laptop...only a family desktop that's in the kitchen so that's not really an option. I've gotten used to the noise though and I can't imagine writing anywhere else now :)

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  17. Personally, I try to work in silence. Therefore, I don't go on errands when the rest of my family does(yes, it hurts, but this is the sacrifice I make) and I try to write later at night, when most are in bed. See, the computer's in the family room, so that means that I write over the blare of the TV . . . and my younger brother's continual singing and monologues. It works out pretty well,though, as I try to focus as much as I can.

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