Monday, February 27, 2006

A Return to Abnormalcy

So, a hopeful writer writes:

"When you are writing a book, what does your schedule look like? I am trying to write and I have bursts of genius and lulls where like you, I would rather watch curling than be creative. I would appreciate any light you could shed on helping me figure out what is 'normal.'"

First of all, I think that like body shape and how much pop culture you can take, there really isn't any such thing as normal, except what's normal for you. I, for instance, find that my creativity often goes in spurts, too, and it's really great if my creative fervor happens to coincide with a looming deadline. Not so good if it doesn't.

I am not very good at scheduling or time management, which is probably why I fritter away most of the day IMing, emailing, and talking on the phone. Given that one of the perks about being a writer is sitting at home in your fuzzy slippers all day, I have to work hard to make sure I don't become a social hermit.

Once that's taken care of, I typically realize about 7 p.m. that I've wasted the whole day and I ought to get to work. My husband thinks this a concerted effort to avoid him when he comes home, but really, it's just a by product of procrastination. I find I do my best work from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. most days, but that's because I'm a night person.

Also, because my books are under contract to a very large publisher (Simon and Schuster) I am usually staring down a very difficult deadline (Average time to write a book: 7-8 months). So, typically, in the last two months, I'm writing all the time, whether I'm in the mood for it or not, because I really don't have a choice, unless I want to take my book advance and fly to Costa Rica, and the sad fact is I don't speak Spanish.

But, if there's anything I can tell you, it's this: If you're in the mood to write - by ALL MEANS WRITE! It's hard enough to do when you feel like doing it. Trust me, when you have an editor calling you about deadlines it's even less fun.

Also, I've found that if I write a little bit - even if it's just an hour - a day, that helps keep me in the story, and keep my brain thinking about the story I'm working on. So, I guess, ultimately, my advice is write a little bit every day (if you can) and make writing a priority especially when your creative juices are flowing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds really cool, but how does the forming of story works?