Monday, March 31, 2008

Waiting and Writing

Stewart Sternberg has an excellent post up, addressing the question, "Why Write?" I've always squarely been in the "I write for readers and I write for money" camp, but this post gave me pause.

In fact, it's the only post on the subject that's ever given me pause on the subject.

I might have to say that I write because writing is something I enjoy that will make money. And I can't think of anything else I could bear to do, let alone could do. Aside from what I already do with piano.

Anyway, all I've been doing, lately, is waiting. Waiting for DH to come home. We could be looking at another week. I haven't been able to talk to him since last Saturday, the one nine days ago.

I had a dream, last night, that I got a call and it was from someone else and they told me the ship had sunk and they were stranded on an island. I don't have the heebee jeebies, so it was kind of amusing.

I'm dying to get this novella out of the way. The story is all there, the word count is all there, I just have to go through the last few chapters. I re-wrote the ending instead of looking at what I had and editing. So now I have to re-write the rest of the ending.

But it feels like this one is never ending, even though I'm almost there.

I have a lot of writing planned for the next five months. My new process seems to be time-consuming. It's taken me two months to write this novella, which is only 25,000 words a month. I'm not usually this slow.

It's hard to judge the new process by my output the last couple months. I never miss a writing day when DH is home. When he isn't, I sometimes must do laundry and run errands. And this week I simply must get the new piano studio website up, as well as get the summer mailing out.

I can't wait until DH is home.

How are things going for you, writing-wise? Numbers-wise? Have you figured out a rhyme and reason to your output, some way to make it predictable? Some way to control it?

10 bonus scribbles:

Liz Wolfe 3/31/2008 02:16:00 PM  

Rhyme or reason to my output? I wish. The current WIP is going so slowly. No idea why it's so difficult. I just finished a big copywriting project and now I can get back to the WIP. I think I write best when I can sit down every day and work on it. Getting interrupted by doing other work or even going away for a week or two makes it just grind to a halt and then I have to build up steam again. I popped over to Sternberg's blog. Very interesting. I'm not sure I really know why I write, I just always have. One thing I've noticed is that if I read a poorly written book, it makes me want to write. And if I read a really well written book, I also want to write. Go figure.

spyscribbler 3/31/2008 04:19:00 PM  

Liz, I'm finding the same thing. I write so much better in a big, focused streak. Little bits of time here and there just end up being frazzled bits I have to fix or re-write.

I'm the same way with books I read.

Barrie 3/31/2008 04:53:00 PM  

I think I'm discovering something scary about my writing. I'm not fast. And I never will be. Also, if I have a day where I produce a bunch, I produce little the following day. I'm on a quest, though, to figure out a way to pick up the pace. So, I'm looking forward to the comments you get to this post.

spyscribbler 3/31/2008 05:10:00 PM  

YES! What is UP with that? Whenever I have a 5,000 or 10,000 word day, the next day? Nothing. It's like pulling teeth.

Mostly, it seems that I produce the most around that time of month. I have no idea why. But ... like last week ... 10,000 word day. Next day? Time for the full moon. :-) I had NO idea, but my output should've told me!

Edie 4/01/2008 12:05:00 AM  

It's getting harder to write instead of easier. I know more now, and the words don't just gush out of me. Plus, my time is more limited. I'm working part time, and some days it bleeds into full time.

Bernita 4/01/2008 06:15:00 AM  

The more we write the more picky we get with the words we put down, I think.
Some techniques have become instinctive and we may breeze through passages that employ them. Others, we are more uncertain and slow to initiate.

Stewart Sternberg 4/01/2008 02:37:00 PM  

Sometimes someone gets in our heads and our writing slows to a halt. My friend Rick made the mistake of saying something about sentence structure. It was a silly comment, something I should have been able to brush off. However, it meant that I wouldn't be writing for the next six weeks. Every time I tried putting together a sentence, I kept seeing the imagined glaring errors.

Sometimes we psyche ourselves. We are our own worst enemies. We allow ourselves to become too close to our work and we sputter, overthinking like the pitcher who starts "pitching" instead of just reaching back and throwing.

Writing happens at several different levels. Sometimes we have to allow the intuitive to rise. We have to accept what comes out if something to be ored and processed.

spyscribbler 4/01/2008 05:24:00 PM  

Edie, I understand. Sometimes I look back, and I wonder how come the words used to just flow, day after day? And now it seems like those days happen once every couple months.

What is up with that?

I'm sorry about the part time thing. :-( I hope you find time for you!

spyscribbler 4/01/2008 05:26:00 PM  

Bernita, wise as always. That sounds as good of an explanation for it I've come across.

spyscribbler 4/01/2008 05:28:00 PM  

You, Stewart? Somehow I imagine you as invincible. :-) I am definitely my own worst enemy, always. My students are the same way. I really don't understand why humans tie themselves in knots.

"Something ored and processed."

I really like that, Stewart.