Monday, July 7, 2008

Developing Efficient Writing Work Habits

I'm writing this article because I have horrible writing work habits. I have great excuses--primarily the day job, which is going well and isn't a means to an ends, but a great passion in and of itself. You'd be amazed how similar writing a novel is to writing a computer program. Seriously. But that's a different post.

Writing is a habit.

If you create an act, you create a habit. If you create a habit, you create a character. If you create a character, you create a destiny.
-André Maurois

Very true. And when applied to writing, getting into the habit of writing starts with the act of writing. If you don't put your pen to page (or fingers to keyboard, as case may be) then you aren't going to write a novel. Which is something I keep having to remind myself.

I'm a fan of the "Butt in Chair" (BIC) method of writing. You just have to set aside time to write, consitantly, and stick to it. It's just like going to the gym (not that I do that either...).

Is it your Writing Time but you have no inspiration for your plot moving forward? Write about a character's back story or have your antagonist write a letter to his mom. If it's a Fantasy novel, write about some of the myths or histories--if it's not, maybe write something about a character's grandpa. Just write. After a while, you'll start along on your book. Don't forget to keep it organized. I've got a writing notebook, a three-ring binder that I keep everything that I don't have in yWriter. I could easily put all of it there, but I like to have the backstory, myths, maps, etc in a seperate, physical place.

Despite my belief in the BIC method, I'm one of those writers who really doesn't come up with new plot material while I'm writing. I come up with it when I'm walking to the train, doing my shopping, cleaning, driving, etc. Maybe I could start cleaning as part of my writing. The hubby'd be happy that I got some done :-P

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