Welcome back, boys and girls. Another month has come and gone which means it is time once again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). We are the preeminent group of nervous Nellies, shaky Susans, and anxious Alexes. Don’t miss out. 🙂
The co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Chemist Ken, and me.
The optional question is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?
I’m not very ritualistic per se, but I do have habits. One of my most important habits is how and when I write. When I’m drafting, I can’t sit for hours and write brand new words. I need time to think and time to let my mind wander. So, I tend to chunk write when I’m in first draft. I will write for thirty minutes or so, setting a word count goal, and then I will do something else. I might workout, eat a meal, or watch a show. When I come back after that one, two, or three-hour break, I can add more words. Today, for instance, I did four sprints, adding 300 words each time. It’s a habit that seems to allow greater inspiration to power up my perspiration, and it is, ultimately, how I achieve the greatest number of words.
When revising or editing, on the other hand, I need longer chunks. I can sit for two, three, or even four hours rewriting a scene or tearing it apart. Deep concentration is what I need when I’m editing, not inspiration, so I schedule my writing sessions accordingly. Again, work habits, not rituals, but I do swear by them.
Before I move on to the news today, I want to share the excitement of IWSG’s newest anthology Voyagers: The Third Ghost. It is now available from Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Goodreads. Pick your copy up today.
Now, it’s time for the news.
This first story is a hint of fun in an otherwise sad experience. Lock downs worldwide are testing even the strongest of us. If you must get caught breaking the rules, though, it’s best to have the enforcers come dressed as Star Wars characters.
Another story about lock down, but this story has a hero who provides the damsel in distress with a bunch of beer. Good on you, Coors.
And in science news, tipsy elephants. Blame it on the genes. 🙂
That’s all for me tonight. I’ll see you again in a little over seven.
That’s a great idea! Thanks for co-hosting.
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Thanks for co-hosting. I struggle with the blank page too. I think I’m going to try your way of writing in short spurts. Thanks so much for the tip!
I hope it helps!
Thanks for co-hosting! Started doing word sprints a few NaNo’s ago. I use word sprints to get past a block and get words on a page when I’d get stuck. But still, music is my first and favorite writing go to to get into the ZONE.
I think music is a greatly great tool as well.
It’s always fun to hear what works for others in writing. We’re all so different. I’m a sprint writer, so do best if I have big chunks of time.
It really is a different race for all of us. Thanks for dropping by, Shannon!
Sounds like you have a solid plan that works well for you. Thanks for sharing it. The Darth Vader story made me smile. It’s good to find a bit of humor in this awful situation. Thank you for co-hosting!
I loved the Darth Vader story, too. Humor is immensely valuable right now.
Thanks for co-hosting! I love that you understand so well what works for you. I’ve found I work in 1-2 hour blocks, early in the day, and anything beyond that is a slog (primarily because after that I get sucked into the rest of my life–work, chores, blah blah.
I get you. I work better early as well.
Ah yes, as you saw at my blog, I too find that time commitment helps me get ‘er done.
It has helped me a ton.
That’s such an interesting contrast to my own writing experience that it’s got me thinking – thank you. Generally I sit & write until exhausted or required to do/go elsewhere, but that’s probably because I’m trying to fit in too much other stuff! Clearly I need to mix it up some. Thanks muchly for co-hosting this month & for the visit 🙂
Mixing things up can be so powerful. Good luck!
Interesting method for writing – time chunks. For me, its the other way around. I like a huge chunk of time to write, really disliking interruptions, and when it comes to editing, it doesn’t matter either way.
Thanks for co-hosting this month.
It was my pleasure.
Thanks for co-hosting this month, Kim! Chunking is such a great approach. I tend to be a clunker, although if I’m facing a deadline, I become a binger. Thanks for sharing news about the anthology!
I can only binge after first draft. I need too much thinking time when its brand new.
I never thought about being a chuck writer, but I do tend to do that, but in 1000-1500 word chucks. I like exercise before writing and often I like to be somewhere different–without wifi!
Exercise helps me a lot.
Well even I write in chunks but on the whole I really liked how you described your writing exercise.
I’m generally a chunk writer, as well. Although I cherish those rare occasions when I have two or three hours to go without interruption. Thanks for co-hosting today!
I enjoy the longer sessions as well, but I tend to accomplish them more in second draft and beyond.
Thanks for co-hosting this month, Kim! I think this is the first time I read about a writer writing in spurts when creating the first draft. With most (including me), the first draft is a time when the words flow, without much thinking, sometimes hours on end. I really like how you have a totally different habit and approach between inspiration (drafting) and concentration (editing).
For me, words flow more during drafts 2-whatever. I spend too much time thinking through the tendrils of connection during draft one.
An interesting idea – to write in time chunks. I might borrow it, see if it works for me. Nothing else seems to do the trick so far.
Love the quarantine enforcers dressed up in Star Wars characters. Thanks for the link.
I swear by the chunks or sprints during early drafts.
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Good stories – congrats on your productivity!
Sprints seem to work for me, too, although as you say it’s not the way to edit! Haha. Thank you for co-hosting today.
Kindred spirits. 🙂
Your approach is similar to my own except you probably have better habits and maybe more of an incentive to write. I’ve rarely been to that revising/editing stage you’ve mentioned. I guess I’d find out what I’d do if I ever get there.
Tossing It Out
You’ll get there.
That’s interesting about the differences in your approach, between the drafting and editing. I can definitely see your point.
It definitely makes a difference in my productivity.
I can only edit for so long, and that includes editing for DLP titles. Usually an hour max. Writing itself I can do in spurts with fiction and long stretches with non-fiction.
I can see how nonfiction would lend itself to long writing stretches.
Achieving the greatest number of words in mini sessions sounds like a method I might try. I usually block off a few hours. During that time, I find myself rereading my precious day’s words to see where my character would like to go; all that while trying to stay within my outline. Thank you for co-hosing this month!
The sprints can really help provide focus. I don’t waste even a second doing the distracting stuff that can happen when I block off hours.
It’s those sprints, those bursts – of energy, of creativity, of words – that add up to this wonderful writing marathon we’re running. 🙂
Thanks for co-hosting!
Thanks for co-hosting this month. Sounds like you’ve figured out what works best for you. That is super. Keep it up.
I think I write in chunks also. I leave my office and go upstairs to enter the real world again. Otherwise, I would stay in my office and write until I realize that I am tired.
Thank you for co-hosting and all the best.
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange
Thanks for co-hosting! When I still had my own home, and the privacy and independence that came with it, I was the opposite of you, able to just sit and write for hours. Now I’m lucky if I get even one focused chunk a day.
Thanks for co-hosting this month. I haven’t tried writing in chunks but I like the idea. I may really consider something like that. I’ve never been good at blocking out hours at a time to write, except in those moments when I just can’t stop writing and the next thing I know it’s 3 am.
Thanks for co-hosting, Kim. What a nice surprise to read your Philippines article. My IWSG post is about Manila this month. What a nice coincidence.
I write the same way, piece at a time at first than huge chunks during revisions. Initial creativity is more daunting than correcting what’s already there. I’m new to sprints, fearing the pressure of them at first, but now I’ve found they can unlock the imagination. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Kim!!
Chunk editing works for me. When I’m deep into revising and things are going well, the time just disappears.
Thanks for co-hosting this month!
Thanks for co-hosting this month! I need to learn the habit of chunk writing. I think it might work for me. Life is distracting right now.
Mary at Play off the Page
You found what works for you and that’s great.
Dressed as stormtroopers – now that’s funny.
Thanks for co-hosting today!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your opening paragraph. Made me feel right at home. Clever and interesting news stories. Thanks for promoting IWSG’s newest anthology and co-hosting this month.
Lynn La Vita blog: Writers Supporting Writers