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How Much Time Do You Need To Write?

How Much Time Do You Need To Write?.

I’m late to the whole writing scene–not that I haven’t always enjoyed it or that I didn’t dream of being an author when I was young–but its only been recently (2006) that I realized I was actually capable of sitting down and writing a story from beginning to end. I’ve never had confidence in myself in much of anything. Now that I’m actually surprising myself by churning out written work, I’ve begun devouring all I can find that promises to make me a better writer. One of the things I’ve discovered in all the things I’ve read, everyone has their own ideas about who a writer is and how writing is accomplished and the best ways to approach it.

Applying my discoveries to this article, which I thought was fantastic, I find that how much time one needs to write varies widely among authors. I most closely identify with Catherine in that I tend to write in circles. I have a tendency to tinker as I write so that I might spend an hour on a paragraph. Also, I need to feel like I’ve got a significant amount of time to spend on it, because if I feel any kind of time restraint, it causes me to freeze up with anxiety. I’m trying to teach myself to get beyond this by blogging short things as I have time and the last time I participated in NaNoWriMo, I forced myself to just write without giving in to my instincts to edit and tinker as I went. I found that it was really good for actually getting a lot done in a short period of time, but as I go back and edit, I also find it a little difficult to get myself back into that same head-space and feel the scene as I did when I wrote it.

I find that writing is one of the most challenging and, yet, rewarding things I’ve ever done (besides having kids, etc.)…so, even though I sometimes get discouraged about the time issues and the writing technique issues, I don’t think its something I’m willing to give up on.


My WIP Has Teeth

“A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight. . . it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, ‘Simba!’”

~Annie Dillard

Yes, quite. Works in progress tend to grow intimidating, their teeth razor sharp, if you don’t stay with them on a regular basis. But I have not been devoured just yet.