Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are you an "everydayer" or a "weekender"?

I've had it stuck my brain for years now that serious writers, e.g. writers that are serious about pursuing publication, are the ones that write every day, rain or shine, inspiration or not. They don't just "find" time, they "make" time. They treat their writing time like an important appointment in their calendar that they can't miss.

I really admire everyday writers and I've strived for years to achieve that. And I can, for short-term deadlines like NaNoWriMo. But I tell you, last year when I made a New Year's Resolution to write everyday, if only 200-300 words, I was never more miserable. Uninspired, I logged my 200-300 words a night, forcing out stuff mechanically. I soon gave up. It was too painful. And the words were awful.

I absolutely admire writers who write everyday. I think the world of you guys. But I'm not wired that way. I'm wondering how many others might not be wired that way either, and yet are still very serious about their writing? I have finally discovered my niche, and while it's not what I aspired for originally, I'm my happiest and most creative (and most productive) as a weekend writer.

Yup, it sounds lame. Weekend writer. Kind of like "fair weather friend." But I've been happily churning out roughly 3000 words each weekend so far this year. Turns out, the first hour that I sit down to write, nothing really good comes out. It takes me at least an hour, sometimes two (the hour or two that everydayers would be busily typing away during) to re-read, chew things over, frame a new scene in my mind, peck out a few words, stop and re-frame, and then finally FINALLY the words start to roll. So I need the time a weekend gives me - four or five hours minimum - to get any useful writing accomplished. I just don't work well in smaller increments of time, even though theoretically writing everyday keeps the mental wheels well-oiled and ready to write. (Might be different though if I didn't have a day job).

So how about you guys? Do you consider yourself a weekender or an everydayer or do you have a far more creative term for whatever type writer you are? I'd love to hear!

Another quick reminder, I have a giveaway open for a chance to win two books of your choice.

23 comments:

  1. I've never been an every day writer. I try but I fail. Even during NaNo (which I won), I didn't write every day. I just can't. My brains need rest. I wrote over 10k in one weekend so I think I'm good with weekend writing. I don't work on the weekends so writing is my main priority.

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  2. I go through spurts -- but I tend to do more writing every day (or at least five days a week) than not. I think as long as you're regularly writing, that's what counts...you've found what works for you. There are plenty of everyday writers who'd be happy to produce 3000 words a week, I'm sure! I bet you have some of them beat. :)

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  3. I'm a one day a week writer if I'm lucky!! :-)

    Yay for your writing schedule!! 3000 words a week is amazing!!! Well done you!! I'd settle for even 50 the rate I'm going!! Take care
    x

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  4. Yeah, I don't write everyday either. I write when I can which is less often than I'd like, but more often than I should (given my other commitments). :)

    I like that you figured out what works for you. No sense in trying to live out someone else's life, right?

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  5. I am trying to be an everydayer...even if I only do a little revising here and there. I'm trying to do some of it at work too when I have a few free moments. But I do my biggest chunks on weekends.

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  6. I only write every day if you count the grocery list as writing :) If I'm super into a novel and I decide to set a goal to get a certain amount done, I definitely can write every day, but I don't do that often (and when I do, it's usually only in two-three week increments).

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  7. I say do what works for you! In my case it was when I put down my foot and decided to approach this like a full time job that things really started working for me.

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  8. I'm so glad you found your niche! I tried to be an everyday writer as well but found that it was too difficult to shift gears and get in the mode. Instead, I take aside a couple of days where I spent several hours writing and try to jot down notes of inspiration or re-read paragraphs on others.

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  9. I'm a write-when-I-wanter. If I want to write every day for a week, I write every day for a week.

    If I don't. I don't.

    There is no use wating my time writing something pathetic that I will have to spend weeks on editing out later.

    Not when I can take my time off to figure out where my story is headed or to prevent a break-down. ;-)

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  10. I'm an everydayer (except Sunday). I don't set a word count for myself. I just have to sit at the computer and try for 15 minutes, which usually turns into a lot more time.

    I admire your kind of writing though--I could never focus for five hours. Wow!

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  11. I'm an everydayer, but I usually don't get much work done on Sundays, especially if I read first. Sometimes I get too caught up in the book and then it's too late to write.

    But I'm lucky. I'm a stay-at-home mom (who really should spend more time cleaning than writing). I don't know how I would balance everything if I weren't. Between the writing, reading, studying the craft, and blogging for two blogs, it's pretty much a full time job (actually I spend more time on these things than I did when I worked 45+ hours a week). Fortunately my husband is very supportive of my non-paying career. ;)

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  12. I try to write every day, but I know that's not always going to happen, so I don't stress about it. As long as I'm making fairly good progress throughout the week, I feel like I'm accomplishing something. Then, there are always those weeks where I don't feel like writing at all. Right now I have the luxury to go with that, but some day, I'll probably have to buckle down a little harder :)

    And wow! Great job on the 3k words a week!

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  13. I can't say every day. More like 6 days a week. I'm forgiving. If I have a busy day, I accept I won't be writing. We have to write how it works for us!

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  14. I am a "schedule" writer. I plan my week on the week end and do my best to stick with it. However things happen and I don't always fall right on those scheduled writing. When those moments happen I try not to stress over them because I know I will make it up eventually.
    Now when I'm working on a first draft, it's whenever my muse is wide awake. If I'm somewhere I couldn't write right away I make notes as to not to forget the awesome plot twist that I've got.
    I think anything that works for you is the best. There is a reason why everybody is different and success stories vary from each other. :)

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  15. I would love to write everyday, but don't. I try, but life gets in the way. I do find that when I really get into something I can write in binges and get a lot done.

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  16. I'm a weekdayer: I write M-F. I spend the weekends with family and friends, running errands, doing something fun, and basically "filling up the well" as Julia Cameron says. :)

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  17. Lots of variety here! Thanks for sharing everyone!

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  18. I'm more of an every-other-dayer. I might also write in spurts, a few days on and a few days off. There are so many factors affecting my writing.

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  19. Ain't nothing wrong with a 'weekend writer', Margo! 3,000 words a week will get you a novel in about half a year. Given that some people take four, five years to write a novel, that's pretty darn fast.

    Up until recently I was a write-when-lighting-strikes kinda guy, and when that lightning struck I would write for about five or six hours a day until my novel was finished. Then seven months would pass with little done, until boom, lightning would strike again and another novel would explode on the page.

    Which is why I'm doing this 1,000,000 words in one year challenge, why I'm endeavoring to write about 2,740 words/day, every day, come rain come shine. I want to develop a little more discipline, treat writing more like a craft and less like a mystical experience. And you know what? Thus far it's working out great.

    So! February is up next, with a whole new novel to go with it. If you want to see how I'm doing, check in at First Million Words. Would love to have you drop by!

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  20. I don't think "making time" necessarily has to mean writing every day. It can mean, as you said, writing on the weekends (and writing more than you typically would if you were writing on a daily basis). it can mean writing after the dishes are cleaned or homework is done, or that one morning a week when you wake up extra-early before anyone else. It just means making time, no matter WHEN that time is.

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  21. Yes, you totally have to find what works for you. There is literally no other way to do it. I write every day, but only because I have those stretches of time during the day (when the kids are in school). If not, I would have to be a weekend writer too, for the same reason - I can't write in short bits of time. This is why I don't get much done in the summer when the kids are home. :)

    Keep going! You're doing great!

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  22. Definitely not an everyday writer. I think if/when I have a deadline that changes, like when I was doing MS revisions for my agent, but when I'm purely motivating myself and nobody is waiting on me, weeks can go by without those computer files being opened...

    Sigh. I do admire those with schedules and discipline but it doesn't come naturally I'm afraid.

    Fellow Crusader saying hi, by the way!

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