#MidWeekPOV #amwriting #wwwblogs How I Write Part One

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In the interest of better time management and maximizing my writing output, I’ve read a lot of articles and books on how other writers do it. Over and over, I’ve read the first thing you should do every morning is write, to the exclusion of anything else. Most say they take their cup of coffee (Oh, look! They DID make an exclusion, after all. ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and head for their computer/typewriter/legal tabletย (shudder), and start writing. No checking their blogs, no answering emails, nothing to put a damper on the morning’s inspiration and output. To that, I say, balderdash! Tommyrot! And, I don’t theenk so! At least not for me.

I am a tiny bit obsessive about my emails, for one thing. I can put a hold on breakfast, or blogs, or setting up my social calendar, but two things must be done immediately upon starting my day. One, the dogsย must go out. Their needs will not wait for my writing urges to be satisfied.ย  And two, I absolutely, positively have to at least scan my email. I don’t have to answer it right away, unless it’s from someone asking me to come speak to their group, in which case it gets immediate attention. But I do have to scan throughย  it to be certain there are no fires waiting to be put out.

If I were to try to write without at least seeing whatย landed in my Inbox overnight, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate at all. So I run through my mail, deleting what I can, taking care of anything I deem really urgent, and flagging those next-in-line messages to be handled later, when I’m ready to take a break. Then, and only then, do I turn off my email notifier, turn down the volume to almost Mute level, and start writing.

Everyone seems to have a different approach to output, as well. As far asย mine goes, that varies widely from day to day. I don’t set a word minimum, because I’d rather have 100 well chosen words than 1,000 that I’ll mostly end up dumping later. Yes, you guessed it. *blushing, here* I clean up as I go. Make of that what you will. I can’t stop myself, nor do I want to. Dumping tons of unchecked verbiage on the page makes me nervous and unhappy. I like writing a fairly organized and decent-sounding draft. When it’s finished, I will revise. At that point, I’ve been away from the earlier chapters long enough to tackle each one and see the more obvious places that need cutting or better word choices.ย Then I ship them off to my editor who works hand in hand with me on the final cuts and polishes.

How do you do it? Do you tackleย that manuscriptย first thing in the morning, ignoring all else? Do you establish daily word quotas? Do you clean up, at least a bit, as you write, or just pour out everything in your mind and worry with that later? Share your thoughts, if you would, and remember, there are no wrong answers.ย ย I’m just curious as to whether anyone else at all works like I do, orย if I’m ย totally alone in the wilderness, here. As always, inquiring minds wanna know.

37 thoughts on “#MidWeekPOV #amwriting #wwwblogs How I Write Part One

  1. Pingback: #MidWeekPOV #amwriting #wwwblogs How I Write Part One – cherylanne57

  2. My first draft is a semi-mess, no matter how I try to “clean up as I go along.” The reason? I can always find excess info to delete, sentences to reword–a better way of expressing my character’s thoughts and feelings or providing more concise details for “world building.”

    To quote Shannon Hale: “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

    At least, that’s my hope!

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    • If it works for you, I think you’re good. ๐Ÿ™‚ For me, I already have about two dozen boxes of sand: stories in my head from start to finish, just waiting for me to transcribe them to “paper.” So I think of myself more as building houses, then come back later to upgrade those to castles. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I was reading something by one of the better-known mystery writers from a few years back. (Raymond Chandler? I can’t remember. I’ll have to look it up.) He said he edited as he wrote, and seldom needed to change a word by the time he was done with his draft. I can only WISH that were true for me, because I definitely do revise and clean up a bit before it goes on. But it’s usually not too far off what I wanted to say, even then. Of course, when Caitlin gets ahold of it, she doesn’t always agree with me. ๐Ÿ˜€ But that’s fine. That’s what I pay her for. To let me know when my words aren’t as good as I might THINK they are. ๐Ÿ˜€

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      • ps…So do you start to work each day, writing before doing anything else? I think it’s so interesting how we each have our own methods of approaching this craft. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I’ve sat down at my desk every morning this last month with the intention of writing before I even look at emails – and have failed. An hour later I look at the work I did the day before – and start to edit. One step forward, two back. I really must pull myself together.

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    • If it works for you, I wouldn’t worry overmuch. And like you, I often start the day doing some light editing of the previous day’s work. It puts me back into the story, and lets me move forward more easily. I don’t think of it as a step backward at all, so I guess that doesn’t bother me.

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    • Hi, Kim! I’m SO sorry I missed your post waiting for approval. I don’t get notifications of them anymore, so I just now saw it. But you’re officially “approved,” and can post here whenever you want from now on.

      Oh, if I started writing on a challenge, that would probably be it for me for the day. I don’t think I dare do that much. But the email is an absolute must. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in having at least one or two other things I must do before I start writing, though. After reading so many suggestions on the process, I’d started to believe I was doing something really wrong.

      Thanks for taking the time to post!

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  4. I try to write or edit a bit first thing, but after a shower and making coffee. Then I have to wake the boys up and get ready for work. At the weekend I write or edit for longer but often walk the dog first. I never set a word limit as I worry about writing rubbish for the sake of it. However I do try and set goals for the week.

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    • Hi, Eric! Thanks for taking the time to respond. I know what you mean about writing just for the sake of the word count. I don’t like the thought of doing that, either. But weekly goals, now? THAT sounds like a good idea. I have to have some kind of accountability, and that sounds like a reasonable way to handle it, without becoming obsessed each day. Welcome to the blog, and I look forward to getting to know you better.

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        • That’s okay, Eric. Now I’M pinching it off of you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it sounds far less stressful than daily counts, and I’m all for anything that means I beat myself up less. Glad you shared it, and hope you enjoy The Write Stuff. Lots of great, talented folks here, for sure. And me, of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. Again, we are so much alike! I also need to scan my emails first thing, deal with important ones, delete as many as possible, and leave the rest for later. I do it on my smartphone, so I don’t have to fire up the laptop, because then I have to do that terrible inconvenience, called ‘going to work’.
    Haha, of course, for me, that’s not a hardship (except when the weather is awful) because I absolutely love my work.
    Once I’m in, of an evening (or in seriously bad weather), I skim the emails again with the same protocol, and then get down to writing. Or marketing, as I’m doing just now, waiting for the first draft to come back from beta readers. Yes, I know I should be writing the next book/story, but marketing has to come into it somewhere, and with so few hours for my author hat, sometimes it has to take priority for a bit.
    I’ve also read many times that you should just write and never edit as you go, but I can’t do that either. I have to go over the previous day’s work before I can continue. I might be slow, but by the time I have a first draft there’s nothing like as much to sort out. Beta readers have been known to say that my first drafts read like someone else’s finished product.
    That’s kind of them, as there’s always plenty of editing to do, but certainly not as much as the spewers amongst us. If that works for them, great, but I really can’t – I’m an obsessive editor.

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    • We do share an awful lot of ideas and habits, don’t we? ๐Ÿ™‚ But you are better about buckling down to market your work than I. *shudder* I just don’t want to spend my time doing it, and therefore find all sorts of reasons to put it off. GAH! I have to start doing better!

      I agree that if I’ve done some basic clean up and editing as I go, the final revision and then my editing process with my editor go SO much easier. It’s not perfect, by any means, but it sure is less problematic than it would be if I had done none of it. For me, that’s actually the easier way to do it, though I understand others feel very differently about it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Debby. As usual, you add some great insights. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

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  6. Oh, I can’t think about writing until I’ve had a quick look at my inbox. I delete the rubbish first, reply to anything urgent and then I’m usually tempted to read some of the blogs I follow. I tell myself I won’t look at them until I’ve done some work but I can never resist, especially review sites though as my tbr pile would do serious damage if it wasn’t on my kindle and could topple over I really shouldn’t. I do wish I could sit down at my desk and start writing. I’m sure that’s whet happened once upon a time before the blogosphere expanded.

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    • So nice to know I’m not alone in my approach. However, I think you have me beat. Normally, I only do my email first & any posts on my OWN blogs that need an answer. I can’t let myself go looking around anywhere else, or I truly wouldn’t get any writing done. But that email? It calls me. I check mine the minute I hear something come in, when I’m not writing. It’s like hearing the phone or the doorbell. I couldn’t possibly ignore it completely, so must at least look to see if it’s someone I want to talk to or respond to.

      As soon as I’m done scanning mine right now, though, the sound goes off, the notifier is put on hold, and I’ll write. Hopefully all morning. I’ve got another chapter in my head that needs to go down on virtual paper. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for commenting, Mary. It’s fun to see how everyone approaches it.

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  7. I’m with you. I like to check my emails, and social media before I settle down and write. I also like your clean as you go technique. I still get my hands dirty when I go back to edit, and end up dumping or worse, not finishing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so proud that you have finished some great works. BTW, did you draw your header? It is gorgeous! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • OH, I do a good bit of revising when I’m done with the draft, and have had time to think things over a bit, and then, of course, it all goes to my editor and she and I work out each chapter, too. But I can’t just throw down words and leave them lying there in a jumble. I’ve got to tweak as I go, even if I know more will come later.

      No, I didn’t paint this header. I wish! It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it? I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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        • Thank you so much. I do like the general layout that I established from the start, and having a nice big header gives me room to play around with seasonal images, or images of books, and other writerly things. I enjoy that.โ˜บ๏ธ

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          • I play around with mine a lot. I have had a lot of work done on other blogs I’ve managed by a company AARC. Daniel is redesigning mine a little bit to make it more user friendly and professional. It should be ready when I get back from Australia. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

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            • There are a lot of bells and whistles I could add, but I decided I wanted a something straightforward and easy on the eyes. So far, I’m happy with it, though I’m always open to change. Good luck with your redesign and your trip. Sounds fantastic!

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              • I don’t need bells and whistles. My concern is mostly behind the scenes works well SEO kinds of things, building a mail list, links working. I want to monetize it, too so he’s helping me get that started. That and I am graphically challenged! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿธ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿธ I love your new site. It is very professional. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

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                • Those are things I should be working on, too, but frankly, I need a virtual assistant to do that stuff. I really hate every minute that takes me away from writing, except for blogging, which I enjoy as another way to write and reach people. A goal in 2017 is to hire someone to handle that stuff so I can work on my books. I only managed to publish ONE in 2017, and I’m not happy about that! I’d been doing one in the spring and another in the fall, but That Darkest Place (which should have been published last month) is way behind, so fingers crossed I get back on target as soon as it’s “out there.” And a VA would help!

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                • Maybe I should be your VA. I think I am better at marketing and writing non-fiction blog posts than I am at writing fiction. I struggle to write or even work on my books once I’ve finished them, and am not satisfied. I have three or four in the process and nothing finished except the one that hired me to do it. I know my non-fiction may be as good as some books I’ve read, but they are not up to my standards. My fiction – hmmmm. That is like being in a foreign country for me. ๐Ÿ˜

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