Thursday, 23 February 2017

In the Zone

Hope everyone is having a productive February. Despite fierce storms in our neck of the woods, we're getting patches of sunshine and it feels like spring is around the corner, a time of renewed productivity and new beginnings.

I'm just here to give a quick update on my writing progress and also talk about something that's been on my mind. While I've been making fair progress on finishing off the draft of the last part of my trilogy over the last few weeks, with a good few thousand words clocked, I haven't been writing every day. It doesn't happen often, but usually one day a week, and Monday is a big culprit for it. Basically, writing is the reason I get up at 5am; I don't have a good reason to be up at that unseemly time otherwise, and if I'm not feeling the urge then I switch off the alarm and doze for an hour or so instead. If I try and write, and I'm too tired or nothing is coming together, I feel worse about scratching out 50 words that don't take me forward than allowing myself an extra hour in bed.

On other days, which thankfully there seem to have been more of lately, I'm excited to get going and get down a thousand words or more without a break. It's about staying in that zone of being in the story, turning over the possibilities in my mind, staying engaged with my protagonists and their considerable problems. We often hear that it's important to write every day, and it's something that I believe in and try to stick to; however, some days it's just not happening. I also don't write at the weekend, and I've always been like that.

What about you? Are you an inconstant writer, or do you like to get something down every single day? What works for you?

26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If the morning is working, keep at it. I don't blame you for wanting an extra hour of sleep if you just don't feel it though.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

HI Nick - well done - I keep saying to myself ... get up at 5.00 or so ... but it's dark and not very warm, so I settle back in - still the warm and lighter days are coming and I hope that I get going then!

Good to hear your update ... and that Spring does give us that extra 'get up and go' feeling ... glad the weather hasn't smothered you in the white stuff - wonderfully windy down here ... cheers Hilary

The Cynical Sailor said...

Thanks for the update - good to know what's going on with your writing :-) I'm an extremely inconstant writer. I've been trying to cultivate a daily writing habit, but struggling with it.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

My writing is sporadic. I'm like you, I have to be in the zone, or I just stare at the screen or snooze in my seat. But like you, when I do get to put fingers to keys, I usually knock off a thousand words or more. If 500 a day is a good number, we're hitting the mark with our binges.

S.P. Bowers said...

I never write on weekends. I try to be regular about it, but sometimes I'm just too busy. I can either beat myself up over it, or I can accept it and make the next writing session better.

Elizabeth said...

I'm finally getting back to you from your visit to my IWSG post, sorry it took so long. My writing is definitely inconstant. Unless you count the ideas that are constantly floating in the back of my mind. I am trying to get myself to write everyday, but it has been a battle. I do relish those days when the inspiration flows freely.

Patricia Lynne said...

I've very inconsistent. The other day I wrote 1300 words, but it was the first time all week I had written. Usually, the culprit for me is my day job. I'm the kitchen manager so I'm running around for a good 6-8hours trying to make sure everything gets done, so when I get home I am whipped. My brain's just like "Nope, no more."

Susan Kane said...


I write everyday now. It fulfills a blank when migraines kick in. Even then, I can write.

Kindlemom said...

Good luck with your writing!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think inconsistency suits the arts. The moment when an idea strikes, a line mysteriously appears on that notebook you're doodling on, you wake up and HAVE to write even before the first cuppa. I don't think anyone feels like that about their day job - aren't we lucky to be writers!?

Liz A. said...

You are stronger than me. A few times I have said I'll get up early to write, and every single time morning found me not willing to get out of bed.

I used to write every single day. Including weekends. I fell out of that habit, and lately I haven't written a thing. I think we go through cycles. Glad you're in a good writing cycle at the moment.

JeffO said...

Ideally, I write every day, at least a little. Over the last couple of months, I've become less consistent, but I'm finding myself getting more into the swing of things.Good on you for getting your groove back, but don't let any writer knock you for not writing every day--at the end of the day, it's up to each of us to determine what's right for ourselves.

betty said...

I'm not a writer, but your thoughts about the alarm going off and you deciding if it is going to be a good time to write reminds me of my exercise time early morning. When the alarm would go off there would be some of those mornings that were like , "nope, not happening today."

The plus side, it does seem that you are writing and enjoying it at that hour of the morning :) An added benefit, spring is in the air!

betty

Karen Walker said...

I'm like you, Nick. I don't force my writing. When I've tried that, it never works and the writing is terrible. My writing is best when it flows out of me.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, sometimes it's better to get more sleep. I write for a living now, so I have to show up every day and write, but not at 5:00 am.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Good for you! I'm inconsistent because I have too many responsibilities right now that come first.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Do what works for you! I think the process is different for everyone and probably depends on the project, etc.

Michelle K. Pickett said...

I'm just coming out of a huge writing funk (like a year's worth). I'm not sure what happened that put me in such a downward spiral, but writing just lost all its magic for a time. Thankfully, despite a few setbacks recently, I'm in a much better place and find that I'm excited about writing again. As with why I had such a slowdown, I don't know what happened to snap me out of it--other than I stopped being so hard on myself over every. little. thing.

Funny thing, though: I tend to have my worst writing day on Monday and I generally don't write on the weekend, either, unless I get up before my family and log some time (which rarely happens, honestly!). I've wondered if I find writing difficult on Mondays because I don't write on the weekends.

Michelle :)

Kate Larkindale said...

I try to be consistent, but some days I'm just too exhausted to do it. Don't beat yourself up!

Mark Noce said...

It can be tough, especially when life throws you a curve. So long as you can keep writing when the inspiration strikes you, I think you'll be fine:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I try to write something every day, but there are definitely days that I miss, and some days are 50 word days and other days are awesome. Not writing on the weekend makes sense - the most I do when I'm healthy and busy and the weekend is super busy, is maybe a line or two in a journal.

Best wishes with your writing, writing with a schedule that works for you, and for all that you do!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I commit to writing at least one sentence every day. That way there's no pressure. One sentence? I can handle that even on the days I don't think I have much in me. Then once I'm at it, 99 percent of the time I stay and write so much more.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I write almost every day. I do most of my writing at night, after 9 pm. A holdover from my days of having the kids and all their activities to deal with. The only time I had to myself was late at night. Now it's a habit.
Good for you getting so much done.

Sherry Ellis said...

I don't blame you for wanting to sleep. It's hard to be in the creative mode when you're so tired! Like you, I'm sporadic, but that has to do with all of the other things I'm involved with.

I've been doing a lot of writing, lately. I think I may have something for you to look at soon. (I haven't forgotten about the free editing I won.) :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I write every day because that's what I do for a living as a freelancer. But do I work on my novels every day? No! I try to, but I don't get around to it every day, unfortunately.

Heather R. Holden said...

5AM? Wow, talk about dedication! You may not manage to write every day, but you're still working steadily regardless, which is more impressive than upholding a daily schedule that doesn't click with you...