writerly quirks

The best thing about being married to somebody who lives with a writer–well, actually, no, not the best thing, but a useful thing–is that being married to someone who lives with a writer means the someone can tell you your bizarre habits and patterns that you’re completely unaware of.

For example, I have a 6-8 week interest period for any given project. Ted pointed this out to me a couple years ago, give or take. I had no idea, although as soon as he said it I went, “Huh, he’s right.” Pretty much any given project, I want to have more or less completed the rough draft in 6 weeks, 8 at the absolute outside. If I haven’t, then I get bored and grumpy and hate it and don’t want to work on it anymore. I want something new and fresh and interesting. And then it can take several months for me to get interested in the original project again.

Most books don’t take me six weeks to write, unfortunately. They usually seem to take about 3 months, maybe 4, and *often* those months are spread out over a great deal more elapsed time than writing time would indicate.

That’s part of why this 20 page a day challenge thing is interesting to me. My thought process right now is to do the challenge for these 2 weeks, then take the next couple weeks more slowly–maybe aim for 100 pages over 2 weeks instead of 200–and then do another two week burst after that. If that *works*, I may be on to something as a rough draft process. My writing, on a day to day basis, tends to be pretty erratic, and always stacked toward the end of the book-is-due period, which isn’t ideal. I don’t think I’ve ever *tried* a 5 day a week work work week with deliberate weekends and Making Time For Me around writing the books. So I’m interested to see how this goes over the next month or so.

2 thoughts on “writerly quirks

  1. Wow Kit, that sounds super familiar.
    I tend to go through research splurges in about the same time. Find interesting new topic ™; invest in books, read everything there is in the known interweb, hassle professionals in the industry…hold peer level conversation on subject—loose interest—next subject please. About a 6 week cycle.

  2. I’ve get a three month expiration date on any given project.

    As such I try to finish all first drafts in three months, all revisions, etc..

    I’m trying to change on revisions to doing them until the damned thing is good (which may take more or less than three months), but I’m still working on it. First drafts usually come in by “deadline,” at least. (In recent years, probably because my first drafts are also getting shorter, I can usually do it in about six weeks.)

    Hope your 20 pages thing works out beneficially for you :)

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