Move along, nothing to see here…


Still hunkered down, dug in.   Between the Day Job, trying to get some serious exercise, and working through the evisceration and reconstruction of Book 5, I barely see or speak to anyone…

But during it all, on and off,  I’ve been thinking, and you know what?

You know, that thing?  Where they say you should be writing every single day, no matter what?  That you should have a set amount of words or pages or something, and every day write that amount at least?

Guess what?
The writers I like best don’t do it that way.

Mostly, the writers whose work I like best will: get an idea, think up stuff, plan stuff out, stew on it, fuss with it at greater or lesser levels of intensity while going about their lives… and then at some point say, “This is it!” and then clear the decks and work on it until it’s done.

And the folks who do it the other way, the every-day-without-fail people — mostly, they tend to write stuff I don’t like much.  I’d name names, but then I’d have to tell you who I think sucks, and there’s not much point in that…

But, in my own work, every time I’ve finished a novel, I did it by dropping everything else.  For a time.

So… kind of nice to know that the writers I like most are mostly like me.

Since I can’t actually quit the Day Job (not quite yet), I’m trying to fool my subconscious into sort-of believing that I have – – for three days a week.

And… let’s give this a couple of months.   See what comes of it.


8 Responses to “Move along, nothing to see here…”

  • Sean Fagan Says:

    Writing every day is generally recommended for new writers, I thought — because the process of going from what’s in your head to words on paper is hard, and doing so reliably is even harder.

    I think it’s safe to say you’ve generally gotten beyond that :).

    • Rosemary Says:

      Sean —

      Actually, I do write every day — but usually it’s just journalizing.

      HOWEVER once I’m in the groove with actual prose, the best thing to do is to keep going! If I exit, re-entry takes forever!

  • cat lyddon Says:

    The problem with not having long periods to write in is that it takes sometimes hours and hours of writing to just fall back into the world and timeline/storyline. About the time you start to flow and create something that DNS (does not suck) it is time to go to the day job.
    But art is demanding and requires much of its slaves. Now stop whining and get to work I am waiting on book 5 damn it.

  • Nathan Says:

    I’m not a fiction writer, but one reason school was so frustrating is that the teaching of composition is similar to the write-every-day variety. When you’re young, it’s outline, notecards, draft, revise, draft. Similar as you get into higher education. Whereas for me that process was useless or worse than useless. I worked best if I could receive the assignment ASAP, read widely on the topic, give myself as long as possible to find an architecture for the paper in my head, to let ideas percolate — I did almost all the prewriting in my head and then quickly banged out a draft that was very close to final. Which of course teachers and fellow students perceived as “not working” until the last minute. But for some reason trying to accommodate the other way, putting everything on paper as I go, always yielded far worse results. Different processes for different processors, I guess.

  • Mike Cross Says:

    As it happens, Jo Walton described her writing process in her post of March 20th ( ) and she too writes in bursts. (From I’ve read, you each like the other’s work.)

  • David Tate Says:

    Good on you. The most annoyingly smug thing I’ve ever read was an essay by a very popular writer of extruded fantasy product, in which he dismissed the idea of writer’s block as mere laziness, and boasted of how he was able to produce X words per day without fail. I’m sure it’s true, but who would want _those_ words?

  • bawa Says:

    we are so looking forward to the results. your writing allows for a lot of re-reading full of new discoveries..