Writing Habits

» Posted on Mar 14, 2007 in Blog | Comments Off on Writing Habits

My writing routine varies depending on if I’m teaching or not. During the school year I come home from work and write each afternoon and into the early evening. I try to do this every day. On the weekend I write throughout the day. I don’t set up how many pages I need to get done. I think that would be confining. I just write. Sometimes I get one or two pages done. Sometimes five or six. Anything over five pages is a good day for me.

During the summer I write throughout the day–seven days a week unless I’m committed to something else. I can work on two projects during the summer while during the school year I find it hard to work on more than one project because my time is limited.

When I write my first draft, I often go back and polish the last few pages I’ve written. That also gets me back into my story. At the end of the chapter I go through it one more time, then move on to the next chapter. So when I’m through with the first draft, I’ve gone through it several times. I usually don’t have a lot of work after that other than what I call tinkering. I make sure everything flows and makes sense, that I don’t overuse a word or phrase. I usually add each time I go into a story. I don’t cut much. That doesn’t mean I don’t throw out pages. I do. It’s just not the norm for me.

When I write at the beginning of a story, I prefer not to have a firm outline in mind at the start. I know where my story is going and I know my characters. I like to see the story unfold at the beginning. Because I submit proposals, I do have to write a detailed outline to send with my first three chapters. Even when I write off an outline, I find I change things about my plot as I get into a story. I like to listen to my characters as I write.

The most important part of my routine over the years is persistence. I don’t like to be away from writing for too long. It is hard to get back into a routine when you do take a long break. I have even been known to work on my vacation. I’ve sat on a beach and written many a chapters. Thankfully I have a great husband who is supportive and understanding of my work habits.

What are your writing habits?