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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Work Habits of an Author

First, I'll be honest, I have used this blog before at my site. It's been a long time because some things have changed since I first wrote it.

Most mornings, I'm up by 7:30 (there are exceptions both earlier and later), I fix breakfast for my hubby and wash the dishes. Next, I fix my coffee and take a pill waiting thirty minutes before I can have breakfast. During this time I check email, visit Facebook, check MySpace, Twitter and Ning to read more messages and answer them. After that, I have breakfast and wash up the dishes.

Next, I shut down my main computer and boot up my laptop because that's where I do my real work. Write. I never read email or send email from my laptop. I do try to work on my website and blog from my laptop, so I won't be interrupted.

I re-read my work from the day before and make changes if needed, then I write. If I have two to four hours to write in, I consider that a good day. It's rare that I can write all day, but once in a while I'm able to, and then I'm ecstatic. There are times when nothing gets done due to life's interruptions.

It takes me a half hour to write one page, so if I write for two hours I can get four pages done. It's rare if I get eight pages done because it's hard to carve out that much time to write in.

Here are other authors work habit:

Author, Scott Spencer:

I work every day, from ten in the morning till I'm done with my pages. I try not to write beyond a certain point. It's my experience that if I write too much in one day it kills a couple of days work for after that. I like to keep myself to three or four pages a day.

Author, Gore Vidal:

First coffee. Then a bowel movement. Then the muse joins me.

LOL I had to laugh at that one.

Here are two quotes by James Thurber:

My usual method. . .is to spend the mornings turning over the text in my mind. Then in the afternoon, between two and five, I call in a secretary and dictate to her. I can do about two thousand words. It took me about ten years to learn.

I never quite when I'm not writing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, "Dammit, Thurber, stop writing." She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph.

My belief is that everyone works differently, but we all have to write. There's no getting away from it even if we wanted to. Writers write, we may be unhappy writing, but we're even unhappier not writing. My husband started me on this path, and he had no idea the monster he was creating. Smile.

Author, H.G. Wells:

There comes a moment in the day, when you have written your pages in the morning, attended to your correspondence in the afternoon, and have nothing further to do. Then comes the hour when you are bored; that's the time for sex.

This was another quote that amused me. Smile.

Author, Truman Capote:

I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.

Author, Annie Dillard:

I work mornings only. I go out to lunch. Afternoons I play with the baby, walk with my husband, or shovel mail.

As you can see everyone has different work habits. What is yours? This question is not just for writers, everyone is welcome to share their schedule.

That's all for today.

Sandy AKA Sandra K. Marshall


jean hart stewart said...

Love to read about other writer's work habits. Guess I'm not so strange after all. I do my thinking in the middle of the night and then write in the daytime. Works for me....Jean

Gina/Katherine said...

I call mine the 'OCD' method. I'm obsessed with my writing. I write before work, during my breaks at work, after work 'til dinner, after dinner 'til bedtime and then start the process all over again the next day. It's a vicious cycle but it works for me.

Fran Lee said...

I am happy to see someone who has control of their writing...I sure as heck don't! LOL! My muse sleeps all day and only comes out to play at midnight...and by then I'm to tired to cooperate. Sigh.

Sandy said...

No, you aren't, Jean. Thanks for stopping by.

Whatever works is best, Gina. BTW, I like your spelling of Katherine. It was my mother's name. Thanks for the comment.

Oh, Fran, I'm much more like you. Smile.

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