A Writer’s Work…

…how does yours get done?

We all have different work habits. Especially as writers. Are you a hammock writer? A couch potato writer? a Pelleton writer?

Do you write in frenzied binges and spend your other time roaming the beach or the neighborhood looking for inspiration?

How many projects can you (or do you) work on at once? How’s that workin’ out for you?

While working on at least two novels, I also managed to contribute a story to each of these anthologies– one at a time, of course.

I may have felt a little swamped.

I seem to have 2 modes of writing–or doing any major task. In Mode 1 I am keenly focused and dedicated to finishing said task . I won’t do anything else, day after day, until the job is done.

~ OR ~

In Mode 2 I work for a spell on each of my projects, raising them up together level by level until they are all completed.

It seems to be one or the other. I keep at it until the mode of the moment just breaks down; then I switch. Somehow I manage to get things done.

Participating in National Novel Writing Month taught me how to write at top speed and meet word count targets. Putting out a rough draft became a downhill, no brakes, free-wheeling bicycle run where the objective was to land at the bottom without crashing.

Writing for local newspapers and magazines taught me to write well while still meeting deadlines, an even more useful skill. It paid better, too.

As a freelancer writing fiction, I’ve had to learn to create deadlines for myself. It’s the only way I try hard enough to write within any kind of time frame. Alas, these deadlines remain soft, because, as we all know–life intervenes with the best of plans and it does no one any good to bemoan the interference of an emergency with our personally assigned “FINISHED!” line. Still, it is the setting of a deadline that reinforces our determination.

Another skill I am still cultivating has to do with revisions. When someone critiques part of a manuscript I’ve written, I try to implement the changes that work as soon as possible. I create a sub-folder in the folder that holds my manuscript file and deposit the critiqued, marked-up manuscript copy there. I go through and make the changes, then replace the old version with the new in the wip manuscript file. In effect, this marks off a mini-deadline, a benchmark by which I can track my progress and encourage myself to keep moving.

The current deadline for my primary wip is the end of the year. There are deadlines on other projects due between now and then, but that one is calling my name, alternately daring and begging me to meet it.


1) How do you keep yourself motivated to produce? What are your tricks? How well Do they work?

2) What other quirky writing habit/method/process do you use?

Please share your response in the comments below.

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