A Writing Life: Writing Advice? Do It Your Way

Monday, July 25, 2016

Writing Advice? Do It Your Way

I spent all last week at the RWA conference in San Diego. As fun as it was to meet new friends, meet with editors, and dress up for the Rita Awards, there were a lot of sessions to attend and much to learn. This business is constantly changing. There is definitely not a finish line on information.

And there's a lot of writing advice out there. Which is not a bad thing. One session I attended taught by Tessa Dare was chock full of great advice for writing romance.

However, over the years I've learned that a lot of the writing process is personal. 

Some writers write a gazillion words a sitting. Some work in one long string of weeks and months straight. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

But that's not how I work. 
How do I work?

1) I map things out with chapters per writing session. My chapters are approximately 2500 words long. I can usually hit that in a two hour writing session. But then I'm out (see #3). Depending on my week, I get 3-5 chapters done. 

2) I have 3 kids. My weekly schedule has some consistency but not always. I can't always say I'm going to write every day or every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I have to look at each week and plan accordingly. (I do live and die by calendars though. It's somewhat of an addiction.)

3) I'm a mover. I can't sit for long periods of time. I may do a two hour writing session but in that two hours, I will switch a few loads of laundry, marinate dinner, or make beds. I'm always thinking of my writing. Sometimes I even move around talking to myself. It helps me get to the next scene of I'm stuck. Sitting there staring at a screen does nothing for me. Moving around does. I'll come back a few minutes later and words flow. My actual writing time adds up to two hours, but it's not always two straight hours of my butt in the chair. HOWEVER, the writing time happens and the work gets done.

If the way you write is working, then do it. Be open to other ideas and try new things if something isn't working. But take any advice as just that - advice. Which means you can take it or leave it.

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