How Do You Write?

Some people have the luxury of being full-time writers and hopefully make a living at it.  Many, however, have to squish out time in the morning, evening, weekends, lunches, from the family, or whenever they have a few moments. All of these options are perfectly valid.  We all have to do what we can do whether it’s 20 words, 2000 or more.  Recently, I felt as though someone was disparaging my ability to produce with a comment about how much they produce daily.  I’m glad that this person has the ability to get the words out.  Right now, I am not able to.  It bugged me enough that I felt compelled to say to all my writerly type friends – to each their own. 

There are days when I am in the zone and not running a thousand errands and I am able to produce great words in good quantities or even good words in great quantities.  But, then there are times when I have family concerns, medical issues, time constraints (plug in whatever in life is slowing you down) and I am unable to produce anything.  When I can work, writing a short story might be no problem.  When life is in the way, I’m doing good to write an email or a blog. 

Is this a problem for someone who wants to write full time?  Of course it is.  And, do we all have to find that balance to have a family, day job, friends and… write.  Yes we do.  Sometimes, we even succeed.  Sometimes, we don’t.  But only we know if we are doing all we can or not; only we can hold ourselves accountable. 

The point, I guess, is – you know what you can do and when.  No one else is privy to the distractions, both serious and frivolous, that hinder you from you’re writing endeavors.  So, do what you can, when you can and don’t worry about anyone else.

2 responses on “How Do You Write?

  1. KylieQ

    Great post, Clancy, and so important that we remember everyone writes differently. When the words are working, I can do up to 5000 in a day (although that’s a rare day!). Other days, I’m lucky if I can scrape out 150 words and I feel as if I’ve bled every one of them. I think it’s also important to remember that it’s not just the external forces – work and family pressures – that affect our ability to write or to find time to write, it’s also the internal forces – grief, depression, anything that messes with our state of mind can also make it difficult to pump out the words.

  2. David C

    I can so relate. Three years ago I consistently did 5000-6000 words a week in 8 hours spread over four nights. Then a lot of personal issues arose in my Real Life. And to top it off, the day job went south, and took my focus with it. These days I’m lucky if I get 2000 words done in the same amount of time, which makes for very slow progress. And there was a long span of weeks in 2010 where I barely averaged 500 words a week, because I kept trying for a big block of time to accomplish the numbers I was getting in 2008. Didn’t happen, though.

    I eventually decided that it’s better for me to work at my project consistently. So if I only get 500 words done in a night, as long as I’m getting that much done every night, and as long as I get at least 4 nights a week in, then I’m okay. Meanwhile, bit by bit, all the outside distractions are getting resolved, and my focus is becoming less fractured. I have hopes of returning to my earlier rates later this year.

    It’s something to shoot for, anyway. 🙂

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