Get My Books at Amazon

Friday, March 11, 2011

Paradox

I attempted to unplug. I did for awhile.

I got some work done tonight. Not very much. Only about 2,000 words. I was hoping for more like... 10K. So that's a fail in my mind. I have some time left to write tonight, so I might still get some done. I'm blaming my lack of enthusiasm on the past few weeks, and trying to switch gears from business and logical thinking to more creative type stuff.

But I'm taking a break, because my brain has requested it of me. So, I thought, hey, why not let you all in on my writing process since people are asking me a lot about said writing process?

Okay. Here's how it works:

I sat down at 8 PM to write. But first I had to move around in my office so it was just so. I printed off the outline for the book I'm working on and reread it. I also played with my cat. I listened to my 90s playlist really loud, mostly skipping to the Gin Blossoms tracks.

I wrote for about 15 minutes. Then I checked twitter. I donated some money to the Red Cross and bid on some auction items by Mark Hoppus. Eric came in to tell me something. I don't remember what. But he scared me because I was listening to Sonic Youth so loud I didn't hear him come in.

Then I turned off the internet and vowed to get some work done. I wrote straight for about 20-30 minutes. I sang along to "Until It Sleeps" by Metallica.

I tried to avoid the internet, so I started watching Inception on my iTunes. I skipped around to my favorite parts (which are mostly towards the end where Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fighting people or the music is being really dramatic or Tom Hardy is being sassy). I thought about how either the movie doesn't make any sense or Christopher Nolan is a genius.

Then I wrote again for about 10 minutes straight, but then I gave up to watch Inception some more. I bid on more Mark Hoppus stuff. And I played on twitter.

Now I'm writing a blog. And that's the last three hours of my life. I've maybe written about an hour of that. And I've definitely spent more time being plugged in than I have being unplugged.

But I will most likely continue the pattern of writing for a period of time, then screwing around, then writing some more. Hopefully, though, as I get back into it, the time I spend writing will grow longer (like an hour or two at a time instead of 15-20 minutes at a time.).

And that is how I write a book.

38 comments:

  1. Sounds like my process, too! Although the day I write 10K will clearly be a sign of the end times. LOL Good luck with the book!

    - Liz

    ReplyDelete
  2. Soldarity in the process. That's an inspiring thing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sympathies! Familiar with the problem.

    My laptop has a little sliding button that turns off the wireless internet.

    I need to use it more often. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha ha :) I'm with Christopher. I love how familiar and real-life this is. Plus Inception is a fantastically distracting movie.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, hey, we all do what works best for us. I get easily distracted while writing too. Even so, 2000 words isn't half bad for an hour's work. I'd settle for that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds a little too familiar.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds about right. I've been "finishing" my book for two weeks. It's worse when you know that last 10K's all you need to finish; such knowledge grinds your creativity to a halt if you let it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're working up to it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amanda, keep doing what you are doing - it's working :o)

    Josin, I know exactly what you mean. I'm on the last few thousand words of my book, and have decided to change the ending; it's become hard work. I'll be so pleased when I get there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yep, sorta how I write. I write for a half hour to an hour, then give my wrists a break. Maybe get a drink, watch a StarCraft 2 replay or something, then get back to it. If I'm stuck in a book or story, I take a bath or go for a walk.

    It's tough to unplug. Especially since I often have many tabs in Firefox open when I'm writing so I can reference things easily or look anything up that I might need.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for sharing. This really helped me. Professors have told me that the best writers are procrastinators. By this logic I am amazing. Bah!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a relief it is to find out I'm perfectly normal.

    ReplyDelete
  13. LOL. hwne I am writing I can not have music on. haha. I could go nutts. its the ADHD in me!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Some stream of consciousness exercises would definitely help. That's where you continuously write what you hear without stopping. It is primary a listening exercise (isn't that 99% of the writing process?), and it will help you get your focus back. It is amazing the gems you will discover deep inside of you.

    S.E. Gordon
    http://segordon.blogspot.com/
    http://www.segordon.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's absolutely amazing how much you manage to do throughout your day!

    It's also wonderful that you're willing to share with your followers.

    Congratulations on your astounding success! :) I actually read about you and your books in a Gotham Writers newsletter!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi :) That sounds like me doing my math homework, haha. I just noticed that you had a blog from Amazon, and was so excited! I really loved the Trylle trilogy.

    Keep writing!

    ~Ani

    ReplyDelete
  17. The fact that you write is amazing. It is an amazing gift you have been given, and I am grateful that you share it with us! Just saw a local interview you did, that I found on YouTube and wanted to tell you, you are such a cutie!!! I love your cute haircut! I am a 30 something mom who loves to escape with your books. Keep up the good work, Girl! You are doin great!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This process sounds very familiar...wait, it sounds like mine! Though, my process includes extra cats. I wrote the first draft of my book in about four months. I got myself a pair of cats and now it's taken me two years to get through the editing! Every two seconds one of them is bugging me for attention.

    Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This sounds eerily like my writing process! :D

    ReplyDelete
  20. Working 1/3 of the time is pretty good. Also, cats are an essential part of the writing process.

    I'm always surprised by how many other people can listen to music or even watch TV while they are writing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 2,000 words I'd consider an accomplishment for myself, ahaha:) That's actually the goal I set for myself earlier this morning since I've been neglecting my writing. It amazes how much you're able to get out in one day.

    I have just about 14,000 words to go and then I'm done with my first full length novel!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Rock on. You just described my morning.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I try to write like 500 words a day. 10K is unimaginable. You are extremely dedicated.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Gin Blossoms, Mark Hoppus, and Inception. I think you described my heaven...

    ReplyDelete
  25. I try not to keep track of how much time is spent writing compared to... not writing. I think we all agree the ratio tips in the balance of other tasks.

    However, I do make myself get up and move around once every 30 minutes or so. As Miss Bingley said, "it is very refreshing after sitting for so long in one attitude."

    ReplyDelete
  26. So the distractions are a good thing? Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Been there, done that. Sometimes we'll do anything to get out of writing, much as we love it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. At least you wrote 2000 words. I consider that a good night!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yea unplugging is hard. Best run of writing I've done is away from any computer, at the kitchen table with blanco papers and pen in hand. You won't be distracted working like that and you'll do much more work than you otherwise would. The bad is you'll have to type it all over on the computer, this takes time and you'll be plugged in again.

    Maybe cutting your i-net cable or putting a hammer at work on the modem will help plugging off.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank god, I thought I was slacking off horribly!! That sounds exactly like me lol. I'm always eating snacks and food and watching bits of Ghost In The Shell episodes, Young Indiana Jones, or online stuff in between writing or now composing score music since I got Philharmonik on my laptop. Music producing sometimes rivals my writing, but writing is what I'm best at.

    I don't get much done at a time unless I force myself, after which I gradually get back into it until I'm "in the zone", as I call it and then I can write for hours because I'm so into my characters' heads.

    So I guess I shouldn't feel too bad. My last book took me 1 whole year to finish. The one I'm working on now is taking less than 6 months, so I'm doing more writing than I was.

    Keep at it!! Everyone has a different process and there's no wrong way to go about things.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am actually pretty good once I start writing. Sometimes it takes a while to start. Check my email. Read a few web sites. You know the drill. Once I go, I go until I hit my word count.

    Somehow I keep finishing books. SO I guess it is working.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have to write first then answer my email or get on the internet. My muse is actually a guy eating an apple who unplugs my modem. If I get by him--no I don't know his name--I never get off the internet. Mostly researching.
    I love your blog.
    Amanda, I was sure hoping you didn't plot out your stories--I have an idea how mine might end. But my characters surprise me. Might be why you are a major success (congratulations!) and I am---still on the journey! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  33. I know I'm not alone in the world when it comes to distractions. Of course my biggest one is the day job.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am a beginner in writing..need to have a lot of drill.
    will learn from you.

    ReplyDelete