Writing Habits


We all talk about getting in the habit of writing.  This means forcing yourself to sit down and spew your thoughts onto virtual paper for a certain length of time each day or until a certain word count is reached.

We don’t talk about the other habits that go along with writing very often.

For example, I like to write in my pajamas.  They are warm, comfortable, and I don’t have to waste time unbuttoning and buttoning them every time I have to pee (which is often because I drink a ton during the course of a day).

I have to have my laptop.  If I don’t have my laptop, it’s like my fingers can’t find the keys and my brain, frustrated with the lack of coordination in my fingers, gives up and says “I’m done!”.

I can watch TV.   I can’t watch a movie.  Put on an episode of Ancient Aliens or Monsters & Mysteries in America and my fingers will fly over the keys.  I have never actually seen a complete episode of either.  You put on a movie, even one that I detest to the ends of the earth, and my ability to string together words disappears.

I take a break about every 1,000 words.  This is not a new thing, just a new realization.  I used to think that when the writing was flowing like water through a busted dam, I never stopped.  In recent months, I have come to the realization that I do indeed take a break about every 1,000 words, no matter how well the writing is flowing.  It isn’t a super long break, five or ten minutes and it doesn’t matter if I’ve been writing for twenty minutes or two hours, I take that break.  I stretch my fingers, stand up, whatever.  Mostly it seems to be to collect my thoughts.

What are your habits, good or bad?

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1 Comment

  1. Chadwick and Amy

     /  January 13, 2014

    I’ve struggled with the tension of writing being a purely functional thing… or being something that had a nature and a purpose. Too often, I simply would not write because I didn’t want it to simply be a ‘thing’ that I ‘did’. So… no nouns and verbs would be put together, because somehow I thought that I was being noble to the art of writing, and in effect… nothing would come out.

    That’s a lot of BS really.

    Writing is exercise, and not writing produces nothing but good intentions.

    What I’ve discovered through the discipline of writing is that the nature and purpose of it all comes from entering into it. Not expecting perfection… but simply writing… and leaving the later work of editing to become an art in itself.

    Write on….

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