Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Does Lots of Writing Time Guarantee Productivity?

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I managed to get a fair amount of writing done back during the holidays. I suspect the biggest reason for this increased output had to do with my having large swatches of time in which to write. I don’t just mean lots of time, I mean large contiguous blocks of time, where I could write interrupted for several hours at a sitting. 

Life usually forces me to sneak my writing in whenever I can, which often means writing in fifteen to thirty minute increments. That kind of piecemeal writing isn’t so bad when I’m tweaking sentences, but it’s not so great when I’m fighting my way through a difficult scene. I scarcely have the chance to figure out where I previously left off before it’s time to quit again. 

With that in mind, sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I won the lottery, quit my job, and could spend all day writing. I’d like to think my productivity would skyrocket, but I suspect it wouldn’t quite work out that way in real life. I believe one of the reasons I enjoy writing is because I have to work so hard just to find the time to write. Would I enjoy writing as much if I had all the time I wanted? If I spent four to eight hours writing every day, would it start to seem like work? Would my passion for writing fizzle after a couple of books? 

I don’t play the lottery, so I guess I’ll never know the answer. 

(Unless my wife inherits a fortune. Then all bets are off.)

ChemistKen



13 comments:

  1. Interesting! I think it may vary, according to the writer or...as you point out...the writer's schedule. I have plenty of time to write, but I do best in short bursts. Glad you got so much done over the holidays!

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  2. The pressure would get to me if that's all I had to do.
    Like you, I also need long stretches of time to write.

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  3. I do wonder what it would be like to be a full-time writer. It would take a lot of discipline not to spend the day watching TV and actually spend it writing. Heh. I would probably do better on the editing part of a full-time writer job than the writing. I can edit for long periods, but I tend to take more breaks when writing.

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  4. I think I'd struggle with Mommy guilt, at least until both kids are in school full time. And then I would need to convince myself that I don't need to clean the house or do laundry or fix this or that, and that my job was really to actually sit there and write. Maybe if I had the money where all the chores were done for me, then I might be able to rock the writing and finally get my books done.

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  5. That is the dream. I wish I would get to it. Then I would not have to find a job to get by in the daily living. I would be living the dream. I really have to work on my mindset with this.

    I think I wrote more when I worked full time than I have since I have been without a job and looking. I need more discipline in my writing.

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  6. Busy people tend to get more done. The longer my to-do list, the more I accomplish as opposed to a day when it's really short and I have time for other things of my choosing.

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  7. I think having all the time to write can be detrimental. You can easily tell yourself you'll get to it later.

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  8. My schedule is arranged so that I do get long blocks of time in which to write (I also do not have much of a social life), but it still takes a lot of discipline to actually sit down and do it. Some days I have that discipline. Some days I do not.

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  9. I already know the answer. Nope, I wouldn't magically write all day every day, but that's because I already know I'm a procrastinator and I need to batch my writing time so I spend all day writing only a few days a week, rather than every day. I will forever 'get back to it tomorrow' if I actually did write all day every day.

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  10. I've actually found the answer is "No" for me. While I often have the time, I don't simply WRITE to write. I have to have inspiration. Currently, I could probably pound away the book I'm working on if I had the time, but in general I need the inspiration first and not the other way around. Even then, I tend to dick around. haha

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  11. I have a lot of writing time, but I was far more productive when my kids were little and I had to snatch time to write during naps, etc. When I have large stretches of time, it's easy to not feel pressured to write, and therefore I'm more lackadaisical about writing.

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  12. I prefer larger blocks of time as well. :)

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  13. I've had seasons where writing happened in snatches, and seasons where it was my full-time gig until the projects were complete to meet deadlines. Truth, there are advantages to both, but you do have to get your brain in writing mode, and for some of us that can take some time. I find that it's like running. I get condition to whatever my circumstances allow. If I can only get in the occasional sprint, my stamina reflects that. Then when long writing blocks come up, I struggle to keep going, having exhausted my burst of initial energy. Longer sessions are definitely more productive overall, but you have to build up the kind of momentum that works for you.

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