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I want to learn the discipline of writing & the environment.

Always wanted to write books & have many ideas yet it’s the pattern that defeats me.
Questions to all writers - here we go.

1) Computer/ laptops or handwrite
2) Daytime or nighttime
3) time spent writing on amount of words or time in hours
4) get a publisher or self publish
5) locked away in a room or wander different places
6) timeframe to give your self or just open
7) ask opinions or just go for it

That’s off my head - thanks peeps
They maybe small things but as they say - ‘ if you think small things in life don’t matter, you have never slept with a mosquito ‘
dAZ
 
Mother Tree
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I'm in the throes of getting one place ready to sell and simultaneously renovating the new place.  There's no way I can concentrate enough to do anything other than make an occasional post, or possibly a book review, at the moment.

I have plans, however.

I'm designing my own writing room, a little haven where I'm surrounded by very comfortable, relaxing, nurturing, personal stuff with all I need to rest and dream and create right at hand.  With a window overlooking my garden.  The plan is to set up a routine where I have several hours a day devoted entirely to myself and that room, doing whatever I need to do to get the muse flowing.  Not every day, of course.  I'm certain there will be plenty of days were we just say 'Hey, fancy a trip out somewhere?' and disappear off until nightfall.  But having a special hidey-hole that's for my own personal growth and creative development and a routine that helps me do all the things I really want to do without overloading me and that specifically gives me time to concentrate on my writing without feeling that I should be doing something else is, hopefully, going to let me finally do all those things I've dreamed of doing but not actually achieved yet.  Mostly, get that book finished!

As to your list, my current thoughts are...

1. laptop - I can curl up with a laptop and my thoughts flow through my fingers to the screen much more freely and fluently that way. also easier to edit and share.

2. daytime - my sleep cycle is only just beginning to recover and I'm still chronically exhausted.  I'm trying to get back into sleep-while-it's-dark-and-enjoy-the-daylight mode

3. time spent helping the muse flow, and allowing it to do so - by which I mean I'll give myself a set time to retreat and nurture myself with the aim of getting my head in the right place to write.  if that means sleeping, so be it.  or yoga, or playing the harp, or curled up with the laptop bashing ideas or chapters out. I'll just do whatever feels right at the time

4. offer it to one publisher I happen to like. if she's not interested I'll self publish

5. hiding in a room, no lock, no door.  hate doors... I will, however, set a routine that involves time walking on the mountains, time nurturing my garden, time nurturing my home and my family.  

6. no time-frame, just building a habit of devoting time to the project, and learning to see it as self-indulgent me-time

7. just go for it. I'm fine reading other people's ideas and opinions, but ultimately I'm wring my book and living my life.  and I'm weird, and different, and only shine when I'm allowed to be myself.  
 
Darren Halloran
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What a reply Burra you have inspired me - thank you
dAZ
 
pollinator
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Darren Halloran wrote:

1) Computer/ laptops or handwrite
2) Daytime or nighttime
3) time spent writing on amount of words or time in hours
4) get a publisher or self publish
5) locked away in a room or wander different places
6) timeframe to give your self or just open
7) ask opinions or just go for it




I have written two books, with two in the works in various stages of completion, and two more books I hope to write.


1) I handwrote my first book, but the rest have been on a computer or laptop. I prefer the latter...


2) I am a morning person, so my alone time is early in the morning. It is not ideal as sometimes it takes a cup of coffee, and an hour to get my brain really thinking, but I cannot think of a better time to write...for me.


3) I have heard people say they should be forceful in writing, but for me I only have passion when I am interested. I wrote a 200 page memoir in only a few months, and found out on the revision it needed little work, because I was passionate. I used to beat myself up about not putting my nose to the writing grindstone, but if I write junk, what is the point. I write when I feel like it now with no guilt.


4) I prefer to self-publish. I have heard too many people who have been scammed, and it fits in my life method of, "doing as much for myself as I can."


5) I write at the kitchen table, but my words are formed long before that. My therapy has always been getting outside so as I hike along, words, lines, sentaces, paragraphs and chapeters form, then I write it down at the kitchen table.


6) This goes along with my other rant I suppose, but I write when inspiration hits so it does not matter to me if a book takes a few months, or several years. I once wrote a short story, but could not figure out the ending, until 22 years later. To me it is no big deal, seldom in life does great things happen, when there is a hurry. Books and stories to me are similar.


7) I feel another rant about to start, but this is a huge pet peeve for me. I have seen this, and been roped into it, and that is people asking questions online when I know they are in the process of writing a book. In some cases I stay mum, but I do so because a book should be from them; their ideas, or their research, not my opinion. Whether we as writers like it or not, we assert ourselves as being an authority on what we are writing (for non-fiction anyway), and so it should be our work, not the opinions of others. Besides, a lot of people comment on things they have never really done, so does their opinion really matter? I am guilty of this myself. I have replied to micro-hydro questions, but I have never done it! I have a keen interest in it, and worked on major hydrodams, but I honestly should stay mum for online replies to micro-hydro questions. I would think it was amiss if some writer took what I wrote about micro-hydro dams and used it in a book, so with that in mind, I would never use someone's reply online to something I am writing about. It is a form of stealing intellectual property in my opinion for one, and lazy writing to boot.

If someone does seem to be an authority on a topic you are writing about, the better thing to do is befriend them, and then ask them to help you in your writing quest privately. That is then research, and acceptable, compared to just stealing their opinion and manipulating it with words to sound as if it is your opinion.
 
pollinator
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Darren Halloran wrote:I want to learn the discipline of writing & the environment.



Keep listening to Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan which will help immensely! :-)

 
gardener
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There was a time I wrote for fun and for love (short stories, poetry, novels) but nowadays I write for money. It is my full time job, and the difference is night and day.
My contribution is therefore a bit more about logistics than ideas/agent/etc.

Back in the day when it was for fun, I journaled and made sure to write every day even when I wasn't feeling it. I hand wrote and typed both.
Today, working 40+ hours a week writing, it is more like a well-oiled machine. I don't have the artistic challenge of searching for inspiration and ideas I had in the past, as I work exclusively with nonfiction now and often it is rewriting a text that is already there (translation), but it is still a creative endeavor and I need to take good care of my brain or else the machine grinds to a halt.

Thanks to getting old, hand writing is one of the more painful things I can do. I like to save my hand strength for kitchen and garden work, so I type. In any case, the volumes I work with mean there is no question my life is digital (although when I started as a translator, I was using pencils and paper, I do remember). My setup is EXTREMELY ergonomical. I invest lots in my computers and in my software, as this is my work and I want to be as efficient as possible.

I have to know myself to know when I have the best ideas and when I am better at doing donkey work. Early in the morning, pre-breakfast, I write the best. I save the most creative work for then. I am great at editing later on, having a clear eye for slicing, dicing, and rewriting. I schedule nothing besides work in the morning, and in the afternoons, when my attention isn't that great, I don't push myself to work. You may be more creative at night. It's worth exploring.

I also schedule in rest and refreshment. You can't work when your brain is not feeling it. Green to look at, a garden to walk in, physical work to clean out all the icky ideas clogging up your head. I do pilates classes and schedule regular exercise, because I need to keep my arms and hands healthy, but it is a great mental focus exercise as well.

Lastly, music is really important for me to get work done. I listen to a wide range of stuff depending on my mood, my tasks, the pace I need. I have a lot of background noise here in the 'burbs that needs drowning out, and music is delightful so why not.

(in a nutshell- explore and find out what works for you. You will find all sorts of interesting things out there about what other people do, but only you will know what works for you. and a PS, Brain Pickings has published some very interesting blog posts about the habits of great writers, you may enjoy reading some. https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/11/20/daily-routines-writers/ )
 
pollinator
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All of these depend on your comfort levels. Honestly, you'll have to find your own way. Someone else's way probably won't work.

1) Computer/ laptops or handwrite   I use a laptop, my niece hand-writes--and then has to type everything in, which for some writers is a good thing because they edit as they type. One friend completely retypes everything on each draft.
2) Daytime or nighttime     I tend to do my best writing in the morning, but that is also my busiest time.
3) time spent writing on amount of words or time in hours     I can do 2000 words an hour without effort, BUT I had to work up to that. If you decide to use daily word count, decide where your comfort level is and increase it by 100 words.
4) get a publisher or self publish     I chose self publishing for a number of reasons--more control over content, more control over marketing and cover. If there's any profit I get it. Downsides are you have to do all your own marketing (which is a problem for a severe introvert, but I'd have to do most of it with a "publisher" as well) and either do your own editing or pay for it to be done by someone else. A publishing house should take care of the editing (if they don't, they're probably not legitimate).
5) locked away in a room or wander different places     I have an office. I can write anywhere, but at least here I can close my door.
6) timeframe to give your self or just open     I have a writing schedule, but if I get an idea I have to write it down. One thing I've done in the past is word-wars, where I (or a group if that is available) will set a time limit and try to beat word count.
7) ask opinions or just go for it     Go for it, leaving options open for opinions later if you get stuck.

And be patient! I've seen far too many authors, excited by their first draft, kick it onto a publishing platform when it's simply not ready, or send a first draft out to agents. Once you have the finished work, set it aside while you work on something else, then go back to it after a few weeks or months and read it through. All the way through, without stopping. If possible, put it on audio (pdf has a reader) and listen to it while you take notes. You'll catch things you never imagined were there, like plot discrepancies or inaccurate information. I always catch awkward sentences that way, and word choice problems.

If you're the kind who dashes out a draft in a week, that's fine. If you're the kind who takes years to finish something and edits as they go, that's fine too. Just be honest with yourself about the quality of the writing, and if you don't see any flaws in it at least get someone to evaluate it before you kick it out into the world.
 
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1) Computer/ laptops or handwrite



I think differently depending on which medium I write with.

  • A typewriter takes a tremendous amount of physical effort just to finish one page of text.  Correcting on a typewriter is neigh impossible.  I have to know how the sentence will end before it begins.  It's not easy.  
  • Paper, pen and ink are fastest and allow me to be most creative, drawing pictures, scratching out stuff, circle and arrow into a different order.
  • A computer is a dedicated space.  I rip the cable out of the back to remove the internet.  But also, it's good to leave it in so I can fact check as I go along.
  • portable computer - also good because a change of scene is often needed for changing the patterns of the mind.


  • I'll often rewrite passages in different mediums.  If it needs expanding, I might write it on the computer.  If it's too wordy, I'll rewrite it on the typewriter.  

    But of all the methods I tried, I like the typewriter best.  It's a dedicated writing tool.  I sit at it and there's nothing else to do but write.  I put my finger on the keys, and I type "this page is no longer blank" at the top and after that, things fall out of my brain, past my fingers, and knock the keys down.  Sometimes ideas fall between the keys and get lost, but that's okay because the idea wasn't strong enough to put on paper anyway.  
     
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    Get a copy of Steven Pressfield's The War of Art and put it on your desk. Do the same with Anne Lamott's  Bird by Bird. When you need a shot in the arm pick up one of these books and open it to anywhere. Trust me.

    The easy part of writing is getting everything ready, but at some point it's like, "Oh yeah. I guess I need to sit down and actually write something."
     
    r ranson
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    2) Daytime or nighttime



    alone time.

    any sliver of time I can snatch for myself.  Like licking crumbs off the plate after everyone else had their slice of chocolate brownies.

    Some people... heck most writers, say that they need a time that is theirs.  A set time tells their brain - okay brain, this is writing time.  My brain isn't good with time.  Time means the seasons of the year or, if we want to get really precise and small, the time when the sun is up and the time when it ain't.  

    I write in the small moments while waiting for the tea to steep or the empty space between things that need to be done and things that must be done.  It's like knitting a sweater - If I keep my knitting needles with me, I can knit while waiting in line at the grocery store, or in the doctors office, or lunch break, or when an idea pops into my head on the drive home, I pull over in the nearest parking lot and jot it down.  Okay, the analogy got a bit lost there.  But basically, the time I write is any and every time I have.  I keep a pen and notebook and spare ink in my bag.  If I need to write, I write.  If I had a dedicated time to write, I wouldn't write so much.  I would save up the ideas then build up pressure to get it all down in the set time.  But fail.  

    But others need set time.  

    Experiment and find the time that works for you.
     
    pollinator
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    Ha, Great stuff in this thread!

    Not to answer the main questions but just to add an odd observation I had years ago. I had my best (spectacular) ideas when reading fantasy novels. You know, the ones about dragons and fairies, and where stuff happens that cannot happen. That opened my mind to look at everything differently.

    To me being creative is to break out of the mold we've been cast into. To first entertain the impossible or improbable... To then discover new ways.

    Good luck with the writing! It's an art!
     
    gardener
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    I definitely do most of my writing on the computer now, but that is certainly not how I started out.
    I tend to write when I'm inspired, or when I think the world needs some outside the box thinking, since I've always tended to see things from a different perspective than most.
    I love to inject a little humor into serious subjects. I like to believe it's like that spoonful of sugar helping the medicine got down. Certainly it seems to have helped me get my 'letters to the editor' published, which may not seem like much to a serious writer, but it still confirms that I can say things clearly enough to get my point across.
     
    pollinator
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    Most of my writing always had  _lot_ of rewriting. Sometimes whole pages got moved, sometimes para's got chopped in half and each half went it's own way. A computer is easier to do that on.

    It helps make a good product (work, master piece, whatever) if you trust a few people to kick the sh** out of your efforts on a semi-regular basis. Really, we all (least me and that's the same, right... <g>) fall into some habits that just aren't that good or helpful. And seeing our own ruts doesn't work. So finding people who can actually maul your work intelligently in ways you can accept will help improve your writing a lot.  Even the ones that just say "Huh??? I don't get it..." do you a great service.

    Read. Read. Read. All kinds of different stuff. Be quick about it because there's so much more wonderful wonderful writing out there. After a hundred books or so, you'll start to "see" stuff, some of the bones and sinews of the work. And you'll pick up tricks you like and styles that feel good to you.

    And, as they used to say (it may even be true), write like  you talk. Or maybe vise versa.


    Sky's the limit.
    Rufus
     
    Rufus Laggren
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    r ransom

    I forgot to say.

    > "this page is no longer blank"

    I LOVE it. Great, Great way to by  golly START. <GG>


    Thank you for that!
    Rufus
     
    r ranson
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    Don't be afraid to print out your text.  Sit in the middle of a (hopefully clean) floor with a pair of scissors, a big roll of kraft paper, and some glue.  Sometimes physically moving the text around, cutting paragraphs apart, glueing them to a huge bit of paper, and writing around the existing text transforms okay writing into something powerful.

    If I have writers' block, I pull out a great big sheet of kraft paper and write down everything I know on the topic.  Sometimes I'll bring in props and just describe them.  Then, I'll put the paper on the wall and put them in some sort of order.  
    IMG_1098.JPG
    [Thumbnail for IMG_1098.JPG]
    IMG_1100.JPG
    [Thumbnail for IMG_1100.JPG]
     
    author
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    My advice is: Whatever works for YOU is the best way.

    Of course, the only way to know what works for you is to try all different ways -- computer, typewriter, handwritten, mornings, nights, etc. But that's part of the journey -- and do try to enjoy the journey!

    For years I didn't, but I do now.
     
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    Just DO it.  

    You'll figure out what is best for you as you go.
     
    pollinator
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    So, I'm an artist, not a writer, but there are similarities regarding working creatively.

    1) Use the tools that you are most comfortable with/happiest using. You will be more inclined to do it.
    2) Time of day: I'm more energized/focused in the morning, but also prefer open-ended time for creativity. That usually means a long period of time without looming appointments, or staying up late after dinner and working until I'm tired or hurt myself...
    3) Measuring progress? Accountability? I am a serial "starter of projects"... A hard deadline helps to focus and limit the scope, and declares an end to it. Try to make progress early, leave time for the parts that you will struggle with, especially if you don't even know about them yet...(which hopefully your early start uncovers!)
    4) n/a
    5) Wandering can inform what you are doing, or spark creativity, but locked away in a room can produce results. Time spent making/finding a good workspace is well worth it.
    6) A deadline can sharpen your focus, and reduce scope creep...personally, I'm lousy at open-ended projects.
    7) Trust your gut.
     
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