Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 5: This is Huge

Great cartoon, right? Funny, and in my case an uncomfortably spot-on depiction of how some days go--or rather DON'T go. (They even got the cat right!)

So laugh, yes. But don't allow yourself to believe this is how all writers spend their hours. Stephen King wrote every single day except Christmas for years; Charles Dickens was so focused he could add pages to his work in progress and entertain guests at the same time; and Haruki Marukami gets up at five a.m. to do his daily four hour stint. Most successful, prolific authors have similarly disciplined habits. Do we want to be one of them, or do we want to be that well-fed and rested, socially popular guy in "Slush Pile?"

Easy answer, right? So for Day 5, we're going to strictly limit our internet time.

My time on-line will be from 7-8:30 p.m.. If any of you catch me on Twitter or Facebook outside those hours, I expect you to call me out!

10:17 already. Damn, I'm late for bed...


  1. I'm setting my alarm for 5:30 and am putting my writing space in order for tomorrow morning.

    I love your suggestion to limit internet time. I will spend fifteen minutes at lunch time, fifteen minutes after dinner, and fifteen minutes before bed.

  2. For awhile I was working on an old laptop that I couldn't get online with -- I got so much writing done! Sadly, the computer died. Now it's all about self discipline -- some days I've got it, some days it's very much a work in progress. Sometimes I use internet stuff as a reward: if I get this chapter finished, I can go look at that favorite blog...

  3. I notice the ones who brag that they write every day are MEN - if I had a wife to do the cooking, cleaning and food shopping, I could write every day as well.

  4. mercedes: 45 minutes total--awesome! As for putting your writing space in order, you just anticipated Day 6.

    Jennifer: I had one of those computers, too. Life was MUCH simpler. I like your reward system...though I've always had a problem with delayed gratification.

    Josephine: I've gotten very good at serving pizza and ignoring dust bunnies when I'm deep in a novel.

  5. I am posting my 4/9/09 writing total here under "Day 5" because it's my bedtime: 3 longhand pages. I intend to keep a little blog about this 100 day journey--but not until after Easter.

    Also wanted to mention a wonderful device for writing without the lure of the internet called the alphasmart neo

    some of you may be familiar with it, it's an inexpensive little wordprocessor that runs on 3 AAA batteries. I've had mine since christmas and absolutely love it. I'm still using the original batteries and they're at 100%.

    'til tomorrow, happy writing all. And thanks again Patry.

  6. What a great miniature of the writing life that cartoon is. Thanks for posting it. Right now if it weren't for the discoveries I make while writing, I'd limit that as well.

    Now. This looks like a new blog. Is the old one still up and running? Are we connected on Twitter? So many questions, so little time.

  7. I'm not quite ready for this discipline yet--the Internet is my lifeline right now. But it's very good advice.

  8. mercedes: I wrote my first two novels (the first unpublished) longhand, 3 pages a day. It was a perfect rhythm for me. I'll be looking forward to your blog after Easter.

    Beryl: Yes, this is a new more focused blog, but it has not eclipsed the somewhat dormant Simply Wait. So glad you found me here. I hope you'll share some of your abundant wisdom as the days pile up.

    Steve: Being ready is everything. We all need different things at different times.

  9. I fell for the "research" temptation today...learned a lot of the late 70s, will only use a tiny bit.

  10. K: I know the "research temptation" well. We writers have all the same tricks, don't we?

  11. As an internet addict, this will be very, very difficult. Oh, it's hurting me just thinking about it.