Thursday, March 20, 2008

Are Your Writing Habits Sabotaging Your Work in Progress?

Kim Smith 2008

What tells you if your daily writing time is helping or hindering your current piece? Answer these questions and find out!

1. You have a mid-session mind dump. For some reason, the words stop coming, and you need help. Do you:

a. Go to a Thesaurus?
b. Grab a bite to eat and take a break?
c. Close the WIP and give up for the day?

2. You quit writing…
a. to do research?
b. to go play with your dog?
c. to finish laundry?

3. You’ve planned a nice long writing session before you go to work for a 30- minute stretch. Your efforts are:
a. Very successful—you got in 30 mins
b. Slightly successful you got in 15 mins
c. Unsuccessful- no writing time.

4. How much does your writing area affect you?
a. Very – you must have your place
b. A little, you need quiet
c. Barely – you can write anywhere.

5. How much reading do you do?
a. Maybe not as much as you should, but you do read some.
b. As much as possible
c. Barely any.


As few C’s as possible means the better you focus on your writing. You don’t quit when the writing becomes tough. You either keep your mind in the process, or get some exercise to release tension so you can work.

Notes: Everyone can lose focus, and when it happens it is far better to get up and move around, or take a break, but not necessarily quit the effort altogether. Most successful writers find that if they will stay in their chair and make a concentrated effort to get in at least 15-30 minutes of writing time, they will finish a book. Some people can write anywhere but usually distractions make the writing more effort than when they are in a quiet area that has been carefully prepared for them to write in. And many say that reading keeps their mind sharp and gives them new ideas about plotting and setting that keep them working on their own work.

1 comment:

Marta Stephens said...

How fun! I love these little "tests." I can always tell when I get to a particularly difficult scene because I'm up and down, up and down. My mind is still focused on the problem I need to solve but I physically need to walk away from my desk. So yes, walking away could mean tossing in a load of laundry, fixing a snack or going outside. :)