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Writing daily…on a cyclical basis

July 30, 2012

I’m a member of the [community profile] inkingitout community, where we check in on a regular basis with the amount of words we’ve written. There are great conversation starters posted at the journal as well, and recent questions have been about the timing of our writing. Do we write on a daily basis, on a cyclical basis, etc? Where on the spectrum do we find ourselves? It really got me thinking about my writing habits.

My comment at the community got so long and so involved that I decided to post it here as a journal entry.

Let’s see, I last checked in on the 25th, so from then until the 28th I wrote 2613 words. I’m at 72909 for the year.

I’ve been obsessively tracking my writing since 6/30 of this year, and I’ve noticed that I do a great job of writing daily…for 3 to 5 days at a time. Then I seem to need at least one day off, up to three days off at a time. I do feel better about myself if I write every day, but since 6/30 I’ve taken off the following days: 7/2, 7/7-7/8, 7/14-7/16, 7/21-7/23, and 7/27-7/29. This seems really weird to me, but over the course of a month of tracking my writing, it’s pretty consistent, so apparently I have a short little writing cycle myself!

I really would prefer to be writing on a daily basis, or perhaps taking only one day off a week. But then again, despite the days off this month, this has been the most productive month for my writing, aside from NaNoWriMo, in quite some time. My total word count since 6/30 is 30,704. So I may have to just accept that this is the best way for me to be productive.

What I’ve discovered is that I have a hard time experiencing compelling fiction written by someone else and then writing my own fiction afterwards. For instance, three of those days I took off writing because I had been watching the Dark Knight trilogy. Another day I took off because I watched Brave. Another set of days I took off while I was reading a novel. Of course, the other side of this could be that after several days of writing, I need to experience compelling fiction written by someone else. In other words, which is the cause of the break, and which the effect? Do I stop writing because I read? Or do I read because I need to stop writing? I don’t know. It’s something I’ll have to think about more.

My most recent days off, however, have been because I was working very intensive days at my day job, and was just frankly too exhausted to write at the end of those days, and then last night I started reading another novel that just sucked my time away from me. In no way am I complaining about the days at my day job. It’s a great job, with great people, and I get to spend my time learning about history, talking about history, writing about history, and it’s by far the most wonderful thing I have ever been paid to do. I look forward to going to work every week.

I just need to figure out how to have enough mental energy left to write when I get home from work. 🙂

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