Friday, September 01, 2017

Writing inspiration, sort of

  1. From Air & Light & Time & Space: "Studies by Hartley and Branthwaite (1989) and Kellogg (1994) suggest that the most productive writers typically write several times a week for one to three hours per session. (Sword, Helen. Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write (p. 50). Harvard University Press. Kindle Edition).  
    1. Do you count reading and research in that time?
    2. How about visits to the library?
    3. Or making a bibliography?
  2. Do you keep track of the hours you devote to class prep (including reading and grading) and to administrative tasks?
  3.  If so, do you keep track of your writing hours in the same space, if you keep track of them? 
  4. The big question: 
    1. Do you set yourself a number of hours each day to write?
    2.  Or do you write until you have a certain number of words?

The writing formula for a piece of writing that you promised but don't want to do: twice as long to write and at least four times as much procrastination beforehand. All this means my time is up and I have to try to write tonight what I could not write all day. 

3 comments:

xykademiqz said...


I have two proposals to write in September and October, and at least one and ideally three papers to polish to submission in the next month.

As a result, I have written and submitted for publication four flash-fiction stories.

Ah, procrastination.


Flavia said...

1. yes, I count all those things. I'm not one of those people who procrastinates by doing endless research, so I feel the research (schlepping to library, photocopying) do count. Also, some days that's all the work I can do.

2. No. I don't care. That'll get done. I track my research time because it makes me prioritize that time and ensure it gets done.

4. Neither one, though I have a *weekly* time goal (10hrs or more), and when I'm drafting I do often set a daily goal of 1,000 words. I'm a slow writer and an endless--endless!--reviser, so it would just be too depressing to have a regular word count expectation. I do set individual daily hourly goals, depending on circumstances: 90 min, 3 hrs, or whatever, and I agree with myself that I won't break for anything other than bathroom or a brief snack for x amount of time, so it's good, focused work. But some days are better than others, and though I can block out time I can't guarantee words.

Undine Spragg said...

xyk--That's not procrastination; that's awesome! I didn't realize you were a fiction writer as well.

Flavia--the word count is getting to me because of the endless revising. I like your system of time instead of trying to guarantee words.