Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Writing in Small Spurts


I'm drafting again. Yay! I love drafting. I actually had to take a big break from drafting while I worked on edits for several books, but I couldn't be happier to be writing a new book. It's actually the third book in a series, and I'm kind of on a deadline since the book is under contract already. Plus, if you follow my Monday Mishmash posts, you might have noticed I keep myself busy with client edits. Well, I have one coming, which makes my deadline to finish this draft kind of tight.

I'm fast drafting, which means I'm trying to write about 10K+ each day, and I usually do that in one five-hour sitting. But...I read a blog post last weekend where a writer talked about writing in small spurts. I thought, no way. I can't do that. I need huge chunks of time to write.

Well, you know what happens when I say I won't ever do something. Yup, I did it. I had twenty minutes of uninterrupted writing time on Sunday while my husband finished running and my daughter was cleaning her room. So I wrote. I got in a thousand words, and since it wasn't even eight a.m. I was really happy about this. I stress when I have to write with other people around. I don't get peace and quiet. But taking a few minutes here and there can really add up as far as your word count goes, so now I'm all for it.

Can you write in short spurts, or do you need a good chunk of time?

49 comments:

  1. That word count is amazing. :) I'm drafting right now as I wait for edits on other projects. I love starting something new.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've reached the point in my WIP where the words are flowing nicely. It didn't start that way though. ;)

      Delete
  2. On my novel, I tend to write in spurts to fit my writing into my life. So I might have an hour here or twenty minutes there. I also tend to do a lot of writing/envisioning in my head in between writing so I know what to write when I sit down (generally). If I have a script commission, however, I just write for as long as it takes. Great article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a good plan, Fi, and it obviously works for you. :)

      Delete
  3. If I didn't write in small spurts, I would never get anything done. That is my key to productivity! Use any moment you can and enjoy! Also, I try not to stress, that just takes up time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to work on the not stressing issue. I'm already stressed because I'm losing Friday as a writing day. I know that's crazy. Nothing will happen if I don't get 10K written that day. Deep breaths. :)

      Delete
  4. I'm not sure that my word count is quite as impressive as yours, but I'm definitely the sort of writer that writes in sporadic, short spurts. If I made myself sit for hours at a time, not only would my back suffer but by forcing myself to write, my work would suffer also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That might explain my back aches. ;) During the school week, I write from 9am to 2:30pm.

      Delete
    2. Having a back problem doesn't help me either. So writing from 9am until 2.30 would not be possible. In any case, some writing is better than none at all!

      Delete
  5. My life seems to revolve around small spurts. I try to knock off sentences, paragraphs, ideas, plot points, etc. between experiments at work or down time at games/events, and compile everything together at night or early morning when I sit and write my daily words. The invention of the smartphone has helped
    immensely with my tortoise-slow, hodge-podge style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, whatever works, right? And yes, smartphones do help.

      Delete
  6. I'm a small spurter. =) I do most of my writing at night, and while it's nice b/c the house is quiet, sometimes the sleepy monster bites me in the butt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a night person so I know exactly what you mean. :)

      Delete
  7. I can write in short spurts, but 1,000 words in 20 minutes is way out of my league. I can usually get maybe half that if I'm really pushing myself. If I get 2-3 hours lately that's a long spurt for me, but that's more due to my schedule than anything else. I'd love to have 5 hours or more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I'm blessed with my writing schedule. I don't know how people work all day and then write. I have major respect for that.

      Delete
  8. I can do it, but generally I prefer to write in longer periods of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the same way, but I'm learning to embrace every moment I get to write.

      Delete
  9. Wow, you write fast! I should try writing in spurts. I think I've tricked myself into thinking I have to have a block of time carved out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, sometimes we need to trick ourselves.

      Delete
  10. I am always impressed with your productivity, Kelly. 10K words a day? You'd have to wheel me to the ER after that.
    I do need at least two hours to get the flow going when writing a first draft. I find that after about four, the output is not of the same caliber. So I'm a two-to-four hour a day writer.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A 1,000 words in 20 minutes! Holy moly. You are good. I like spurts too, especially unplanned moments.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am training myself to be able to write in short spurts. This has always been difficult for me, but I am learning! I am so impressed by your writing sprints and marathons lately! = )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. It's not my favorite thing to do, but it's good to be flexible.

      Delete
  13. 1,000 WORDS IN 20 MINUTES??? Good grief! But then again I handwrite (please don't tell me you handwrite). I do better with short chunks of time than a long stretch for some reason. I start to drift if I have a length period of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't handwrite. I type so much faster than I write by hand.

      Delete
  14. I can edit in spurts, but for writing I need large chunks of uninterrupted time. It might be psychological more than anything. But part of it is if I get into the "groove" during a 20-minute spurt, I don't want to stop. So I'd rather wait until I have ample time to get into and stay in the flow when writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is psychological. You're absolutely right.

      Delete
  15. I would love to have a chunk of time, but am very happy with 30 minutes or an hour here and there throughout the day. 10k words a day is amazing to me. I set a goal for 500 and am thrilled when I make it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a bit crazy, but schedule allows me to be so that makes a difference.

      Delete
  16. I love when I have a lot of time to write, because that's when I get things done. But I also try to use every minute I can between writing essays and reading for exams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here, Ida. I thrive on long chunks of writing time. That's when the words really flow for me, but little spurts actually get me excited to be able to write again, so they are great for encouraging my process.

      Delete
  17. I need short spurts. I need to read, surf then get back to it!

    Nas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do let myself on social media in spurts, so I know what you mean.

      Delete
  18. You're awesome. If it wasn't for small spurts, I don't think I'd get any writing done at all. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you. ;) You are very busy, so I can imagine it's tough to get chunks of time to write.

      Delete
  19. I want longer spurts! The short spurts do not immerse me enough for my O.C.D. to kick in. Once that happens I'm not easily distracted. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love longer spurts too but the short spurts can help toward word count and spark creativity so I'm learning to embrace them.

      Delete
  20. I like writing in spurts. Sometimes I sprint-write during commercial breaks of my favourite shows. Your word count sounds amazing. Keep going, Kelly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sprint writing during commercials is genius! I'm totally stealing that idea!

      Delete
  21. I usually do write in short spurts. It's hard for me to stay focused on just that one thing for long periods of time. My butt starts killing me for one thing and my eyes go blurry. So I've gotten very good at a little writing here, a little writing there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guilty of sitting for hours while I write. So bad for the body.

      Delete
  22. I've trained myself to do both. Short spurts during my lunch hour or at night after work and then LONG marathons of writing over the weekends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the opposite. I write for long chunks of time during the week because I'm home alone. On the weekends my husband and daughter are home so I write in short spurts.

      Delete
  23. I have to write in small spurts. Most days it's all I get. I've had some longer tracks and those are nice but I'll take whatever I can squeeze in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today I had twenty minutes since I had to get my taxes done and go to a few different banks, etc. Not fun chores! Anyway, I took those twenty minutes and wrote, and I'm thankful for them.

      Delete
  24. I'm in the big-chunk club. When my kids were small, I wrote from 9pm to midnight in order to get it in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I write after my daughter goes to sleep when I need a few extra hours.

      Delete

I love comments, but not spam. All spam will be deleted.