Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Response #2: Your Writing Regimen and Process

Due Tuesday 1/18 1/17! before 2 PM. You don't need to answer all these questions. They are merely prompts to get you thinking. 250-750 words. 

I used a naked picture to get your attention. Not because I think you should write naked.

When do you write? What time of day (first thing in the morning or at the end of the day?), what days of the week (weekends only or weekends never?), what time of the year (during school but not during summer or vice versa?) How do you write? Pen and paper or word processor? Do you write with the internet on or off? With music? In a room with other people in it, or by yourself? Do you have a writing space that is all yours? Do you HAVE to be in that space to write, or can you get writing done in other places if need be? Describe the way that a particular piece of yours got written--the overall arc from beginning to "end," and also what a typical writing session consisted of. How do you feel before you write, while you're writing, after you write? Are there certain things that need to be in place or in order before you can write? Do you need an assignment in order to write? How do the people in your life feel about your writing? Are they supportive? If you write on a computer, can they tell the difference between when you are writing and when you are doing other things on your computer? Can you tell the difference between when you are writing and when you are doing other things on your computer? (Try writing on 750words.com a few times--it keeps track of how many times you become distracted and stop typing.) What kinds of things do you become distracted by? I smoked for 20 years, and when I got to a good stopping place in my writing or needed a break, I left the desk, smoked a cigarette, and came back. Now, my smoke break is the internet, except that the internet is never finished. What do you imagine is the writing process of a productive writer? One thing I hear a lot from students is this: "I'd like to devote more time to my writing, but I have a job and all these other classes." Well, that pretty much describes my life and the life of every writer I know. All but a few writers have day jobs. So the question becomes: how do you learn how to fit writing into an otherwise busy life? That is perhaps the most important thing you will learn this semester. As you think about drafting a novel, what do you imagine needs to change about your writing process and what needs to stay the same? What are your goals? List the concrete changes you plan to make, the "to-do" list for yourself regarding when you will write, how you will make the time, how you will keep yourself on track toward your weekly and overall goal. 

Here's what my students last year had to say about this subject.  

Here's my list of goals:
  • Start using 750words.com again. I was on a 70 day streak when one day I inexplicably forgot, and I haven't returned to it. I'm using it right now to type up this prompt for Process Blog #1. 
  • I write best first thing in the morning, before my brain gets tired. Must go to bed earlier and get up earlier so that I can sneak in some writing time before the busy part of my day begins. 
  • When I've written, I will share my 750words session on FB and create a post for Twitter using #amnoveling. This will make me feel accountable to the group. This aspect of sharing my progress--honestly--makes me feel a little uncomfortable, like I'm bragging, but I need to get over that. If feeling accountable helps me get the words written, and if it spurs other people to attend to their writing, good. If it makes someone feel guilty, that's not my problem. 
  • No internet allowed until I have written. If I start checking my email and reading FB and blogs, etc. first thing in the morning, the next thing you know, it's lunchtime. The internet isn't like a cigarette break or a newspaper break. It is a Borg, a hive mind, a rabbit hole you fall into. 


  1. I usually write at night, without regard to days of the week, or season. It happens that I write more in the summer when I’m not in school simply because of the demands of school, but oftentimes, I still write in school. I usually use a word processor in order to quickly and easily make revisions. I prefer absolute silence when I write. I find any noise (music, people, television) extremely distracting. I do not have a space dedicated to writing.

    A typical writing session consists of a pot of coffee, a pack of cigarettes, my computer, a book, and usually a messy outline of what I want to write. I read before I begin to write (and smoke. And drink coffee.) to get me in the creative mind. After twenty minutes to a half hour of reading, I begin to write whatever scene is the most vivid in my mind, whatever I feel most excited about. From there, I fill in the blanks. Depending on the piece, I could finish the first draft in one sitting, or I may come back to it the next day. Once it is finished, I proofread it for mechanical errors and small revisions. After that, I find places that need more development or better word choice until I feel it has reached a polished draft. When writing, I get lost in my head. I think more than I write. I feel complete concentration and immersion in my ideas.

    My mother and girlfriend are very supportive. I have always been private about my writing, so it goes unspoken around my sisters, but my mother has read some of my pieces and encourages me to continue. Because of the privacy between my sisters and me (and the self-consciousness I still feel around my mother) I rarely write around my family. If I do, I’m certain they can tell when I’m writing as I get lost in my mind and stare into space until I find the right word choice or idea. Of course I can tell a difference when I write from when I am fiddling around on the computer because I become so engrossed in what I’m writing. When I’m playing on the computer, I can easily hold a conversation, something I find impossible to do while writing.

    I would say the most productive writing process is consistent writing, writing every day for a certain length of time. Also, the ability to distance his or herself from the piece of writing in order to make major revisions. In order to become a productive writer, have to make time for writing, even if I spend twenty minutes every night. I am serious about being a writer, and I need to treat it as another job, or another class that I can learn form.

    My biggest flaw in writing lengthy pieces is that I linger on every sentence, every word that I write. If I’m going to succeed in writing a novel and succeed in this class, I need to learn to write with a rhythm and flow without interruption from doubt and worry about perfection. My goals for this class, and for writing in general, consist of writing on 750words three times a week, specifically Monday, Wednesday, and one day on the weekend. I have found that Janet Fitch particularly enhances my writing, so I will most likely read her writing over other authors before starting my writing. Finally, I will practice releasing the perfectionist in me.

  2. I try to write as often as possible, whenever I can. I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go, so if an idea hits me or I just want to continue something I already started I can. When I am on my computer I write mostly at night, unless it is for school then I write in the day. I write every single day, so really I write whenever I get a chance to. I write more for fun when I am not in school. Homework really sets me back in what I want to write, so I find I get more done in the summer than any other time. Sometimes I write with music on to give me some background or to help the mood. When I cannot think of anything to write I often go to Pandora.com and write stories that go with the songs. I have a creepy classical station that really helps a lot, because there are no words to it. I will get an idea off the title or album and let the music take the story in one direction or another and when the song changes it changes where the story is going. When I am on my computer I write alone, but when I use my notebook there is almost always other people around. Sometimes that helps inspire something and I really like that a lot. People can be surprising and can very often spark new ideas.

    My biggest problem with writing is that I do not like staying on one topic. I get really excited about one thing and I write a few pages of it, but then my mind wonders to a different story or idea. I eventually return to the original thing, but I jump around a lot. When I get an idea there is usually one scene I can see really well in my mind and I want to write about that. A lot of the time I have to write that scene down or else it will never get out of my head. I find myself getting very emotionally attached to the characters in the story. I imagine what they are going through as if it were me as I am writing; I want my writing to feel as real as possible.

    When I am writing I do not get distracted that easily. I stop a lot to think about how I want to write certain parts, but I usually have a point that I want to get to before I stop. The main thing I need to do while writing is write more. I do not get that many words typed down at a time, usually because of writer’s block, which is another reason I move on to different things. I want to get at least 500 hundred words written every time I sit down to write. I hope this will keep me interested enough in the story to want to write more about it and not move on to anything else.

    -Chelsea Westbrook

  3. I find that I absolutely have to be in the right mindset in order to write. Sometimes I'm able to get myself into that mindset, but a lot of times I just can't wrap my head around it. If I'm too frazzled with other things that are going on, if I'm too focused on other work that I have to do I find that I'm downright incapable of writing. Luckily I've found a few things that can help me release the tension built up in me including spinning poi and getting organized. If I sit down and write out a plan for what I need to do next next next I find that I can calm myself down. If that doesn't fully satiate me I grab my poi and go spin around in circles making pretty gestures.

    There isn't necessarily a best time for me to write except for the time in which I actually do. It doesn't have to be morning, it doesn't have to be the middle of the day, it just has to be that moment when my mind isn't frazzled and I can actually think about what I want to write. Actually I tried earlier today to sit down and write this post but I was too worried about my other two classes that I had today so I just couldn't sit down and write. Now my classes are over and I'm just sitting here in Letterman, a much more relaxed me.

    I find that music sometimes helps me, sometimes it hinders me. It has to do again with my mood and getting myself into the right mood. Usually when I'm writing I like to have acoustic music playing, something that I don't know the words too and I can just get lost in the flow of the music. Other times though when I'm really focusing on a specific part of my piece I find that my music is overbearing so I'll turn it off. It really just depends on where I am in the piece.

    I hate to say it and I know you'll probably reprimand me for saying this, but I sometimes rely on my muse too often. I'm not always the hardcore writer, I've never been serious about writing. I don't intend to make a living doing this, but if by some chance I get the opportunity to publish some of my work that's great! For me writing has always been a release, a way to get things off my chest, a way to express what it is I'm feeling. I think that's why I've really been more of a poet. However, since I took a class with Sean Lovelace I really have loved writing flash fiction and trying my hand at short stories. I've just never had the confidence in my writing to produce a novel.

    I think all in all what I want to accomplish this semester is to learn and understand the process it takes to make a novel. I think in order to take baby steps with that, I'll really focus on linked stories. It seems like a good sideways sort of way to ease into this. I've never been one to write a lot about nothing. For me what I write is what I mean. I like to whittle it down until you only need those few words to understand what I'm trying to get across. Again that's the poet in me.

    What I need to watch out for this semester is the temptations of doing other things. When I'm writing on 750words.com I need to make sure that is all that I'm doing. I don't want to become distracted by facebook or checking my emails or be-boppin over to tumblr. I need to keep myself focused. I also need to schedule my time so that I hold myself accountable for my writing. I think with my schedule this semseter I'll try to write Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday and Thursday for sure, but the third day could get switched around according to what will end up working best for me.

  4. My best time of day for writing is from about 9 or 10 p.m. through 3 or 4 a.m. There are fewer distractions, it’s quiet, and I seem to be more focused. Having said that, I obviously can’t write regularly during these hours when I have to be up early for classes (which includes commuting time—a part time job in itself), work, or appointments. So most of the time I write whenever I can—usually after I’ve completed course assignments, which generally means on weekends. I use a word processor (In journalism I learned to think, write, and edit as I typed—during the Dark Ages before personal computers—and it has stuck with me). I usually prefer quiet, but sometimes enjoy having music playing softly in the background.

    Then again, there are times when I write best on a laptop or legal pad on my porch or in a noisy coffee house.

    I can’t say that certain things absolutely have to be in place before I can write, however experience has taught me that if I want to be effective with my creative time on any kind of sustainable basis, there are certain things (http://www.mayeralston.com/2012/01/being-there-for-your-dreams-organizing.html) I must attend to. For example, organizing my writing space (I use my home office/study), materials, resources, tools, and time. Being able to find what I need when I need it is critical to not wasting time (a rare resource in my life, currently). Also I find prioritizing my activities, and committing to my priorities, (http://www.mayeralston.com/2012/01/prioritizing-creative-tasks-sometimes.html) is essential to making decisions that consistently and effectively support my writing life.

    Which brings me to the issue of Internet distractions. The most distracting thing for me is Facebook, followed by my natural curiosity (It leads me down interesting but unnecessary, though sometimes fruitful, research paths—when looking for information on the web or in the library).

    So, for this semester, my goals are:
    • Devote a minimum of 2,250 words per week solely to writing the “shitty first draft” (http://buddha-rat.squarespace.com/shitty-first-drafts/) of my novel. Accountability for this is inherent in the course requirements of this semester’s Advanced Fiction writing class at Ball State University. (It’s so nice when desire meets convention.)
    • Manage my Facebook, research, and recreational Internet activities better.
    • Maintain the organization I have managed to eke out of last summer and this past semester break.
    • Make regular (and meaningful) contributions to my blog and Twitter feed.

  5. Right now, I kind of just write when the mood hits me. I need to become waaaay more consistent with my writing. If I had to give a time, I would probably guess that I write the most in the mid-afternoon area. I really like the stripped down format of 750words.com. There's something about MS Word that makes me pound out a few lines and then get hopelessly distracted by something else. I think part of the appeal of 750words is that it is timed and it counts my "distractions". Knowing I'm getting "graded", if you will, really helps me keep my focus till I finish. I have extreme difficulty finding a good time to write on weekends.

    I typically don't have music going on while I write (partially because right now the times I get around to writing are so spur of the moment), although I don't think it has any real adverse or positive effects on me.

    Right now I think my biggest problem is that everything I think of sounds kind of dumb or generic in my head. Almost unintentionally, I'm waiting for that "big idea" to hit, which is no good at all. Along with learning to generate material everyday, I guess my secondary goal for this year is learning to generate some really bad material.

  6. I can't really pinpoint a particular time that I write in relation to a span of time, i.e. I don't write from 5PM to 8PM every day. Instead, I have to have something that gives me a reason to write. Oftentimes this is a prompt that comes to me either from class (schoolwork, usually) or from a post on the Internet somewhere, usually on Tumblr. The topic has to interest me to—and this is a horrible word for it—coerce me into writing, but once I do, I throw myself into it completely. I've even asked for writing prompts on Tumblr just to get myself thinking about characters and plot and how to build off of a small idea, like a phrase or a single word, and make it into a short story, or sometimes something more. It's pretty rare that I will say to myself, “You should write something now,” and not give myself something to write about. Even when I was using 750words, I always had a prompt of some sort that I had given myself. I can't just free-write about something; I have to have some idea of where I'm going when I start writing.

    Distractions, as well, are not always distractions for me. Sometimes, they work as writing prompts. For instance, for the scene for “A Story About the Body” that we turned in on Friday, I had the notion in my mind that I would write to Vivaldi's “Summer” because I felt that would give me the clearest direction of how to write. I played it over about four times while writing that scene, every time finding a different section of the song to incorporate into my writing. In that way, music (and the Internet, as I used Youtube for the piece) helped me with my writing. However, there are also times when music is distracting, when I deviate from what I'm thinking about while writing to what the music sounds like, and—especially if there are lyrics to the music—I will end up writing a completely different story in my head and forget all about what I'm writing on paper.

    The Internet works in pretty much the same way as music for me. I have to have a specific reason for using it; if I don't, then it becomes a distraction. Another example: while writing the fourth chapter for my manuscript in 307, I frequently would pull up websites on the Tree of Life in Norse mythology to understand how the snake, the eagle, and the squirrel interacted. In fact, this was how I found the startling parallels between those stories and my own, and I think having this knowledge now will help me while writing the rest of that manuscript. Otherwise? Check email, check Facebook, check Twitter, check Tumblr. And then I'd do it all over again, though more often than not I would end up on Tumblr for hours. It's very easy to fall into the comfortable social traps that I've set for myself.

    To that end, I think I have a pretty good idea of how I can circumvent my desire to get lost in the Wonderland that is the Internet. To put it bluntly, I have to give myself prompts. In practice, what that would mean is, every single week, coming up with a prompt related to where I want to go next in the story and then responding to that prompt. While I would ideally like these prompts to be steps in the story itself, they may be smaller than that—a meaningful character conversation, a soliloquy, a character moving about on his own without interaction from anyone else. I also don't have to complete these prompts in one day, and I probably shouldn't! If I were only writing one day out of seven, then I don't think I would be engaging with my text enough to really know how the writing prompts worked together. If, instead, I spread the writing over two to three days, I think it would be more likely that I would make a habit of writing, of incorporating writing into my daily tasks.

  7. Sarah Chaney

    I don't have a specific time I write, only when I force myself in front of my computer. I am tempted to say I write at night, but since I'm a night owl, I generally do everything at night. I'm trying to wake up an hour earlier than usual to make a set time to write, but I'm thinking it might be better to set an hour away in the evening since I seem to function better.

    I usually write during the summer because I don't have time during the school year. Depending on where I am, I usually use my computer to write, but when I'm on an airplane or road tripping in the car I will usually opt for pen and paper (not pencil. I hate writing with pencils.). I do like to use paper when I'm outlining or jotting down notes or ideas rather than actually writing the story itself because when I write for content, I generally think faster than I write and I can type faster than writing with a pen.

    I'm not very particular about when/where I write. I can write while watching TV (although I tend to zone out) or listening to music, in noisy, public places etc. I am happy to say I have the ability to tune things out when I'm on a roll (to the annoyance of my friends and family).

    I admit, I don't write unless I write it down on my To Do list and make time. I have an endless number of excuses that I use constantly, so I'd really like to try the 750 words. The only reluctance I have about using that system is that if it tells me I have completed 750 words, I'll want to stop as opposed to when I write on my own I can write for pages and pages. I'd like to do it anyway because 750 words is better than nothing!

    I think the best way to try out 750 words is trying to do it in the morning before classes, but if that doesn't work out and I just hit the snooze, I'll aim for in between classes where I have nothing to do except sit in the library and be studious. Actually, I think I'll shoot for in between my classes first. Wow, thinking this out is really helpful. Thanks!

  8. Lately, I've found it easiest for me to write with a pencil and paper. I'm not exactly sure why, though I don't have a huge problem with using a processor. However, one reason may be with pencil and paper is that I don't have something nagging at me, telling me I made a grammatical/spelling error (which leads me to using spell check every other minute), and I'm not tempted to minimize the window to wander to Facebook. And I feel I make a better connection with my thoughts on paper, at least sometimes.

    When I write, I do think I prefer to be alone, quiet, with as little distractions as possible. It's the same way I read. Music is sometimes good for inspiration, but I get too distracted with a song playing; I lack focus.

    One piece I remember having a long and convoluted process of creating was a novel(la) I wrote in high school. Well, I started it near the end of middle school. I wrote it in bursts. One version ended up being 200 pages, handwritten, but I scrapped the entire thing after rereading it. I made several versions until it ended up being 110 pages, double-spaced, and dripping with years of teenage angst. I just couldn't stop and get a draft done and then tweak. No, I would constantly reread it, constantly getting disgusted by my own writing, until I was just fed up with it. I needed a more consistent writing schedule, and I needed to give my work time to breathe before I reread it.

    While writing, while I'm in "the zone", I feel a sense of euphoria, almost. It's like reading a good book. I just keep writing until I've exhausted my ideas for the moment. Stopping before that point leads to disappointment or frustration. But if I've finished with all I can, I feel good about myself. The writing might be utter shit (more often that not, it is), but, for that tiny moment, I feel like I'm doing the right thing with my life and everything is good.

    While writing on 750words.come, I sometimes feel as though I add too much fluff in order to reach the required number. For November, I tried writing the final episode to a visual novel series I've been writing, but when I couldn't think of anything, I'd throw in a random scene that had nothing to do with anything. Sites like that are nice for drafting, I think, and I'm sure you'll be able to cut out the unneeded fluff during the editing process. Also, I feel challenged to not get distracted while on the website because of how it keeps track of how many times you get distracted. Along with that, I find it interesting how the site analyzes your writing and tells the mood and focus (sometimes it can be unexpectedly amusing).

    -Tyler Trosper

  9. Unless I'm just really in the mood to write, I find it easier to sit down and focus on writing in the evenings. Sundays are usually big writing days, but I can't seem to get myself focused enough on Fridays or Saturdays when I tend to be thinking about absolutely everything else. So far, most of my writing happens during the school year. I guess this is partly because I have been taking creative writing classes, so I'm required to write so much during the semesters. The other reason, though, is that my class schedule doesn't really leave me a lot of time to work. So I work 50-60 hours weeks during the summers, which doesn't really allow for a lot of writing time.

    When I write, I prefer to do it on a word processor. I will write with pencil and paper if I happen to think of something when I'm not near my laptop, but otherwise I prefer the keyboard. I have noticed that when I really want to write something seriously, as in I really want to focus and make sure I'm writing it in the right way, I have to be in almost complete silence. Usually, I'll shut myself in my room with no TV or music playing, and just write straight through. I find it hard to leave the room or call it a day on my writing until I have tweaked and perfected it - or at least made it as perfect as I could at the time. I have to try really hard to stay off the internet when I'm writing, because it gets to be a huge distraction. Facebook used to the my biggest distraction, but now it's Pinterest.

    I really need to learn to find time to write everyday, and to be able to drop a section of writing to come back to later.

  10. Personally I have to be in the mood to write. Normally I enjoy writing I love the sensation of watching my story evolve from sentences, to paragraphs, to whole pages. However I have noticed a few times that I end up watching my writing warp into something that I hate writing. A few times in college I’ve written a few “serious” stories as a way for my peers/instructors to take me as a serious writer. However these stories just end up falling apart and I dislike finishing them.
    My earliest writings were a bunch of comic’s (or graphic novel’s depends on your definition) that I drew in my free time. These were stories that I wrote just for the fun of it but I enjoyed writing and this was the basis of where my style. Maybe something happened along the line where I just wrote off this style of writing as “Immature” or that no one would take me seriously as a writer. Well this semester I’m going to be less concerned about whether people will take me seriously I’m going to write what I want to and hope that gets me somewhere.
    Distractions? Well a big one that has just come up is reddit. If you don’t know what reddit is keep it that way. This site will suck up all of your free time that could be used for writing and be a distraction for whenever any work comes up. In general just an enormous time sink worse than any video game that I’ve ever played (besides Civilization). Speaking of video games I’ve always been an avid gamer but I believe with my schedule this semester I could cut back on some of the games. I’ve got a lot of reading and writing to do and not a whole lot of free time. I also need to cut back on caffeine because it’s very negatively affecting my sleep cycle and get more sleep. I’ve noticed that when I go to sleep I often don’t really feel like I’ve been well rested and with the addition of college it’s beginning to take a toll on me.
    So I guess my goals this semester are:

    1. Write what I want to and not worry about being seriously.
    2. Avoid reddit like the plague
    3. Cut down on gaming.
    4. Cut down on the caffeine
    5. Get more sleep.

  11. I've never had a real time structure for writing. I used 750words.com for a while, and would usually knock out my word count in the morning just after waking so that I could have the rest of the day to feel accomplished and not have it hanging over my head. But finals - and winter break - got in my way, and I've been neglecting my routine ever since.

    I keep notebooks everywhere: beside my bed, in my desk, on my bookshelves, in my school bag. I never leave the house without something to write in and with. (I should start keeping one next to the shower, since I always seem to get my best ideas when I'm far away from writing materials.) I email myself ideas, I text-message myself little things that come into my head. Sometimes these ideas work their way into my writing, though more often than not these little blurbs stay tucked neatly away and, for the most part, unused.

    I write whenever the urge and need strike me.

    Sometimes this lasts for an hour or more, though usually when I'm writing "for fun" it's in short bursts of about 15 to 20 minutes until I reach a stopping point or, more likely, can't think of the next thing to say. This kind of writing, as well as my academic writing, is usually done on the computer. I love to hand-write things, but sometimes I find my hands can't keep up with my brain when I'm writing it out. Tapping keys is much quicker and I lose less of my ideas when I can get them down just as quickly as they're firing off inside my head.

    I write in silence. I have to write in silence. It's the same way with reading. During my undergrad years I could study for an exam with the TV on or music on blast, but now I just get too distracted and lose my train of thought. Maybe I'm just getting old.

    One thing I wish I did have IS a writing regimen. It's as simple enough as setting the same amount of time aside each day to write whatever comes to mind. Since I aim to be a writer I want to behave more like a writer, and that is my goal. I need to get out of the mindset that writers are just inherently brilliant and write brilliant things from the moment they first sit down. I need to think of writing like the painting we were shown in class: first you sketch the idea, then you go over it again, filling in the lines and adding depth and structure to it, adding visuals and meaning until you get it right and the full picture emerges as finished and clear and concise as possible.

    In fact, I'm going to look for a time to put on my Google calendar right now. I'm also going to set up email reminders so that my computer and phone are bombarded with reminders of my commitment which will surely shame me if I disregard them.

    I'd also like to actually use my desk when I write. I have this great desk I've had since I was in the fourth grade, a Christmas gift I begged my parents for, and it just sits there. I wind up hunched over my computer on the floor, or reclining on my bed pillows. I set up my desk in this awesome little alcove in my room, just below a window with a bunch of postcards and pictures on the walls around it. I made it a space for me, and it just sits there.

    So. Goals: develop a schedule to write regularly, and sit at an actual desk. And maybe acclimate myself to a little background noise so that I can adapt to writing in public if the urge should strike me then and there.

  12. I’ve never been exceptional at anything. Maybe roller-skating back in the day, but that was as far as my athletic competency took me. Never played sports. I was sickly and an only child so I had a lot of time to develop imaginary scenarios and friends. I guess this is where it began. I won a few contests with my stories and just stayed with it. At about 13 I hit teen anxiety like a fist and retreated into my journals every night. Wore black. Of course reading them now makes me cringe but that practice has never really gone away.
    I’ve spent much more time drafting poems than stories. It wasn’t until more poems were becoming so long and so enveloped in plot and story that I felt I needed to try adjusting gears to develop these ideas. Problem is, my narrative still gets kinda jumpy like I’m free to do in poetry but just becomes confusing in prose. Practice, practice. I have to work on trying to set more time aside for practicing prose and luckily, a water main busted downtown and my water pressure is nil, so I have no excuse to not write and do laundry. I can’t hope for this daily of course. Work, work.
    I write considerably more in the fall and winter and then marathon read in the summer. I’ve never been very sure why this is as my time management doesn’t change significantly. I don’t stay up late. Kinda a fogy in that sense so a lot of writing and reading gets done in the morning. I’ve always been an early riser. I think there is magic in the morning. Possibilities.
    I used to use a typewriter to write (awfully trite, I know) but it seemed too strange to not have physicality to the writing. I didn’t have a computer growing up, just an electric typewriter so I got used to it. Something to hold-- to guard. I’ve been able to let that go over the past few years although I write a lot on legal pads (and for fun I’ll use the typewriter every once in a while. I love the click click clack cling!). I used to only write in spiral red notebooks. No particular reason just had to be red. I keep them chronologically in a file cabinet and if I write on my computer I have to print it out twice and keep them stored as well. I don’t like the idea of writing being left alone, to be virtual. I sound neurotic. But I don’t think all painters should use Photoshop, n’est pas?
    As much as I don’t want to go there, I would say being gay had a massive effect on my interest in reading and writing. This was way before “it gets better”, Ellen had just came out, and finding gay voices was like a treasure hunt for me in the library stacks. James Baldwin, Andre Gide, Mann, Forester’s Maurice, David Leavitt, Jean Genet and the Violet Quill authors were a major inspiration (or maybe motivation) for me. Not that I’m particularly drawn to their style of writing but it was as close to the novel I wanted to read that I could find. Then.
    Now, goals. Produce and practice. Take it that extra step and work it out. Just keep going that one extra sentence or idea more. Everyday. I can do laundry tomorrow.

  13. I do most of my writing at night. I'm the type of writer who thinks of a sentence, a really great sentence, and then expands whatever I'm writing from that one sentence. That sentence almost ALWAYS hits me right when I turn out the lights. I mostly write during the week, but if I'm home on the weekends I'll write then too.
    I have tried to write with a pen and paper, and I do keep a handwritten journal, but I type really fast and find it easier to keep up with what's going on inside my head if I'm typing. I try to keep going and not erase much, though, because if I find myself second guessing everything, I'll totally scrap the whole document and start over. This gets annoying. So I try to keep going and see what happens.
    I can write anywhere, with or without music, with people around or by myself. I find myself writing more often when I'm by myself in my room, but if I find a few minutes in between classes I'll jot a few ideas down. When I write I don't notice anything else going on around me. It's really the only time I find myself focusing completely on what I'm doing.
    I've been writing since I learned the alphabet. I remember the first story I wrote to my first grade teacher: the boy who climbed the mountain. I've been hooked, mostly due to the fact that I was the only girl in my neighborhood, and I spent my summers in my room, reading and making up stories. Books were my best friends, they were the most consistent thing in my life. I wanted to learn how to make that my own.
    My Dad is probably the main person that I show my writing to. His input and suggestions are incredibly valuable to me, and while I might not always use his suggestions, just hearing that he is interested keeps me going when I'm full of doubt. I post a lot of stuff I write on Facebook, mostly because I have another friend who writes and tags me in his stuff so we can collaborate and share ideas. I'm not that shy with who reads my stuff, except for my extended family and church - I still have to find the courage to say that what I'm writing is art - it's not the end all be all of who I am as a person, Christian, granddaughter, etc.
    My typical writing sessions are big chunks of random sprawlings, everything exploding at once. I have a bad habit of not writing every day. I sit down, open my computer, and write whatever comes to mind. I am not a good planner (when it comes to writing), and that's one flaw I'd like to fix. I'd like my writing sessions to be efficient and consistent, rather than big slabs here and there. I want this to be my life, my career, and I think I need to learn HOW to make it something continuous, instead of random.

  14. Over the past five years of writing, I have found that I generally tend to write at night. Sometimes, I catch a lucky break and can write a little during the day, but most of the time I’m too busy with school or work – depending on the time of year – to be able to write during the day. I have found in the past that I am able to write more during the summer time, because I have more free time in the summer, whereas during the rest of the year, I am too busy with school and schoolwork to be able to write substantial amounts everyday.

    I typically find that writing with a pen and paper is the best for me, because I usually always have them with me, and it keeps me from obsessing over one part of the story for too long, like a word processor would. With a pen and paper, I just sit there and write whatever comes to me, even if it takes me in a direction I hadn’t planned on for the story. I find it easier to get the story out this way, and then when I have reached the end of the novel, I can go back and enter it on a word processor and begin to work out the kinks or fill in the missing pieces of the story. I do wish that I had a writing space when I am back at home, but there is really no place for that, so I settle to write wherever I happen to be at the time.

    The most recent book I finished was a prequel to the book I am choosing to work on in this class. I had begun is last spring semester and continued to write sporadically throughout the summer whenever something came to me that allowed me to continue the scene. When I returned to school for this year’s fall semester, I was so close to finishing that I couldn’t leave the book behind, so I ended up taking it with me to classes, and would work on it when my professors went on strange tangents that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. A few weeks into the semester, I was able to write those two words: “The End.” I was so pleased with myself and I couldn’t really believe that I had “finished” it in such a short space of time. I have found that when I am truly on a role in one of my stories, I can’t bring myself to put the pen down, even if I have searing writer’s cramp stretching throughout my arm. My handwriting gets messier and messier to the point that it gets difficult for even me to read what I wrote. This is how a lot of writing sessions go with me.

    Most of my friends are in some sort of English or writing major already, so there’s no real problem there. Plus, we can bounce ideas off of each other when we need to. Older friends from high school seem to find it impressive that I am able to think up some of the things that I write about, but I really don’t see the big deal. The ideas just come to me. It’s not like I have to sit down and stew over what to write. Sometimes I have too many ideas, and have to put some on the backburner. My family on the other hand is a mixture of opinions. My mom wasn’t supportive until she “accidentally” read the first few pages of my first novel. Even when I went to college, she still wanted me to have a degree in a more “reliable” field, but she finally caved this year after seeing how devoted I am to writing. Kayla: 1. My grandpa just kind of scoffs at the things I write about, being the extremely logical mind that he is, but he always sends me clippings and articles about writing and publishing and such. My cousin and his wife “think it’s neat.” Pretty much everyone in my life supports what I want to do, and I’m glad, because that’s a lot more than some other people.

  15. I’ve never had the best writing regimen. I find myself writing the most when I have some kind of inspiration – I really don’t write much any other time. Between school, work, family, and friends, its hard to find a time where I want to just sit and write… especially when I haven’t had much time to myself. When I do write, it is usually at night. I am in no way a morning person. Usually I can write anywhere if I know what I want to write. Handwriting or via computer, I can get things done. Just to be faster during my writing, I’ll probably use some kind of word processor. It’s more convenient, faster, easier to revise, etc.

    My biggest feat right now would be to write even if I think I have nothing to write about or if I don’t know where my stories are going. More often than not, I just stop writing something because I don’t know what to do next. I lose interest or I feel like I could be doing better, or my characters aren’t worth reading about. Its really a lot of my own criticisms that stop me from writing. I know this, but sometimes the thoughts just won’t go away. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do to give my characters a “wow” factor without going too extreme. I can never really get over my own writing. Everything sounds uninteresting and lame. I just need to find something that I can get myself in and be able to write about page after page. I need to be able to get over the fact that it's hard for me to write without any ideas.

  16. I write when the mood hits me; it’s not always the most structured process. I usually write around others so that I can ask them about how they would react and then compare that to how my character reacts. I also like writing around guys so that I can ask them for opinions on a male point of view. I write more during the school year because inspiration always seems to find me when I have the least amount of time. Three of my closest friends are writers (one more serious and the other two more casual), thus we often write together so that we can bounce ideas off of each other and workshop as we write.
    I can write anywhere, but I prefer to sit on my bed or in my roommate’s moon chair. When I start a story I like to use a pencil and unlined paper so that I can sketch and draw arrows as I start fleshing out characters, locations, and plot points. I have to write from beginning to end because I never fully flesh out the plot structure before writing. I usually have to do research as I write to make sure of facts, thus I usually work at my computer after developing my first ideas so that I have access to the internet.
    When I am bound and determined to write, I can write for 20-60 minutes without any significant distractions. Music keeps me writing longer, as does any noise around me that I can easily block out. In all honesty, I write better when someone in the background is playing a violent videogame with lots of shooting and explosions; it is really easy to block out so that I can focus.
    I usually have something to eat while I’m writing so that I am pretty well settled into my spot with no need to move. I “accidentally” forget about my phone, but thankfully most people who would text me understand my need to write. My family has no appreciation for my writing, seeing it as unessential. I cannot write while at home because my mother always invents a list of chores that must be more important than my writing. My father sees it as useless. My roommate and her boyfriend both are writers, so they understand not to bother me if I am writing. I extend them the same courtesy, which allows us all to get more work done.

  17. I don't know that I write better or more productively at a specific time each day. Like you said, it is difficult to fit writing into a life already cluttered with classes and other projects. With a major in journalism alone I am expected to run around finding, writing and producing stories in a variety of mediums. The rest of my school life is trying to stay up to date with readings, papers and blog posts like this one. Outside of being a student, I play guitar and write music in a few bands around Indiana. I'm involved with the Invictus project , where a handful of students write narrative non-fiction essays about failure and transformation that will be published at the end of spring. I'm writing a comic book that I hope to have published by the end of the year. Somewhere in all of this I try to find time for short stories and a social life. I like to multitask.
    When I write, I listen to music or watch television online. If I know that I have more than an hour to devote to the project I will make sure that the amount of music or video I have access to reflects that. A lot of people tell me that they cannot multitask this way, but I thrive on it. I'll usually leave a couple of projects open on the computer so that I can switch around if I find myself stuck someplace.
    I guess that there are a few things that remain consistent. I drink coffee when I write. I'll take cigarette breaks if I can but, if I get really involved in a project, I sometimes forget that I smoke. The music that canvasses the background as I write is usually instrumental. I listen to a lot of post-rock or progressive rock bands with long songs and no lyrics. I think that it helps to stimulate me and keep my thoughts headed in one direction. It isn't that I cannot and do not appreciate silence. I don't own an iPod and can force myself to write under whatever circumstances I'm expected to.
    I enjoy planning things by writing by hand. I've planned most of this project and a few others in long-form notes. If I'm bored in class I write in a notebook about whatever I have on my mind. For the Invictus project I have over thirty ink-filled notebook pages, front and back, of how each scene fulfills its part of the story arc. This helped when, a week ago, my old computer died permanently, and I could use the notes to make changes to an older draft on a flash drive.

  18. I usually write during the night since that's usually the time when people don't disturb me to interrupt my thinking process. I usually write when I have everything "written" out in my mind, changing what I think needs to be changed, etc. I do all of my writing on an old computer, that has never been hooked up to the Internet (so no need for distractions), and I write at my home in my bed with LOTR music playing. Weird I know. If I get stuck on something I'll play old school Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, or Free Cell until I've worked out the situation in my head. If I'm still stuck, I simply move on leaving notes on that page.

    Before writing I'm excited to create everything in my mind to get everything polished. I plan out when I can or can't write aka make sure everything school related is done before I write, unless it's for my fiction or creative fiction writing classes. While writing, I'm not sure what I feel since I'm so engrossed in what I'm doing. After writing I feel satisfied and work on the next piece in my mind. Other times I might glance over the work just to make sure I used the correct words and tenses.

    Some things I become distracted by are losing at games of solitaire, someone texting me, or someone coming in to talk to me. Luckily I don't have the internet to make me want to check Facebook or anything else. If I become too distracted then I stop writing all together since my mind isn't on the story that I'm writing.

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  20. I do and have always done the majority of my writing very late at night, usually between the hours of one and four am. I've worked best on a third shift type of schedule for as long as I can remember and because of that, I've never really been aware enough to try writing in the morning, or rather the "regular" morning. I can accomplish a good chunk of writing in the afternoon if I am alone. Something about being alone makes me flock to my characters as if they are my friends. I start thinking about what they would be doing if they were in a similar situation and it helps me round them out.

    Music has always helped me not get bored with my surroundings while I write, but it has to be music that I know I won't feel the need to sing along with, usually instrumental tracks or very low songs that I'm unfamiliar with. I can never write with the TV on. Typically, I sit Indian-style on my bed using Word and I force myself to stay off of the internet unless I need to research a quick fact to put into the story. With the project I am working on now, I frequently resort to a Woodstock-related book or a google search of music charts from a specific period to find a quick fact or two to put into my novel. Still, I am adamant about keeping myself off of Facebook. Once I open that tab, I know my writing session is over. When I am in writer mode, social networking becomes the bane of my existence, until afterward when I want to share my progress.

    If I have the urge to get some writing done when I am away from home, I can do it as long as I have a corner to myself. If I can feel like I have my own nook, even in a swarm of people, I am okay, but if I am at a table with other people, it is useless. As far as the days of the week go, I only write during weekdays in the summer. During the school year, I write whenever I have a few moments of free time, which never seem to come often enough. For progress' sake, I try to keep a pen and notepad with me at all times. Although I'm the type to write full sentences during the sketching process, it helps to have a pen handy if an idea comes to me. When I finally make it back to my computer, it's helpful to have those scraps of notes to go back to and to make sure I don't forget something that might really work.

    Lastly, my writing sessions wouldn't even get off the ground if I didn't have ice water and coffee. Water, coffee, pen, and paper, all the makings of my own personal writer's survivor kit.

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  22. I don’t have a particular time or place where I write, but it always has to be on a word processor. Within perhaps a page and a half of writing things by hand (and I have big handwriting) I get bored and my hand starts to cramp, so I try to end what I’m doing as quickly as possible. This has led to a number of ambitious and well-begun stories that turned into silly nonsense because I just didn’t feel like continuing seriously. I prefer to write in a sort of vacuum, if you will; no other people, no other noise, and preferably no other light besides my computer screen. This rarely works out, of course, and I’m not so persnickety that I can’t write when these conditions aren’t met; that’s just the situation I aim for.

    The internet, of course, causes me a huge problem. Sometimes I don’t even have to get stuck to go surfing, I just have to have the question in the back of my mind, “Gee, I wonder what’s happening on facebook,” and there goes my productivity. Even so, that’s not my biggest problem. The biggest obstacle to my writing is actually getting started. If I can motivate myself to actually open a Word document and start typing, the battle’s half over. But it’s so easy for me to procrastinate with writing, even if I physically write it out on my to-do list. The problem is that without any definitive due date, I think, “Well, this article needs to be read and this paper written by tomorrow, but I don’t have to have my writing done until next week, so I’ll do it little by little, but start tomorrow after these other assignments are done.” Of course, tomorrow I have new assignments with equal urgency, and so writing without a deadline rarely happens during the school year for me. I’ve tried various ways of tricking myself into writing daily, but it’s hard to fool oneself. I suppose the most concrete plan I have right now is to keep up with the weekly word counts and hope that some good habits naturally develop.

  23. I’ve been told that creativity is toxic. We all have it, every human, but some of us are much more ill than others. The products of this toxin are paintings and music and acting and writing. This is one reason I find it all so beautiful: because if you get right down to it, it’s all just vomit. Understanding this, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out the precise purging station for my writing; a no-fuss-no-muss sort of environment. Because let’s face it, if it’s true that we have no choice but to indulge our illness, it’s best to make it as clean as possible. Earnest Hemmingway woke up each morning and wrote 500 words before anything else. Then he went fishing. While I won’t assume that we’ve all got this sort of time, I believe that the point here is that he had a process. And it worked pretty well for him, wouldn’t you say?
    A majority of my writing life has been devoted to short fiction: flashes, poems, and (less often) short stories. Unfortunately, most of this is the product of random and unpredictable bursts of inspiration. To keep with my analogy, it was when my fever was raging, my toxins rolling, and my vomit uncontrollable. This means that there was no consistency. Sure, some congruencies exist: I write on my computer. I write everything out before I call it quits. However, my perception of “creative writing” has always been longer form, though I’ve never actually sat down, shall we say, to write out a novel. So how do I take my scant writing habits and manipulate them to work better for novel writing?
    Whether or not I or anybody else likes it, I am not a morning person. That is, my motivation seldom wins out against being tired. By virtue, I’ve naturally leaned towards reserving all of my “home” work until the evening. In fact, it makes more sense to me to stay up through the night to finish a class assignment than to wake up early. For me, the issue isn’t figuring out what time of the day to sit down and write, it’s what I’ll end up writing once I’m there. I’m a notorious planner. So much so that sometimes I scare myself because this is not the stereotype for writers. And because bouts of illness strike in the most unanticipated of times, I’ve made a habit of writing idea bursts down in various notebooks for later. Additionally, sometimes my “writing” is drawing sketches of outlines or character frames. I think that unless I’m ready to be legitimately writing for my project, I prefer to map and ramble with pen and paper.
    To end, I suppose it’s important to note that I’ve become an incredibly adept procrastinator. I’ll clean my room and do my laundry before I’ll sit down to complete my assignments. And don’t get me wrong, the assignments will get done: my grade and education are very important to me. And because I’ve begun viewing myself as a “writer,” as a “writing” major, I’ve begun to fall into the fallacy of my writing work being assignments, which I actively avoid. I think what will most effectively combat this issue is just loving my story. Loving my characters. Essentially, just genuinely invest in my writing. While it may be a bit harder, I think in the long run it will be more beneficial to control and draw out, in an organized manner, my vomit instead of relying on the unpredictable bursts of inspiration.

  24. I'm not very consistent in my writing regimen. I never have a scheduled time to write and typically do it during my "free time" after classes. After reading the blog post I've decided to go to sleep early and write this out at nine in the morning. I want to get myself into the habit of doing this so I get my writing done before the tiring school day rather than after.

    There was a time when I played soundtrack music while I wrote, but I've fallen out of that habit. I think I'll pull up those tracks again for this semester because I absolutely adore music that's specifically designed to go with scenes. Several years ago I took a fun online test to see what kind of writer I am, and it told me I was a screenwriter and that I imagine the scenes I write as a movie. Perhaps there's something to that.

    I find that when I do work in the library I keep myself on task because the big iMac monitors keep me from browsing Facebook while students and professors walk around. I always use a word processor, but I see the disadvantages of wanting to edit my work as I type constantly. I do use the internet as a resource as I write. For example, I'm going back and forth from my page on 750words to your prompt right now. I frequently browsed wikipedia and google when I had a previous project writing about a comic book company during the beginning of the Comic Code Association, which killed the sales of classic horror comics of the era. (The ones that inspired Stephen King's Creepshow)

    I certainly don't NEED an assignment in order to write, but the motivation of getting a grade and passing a class certainly makes it easier to get me to write. In fact, one of the main reasons I took this course was to force me into getting my first draft done. I'm sure if I had deadlines and fans to answer to, it would be a similar situation, but that won't be until I'm already established. Until then, all I have to answer to are the few people with whom I shared my work.

    Do my friends and family support me as a writer? Sure. However, I wouldn't say that most of them support my writing. My father is a "left-brained" engineer and doesn't read recreationally. My mother used to read Stephen King novels, but still hasn't read the five page short story I gave her months ago. I never push my work on casual friends out of fear of being perceived as egotistical. The only person that I felt comfortable sharing with is my lovely girlfriend, who I can say supports me as well as my writing.I also have a growing writer relationship with Jared Sexton, who supports my writing greatly.

    I guess my goals this year as a writer are as follows:

    -Get into a writing regimen (Preferably in the morning)
    -Write 3 to 5 days a week using 750words.com
    -Have a complete first draft by the end of the semester
    -Revise with Jared Sexton over the summer if he's available.
    -Go to the Midwest Writers' Conference to find publishers and agents
    -Submit my work for publication with several publishers.

  25. I wouldn't say that I have an actual writing schedule per say, but when I do write (because I'm inspired) it usually turns out to be at night. The day of the week doesn't really matter, as long as I feel the inspiration and can start running with it. As for how I write its usually in a word processor of some kind. I feel that I type much faster than I write, so in typing my work I can get more out before I start losing my train of thought and the story.

    Let's see, a typical writing session for me usually begins with a sudden burst of inspiration to write a certain story. Once the inspiration hits, if I am in a position to do so, I grab something to drink and maybe even a snack. I then pull out my laptop, open up word and just start typing. I know that I am very particular about how and what I write, but recently I have also been trying my best to start writing as if I just want to get the story down. I've noticed that in writing just to write and by not caring about the quality at the time I can get a lot more content of my ideas out and "on paper" before they run right out of my mind, so to speak.

    I think if I were to make up a list of goals for the semester, it would begin first and foremost with a goal to find outside sources, i.e. not family, to read my work and provide their opinions. It's not that I don't think my family will like what I write, but in some cases I think that in writing for people outside the family I have a few more liberties that I can take, where as they might offend or shock my family members if they read them.

    Other goals for this semester include:

    1. Try to set up a more concrete schedule for my writing.
    2. attempt to write content that may be "outside" my comfort zones.
    3. attempt to start writing without thinking of editing in the process.
    4. most importantly, have fun with what I write. don't let it become "work", just write.

  26. I like to write at night, when most people are asleep and it’s extremely quiet in the house. I usually write during the week before I go to bed, and I only write on the weekends if a big idea comes to me. I mostly just jot down ideas on pieces of paper during the weekend, and then develop those ideas more during my weekly writing. I’m pretty consistent with writing throughout the year. I only slow down when I feel too busy with other events happening in my life, or I give myself a “vacation” in which I don’t write for a week. I traditionally start my ideas, poems, or stories on paper, and then I move to the computer. I only use internet for research or music to set the mood for my writing, then I stop the music before I write out a scene. The music is just an exercise. I can write anywhere as long as it’s quiet. I can’t think when people are having conversations around me. Their voices interrupt my thoughts and their words disturb the dialogue in my stories.

    When I start writing, I go straight from beginning to end. The last time I wrote a novel, I hand wrote it in two notebooks, I couldn’t stop writing. My hand hurt the whole day. I wrote the entire novel in about a month. I only took breaks to go to class, eat, and sleep. Before I start writing I feel extremely tense because I know once I start it will be hard to stop. While I’m writing, I continuously feel I just want to get it done, and then at the end I feel content with getting the draft down.

    My family is not exactly the most supportive group out there. My parents let me have creative writing as my major, but just over Christmas break they once again mentioned that I need to get a job, any kind of job, because what I want to do will not happen. Even after I got published this year in a magazine, only one person in my family read it. On the other hand, my friends are very supportive. Many have gone to my readings and helped edit works before I’ve sent them out to literary magazines.

    I once read an interview with Joan Didion who claimed she wrote every day, at least one page. Being a successful writer, she inspires me and I take her writing process into consideration. I think the writing process of a productive writer is simple: just write. Jot down ideas, and then make time to write for at least 30 minutes a day or more. Schedule that time. Mark it down in your daily planer or phone as a reminder. If someone wants to meet up, say “Nope, sorry. I have something scheduled during that time. Can we meet another time?” Writing is like working out. It makes your body/mind better. So we, as humans/writers, should make an effort to schedule in the important works that help us in our lives.

    List of Goals:

    1.Start scheduling writing time. I want to make writing a priority in my life and by doing that I will start thinking of it as a mandatory time in my life again.

    2.Continue writing on 750words.com, but I will try not to get frustrated when I can’t find if the site saved my words or not after I logged out.

    3.No friends will be around while I’m writing. My friends try to talk to me too much while I write or they listen to music which distracts me. I will go home or go to the library where no one will talk to me.

    4.I will start reading more to learn from what other novelist have done. One good book a month amid all my other books for class.

    5.I will write without worry of what anyone will think or say about my draft. It is just a draft, just a weird idea typed out. It’s okay to write whatever. Not everyone is going to like it, but I must find a way to make it “good” in order for it to be worth anything at all.

  27. I don't do as much writing as I would like. I can't have a set time to write. I have to write when I feel like I have something to say. The only other time I write is if I have a deadline, like with papers. When I do have to write, I like writing in the morning, especially when I'm at school. At night, all my friends want to talk and hang out, and I can't work when people I know are around me. I end up way to self-conscious. In the mornings, no one I talk to is around. They're usually in class or sleeping. It's just much more relaxing to write then.

    I prefer to hand write. Handwriting makes it much more difficult for me to go back and rewrite things. I have the habit of starting things and never finishing because I keep rewriting the same sections over and over again. When I hand write, I don't go back and make as many changes. The only problem with handwriting is that people can easily tell what I'm doing. And then they always ask what I'm writing, or how it's going. Then I get so embarrassed that I usually stop writing and never get back to it. I prefer to be left alone when I'm writing.

    When I want to write, it's usually a fairly easy process. The words just flow and I don't really think about what I'm putting down. If I don't want to write, but I have to, it usually takes a really long time to get anything down that sounds half-way decent. I stop and think a lot. Often, I've decided that I need to write, even though I don't want to, and then I waste a couple hours staring at the page or computer screen. I need to learn to push my perfectionist tendencies to the back of my head while I'm writing.

    My goals for this semester are: 1) To actually sit down and write whenever I can, even if I don't "feel like it"; 2) To let the first draft be the first draft, and not pick it apart as I'm writing it; 3) To be willing to let people I know read my work. If I can't take criticism from my friends, I won't be able to take it from editors; 4) Not to let others being around stop me from writing.

  28. I do most of my writing late at night because that's when I am in my deepest thoughts. I have to be in a room by myself and have silence when writing because otherwise I become very distracted. I write during all different ranges of emotions. I usually like to write fantasy when I'm in a good mood. When I am upset or in a bad mood I tend to pour my feelings out on the page in a song. I feel like songs are the best way I can express myself when feeling pain. I do enjoy have writings assignments from school because they help my thought process when I actually have an idea given to me. I enjoy writing during the summer because it is my time off from school, however I struggle with mind blocks and don't always know where to start.
    I really struggle with time management in general. So it is really hard for me to find time to write when I am so busy with school. I plan on working a lot harder on my writing after I graduate because it will be part of my career. I need to work on writing down all of my ideas for a story. I tend to get stuck elaboration on one idea and then forget my other ideas.
    My goal this semester is to improve my writing skills and also learn how to write a novel. I would like to turn my piece that I started writing in my Creative fiction class last semester into a young adult novel. So this class will hopefully help me accomplish my goals.

  29. Writing tends to be an odd situation for me. I find I write best, be it fiction, journalism work, whatever the case, late at night. Around 2:30 to 5 a.m. late. Or at least that is when my most efficient writing takes place. At that point it doesn't matter if I'm tired or in that weird in between state of a tired euphoria. There lies a comfortable zone for my writing. Other than that, I can write semi-efficently for school's sake whenever needed. Music or television or none of that distract me too much from my task.

    For the most part I write as I go with little regard for knowing exactly where I want to end. There is a general outline of where I want my main focus of my stories to stay and what my characters are supposed to be like, but for the most part I let the story take itself with additions here and there to spruce it up a bit.

    The cliche' thing is to say "I picture things like a movie" when I try to plot out an image for scenery, but it to an extent holds merit. The important parts of a story get fleshed out through the little lens I create in my mind.

    The hardest part is finding what to write about sometimes. I could crank out what seems like at the time to be a decent first draft, and when I come back to it, end up re-writing the entire first half of the story line. This mostly is an issue in short stories though.

    As far as getting into the mood to write is concerned, all it takes for me is a clear head and a couple of drinks doesn't hurt. For the most part, I feel I write in practice to my peers. Not much is different about how we write other than my infatuation with late night writing.

  30. Sorry for the late response, I haven't been on a computer in a few days. With that said, I prefer to write out most things in pen the first time around. Technology and I have this mutual relationship composed mostly of distrust. Writing things out helps me slow down and gives me time to gather my thoughts. Yes, sometimes my hand does not keep up with my thought process and I lose something. Typing things out seems too final to me and a pen and paper allow me to get sloppy and personal. This also allows me to use the typing process as a time for revision. I have made a space for writing in my room complete with candles and typewriter. Honestly it is nice to have the space for writing, but it is not necessary. As with most people, my better ideas come to me when I am not at the desk trying to write something. Wherever I lay my pen is home?

    Distractions are usually a part of the process. No matter what the situation, there is always something else that is on the mind. Typically once I get into a rhythm, everything else gets put on hold fairly easily. The trick seems to be finding that rhythm.

    I'm not sure when the best time for me is. Writing usually happens late at night, but that's only for my convenience. I've written at all times of the day, and I haven't noticed which feels the most productive. Mornings may be the best choice, but my rigorous and fluctuating sleep schedule would have to be tweaked. I have found staying up all night writing gives me the most rewarding feeling. My body tends to disagree, however.

    One of the biggest goals for me this semester is to establish a specific writing regimen. With this, I need to find out what time of day leads to the most productive sessions.

  31. Usually when I write, it is late at night, though that has more to do with my sleep schedule than anything else. When I go about doing my writing, I typically go through two stages. First, I sit down with a notebook and get my ideas down longhand. Usually this page is just loose structure, with the occasional block of semi-finished prose thrown in for flavor. After that, I let the ideas stew about in my head for a while until I'm ready to sit down and do my first attempt at writing the actual project.
    In terms of a writing environment, I can write just about anywhere, but for convenience' sake, I do most of my work in my bed or at my desk (Wireless keyboards may be the best invention in a very very long time.).
    Recently, I started using 750 words, and my experience echoes pretty much everyone else' I've heard talk about the site, it helps me focus by giving me a tangible, reachable, and reward-laden goal, even if that reward is just the momentary pleasure from seeing the html at the bottom switch to "You've completed your 7 words."
    I typically write with the internet on, because I have a habit of checking wikipedia frequently to make sure that I'm not mixing up concepts, histories, or other things. Also, it helps because I can use streaming radio services. Failing that I always have some form of music playing while I write, because I can't concentrate without it (This comment is to the tune of Arcade Fire)