Saturday, August 18, 2012

On The Advice to "Just Keep Writing"

See, I'm not sure about the advice to "just keep writing."

On one hand, if you're consistently putting out a thousand words a day, you know that you're definitely not becoming stagnant and passive as a "writer."

On the other hand, quite frequently when I follow that advice, what I write (often vast chunks of thousands and thousands of words) just end up getting tossed. That's what's going to happen to everything I wrote in the last couple weeks before I decided I was wasting my time and spent three days reading HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD THRILLER instead of writing a word. Then I put the book down, replotted, started writing again, and now I'm back on track.

Did I waste all those hours, like a snake swallowing its tail? Maybe. I'm leaning toward yes. Hard to say.


  1. Eh, just chalk them up to the million words you have to write before you're publishable. :)

    I forced myself to write during last November's NaNo and most of that is in the scrap pile. Also, I've recently abandoned that whole book, since I couldn't figure out what the bad guy wanted--even after 50,000 words. Maybe I'll go back someday, but at the very least I learned that I can write regularly. That's good to know. Keeps the guilt flowing on the days I don't.

    Now I'm going to have to figure out how to write regularly and WELL.

  2. I've written and deleted so many words, pages, chapters, and huge thunks (esp. of my 1st MS), but every bit of writing is for me more practice, helping shape me into the writing that I am today.

    Sometimes taking a break is the best thing-often after a few days away I have those amazing (for me) 3000+ days when the words just keep coming. Sometimes though, I need to apply butt to chair and write. I'm afraid of my own words, that my book won't be good enough, and what I need to do it get it down, then worry about fixing it later.

    Reading great writing books is never a bad idea. Stepping back for perspective encouraged as well. I hope you don't feel too discouraged cutting so much of what you've written this last month. Much of it won't be in your MS, but I'd be surprised if you didn't flush out a character better, or discover an element that will be huge for your book.

    Best of luck!

  3. Robin, you totally throw me off when you comment after me. The email says I commented, but I don't remember saying all that great stuff. Then I laugh. :D