Hulk's Writing Routine

Writers are strange specimens and their routines are stranger. While writing a thesis on Gamma Radiation, I contemplated the methods I use while going about my writing. Not to procrastinate on my thesis or anything, but I've decided to document my own routine. For research. Not procrastination.

Step 1: I turn on my computer. After my beloved PC died, my brother-in-law loaned me an old Apple (I do refer to it as Mac. Mac and me. We're good buddies). I usually bop around my room while it loads, straightening things, checking that no spies from SHIELD lurk outside my window. That sort of thing.

Step 2: I cure myself of the burning procrastination desire by giving my inbox a quick browse. I have to do this first. Who knows? There might be a six-figure offer for a publishing deal beckoning me. One must check these things first.

Step 3: I load Microsoft Word and pull up my documents. Since I'm in the middle of rewrites, I have two documents. One for the dumping obsolete scenes (I never delete anything...just in case). The other for my in-progress-manuscript. They take a few minutes to configure. In that time I might (but you know, I'm rarely tempted) jump onto twitter or facebook. I NEVER get distracted for long. Of course.

Step 4: I skim my last chapter and make a few edits. You know that word I agonised on keeping for fifteen minutes yesterday? Nah. Cut it.

Step 5: I stare out the window.

Step 6: Staring out the window usually brings to mind how I should start the next scene. This is the most time-consuming part. The staring. Sometimes it's ten minutes. Sometimes it's longer. Sometimes I go get something to eat as part of the staring process. Apples and peanut butter make excellent writing snacks.

Step 7: I type a sentence.

Step 8: Delete it. Delete it ALL.

Step 9: I repeat steps 7-through-8 for a while until I'm satisfied. If I was first-drafting, I wouldn't worry about this. But I'm REwriting. When rewriting IT MUST ALL BE PERFECT!

Step 10: Avoid turning into Hulk.

Step 11: Write for the next hour. If I'm focused, I can trudge through 1,500-words in an hour. If my Gamma has been acting up, it might be 2,000. I type fast on Gamma apparently.

Step 12: An hour is maximum for me, guys. If I'm near finishing a chapter, I'll keep going, but otherwise I need to give my Hulkish side time to get up and smash things. Sitting for a long, long time? Hulk no likee. I call it my Smashing Break.

Step 13: Return to writing in an hour. Delete half. Return to staring out the window.

Step 14: Write.

Step 15: Or smash. Whatever works best. (I'm flexible.)

what does your writing routine look like?! how long do you write for before taking a break?
(and do you ever take "smashing" breaks? be honest.)

1 comment:

  1. Mine looks a lot like that. Currently, I'm hammering my way through the last stretch of my first draft, and things are kinda coming together, which is to say the plot still doesn't really make sense. Second-draft problems.

    I can't wait to get there. *sigh*
    Apples and peanut butter are quite excellent. I also like dried cherries, a certain brand of tea, and dark chocolate. You know, whatever works.