It was recently suggested to me that perhaps spending three days in a row writing for hours on end may not be the healthiest approach to the writing life. Alas, what’s a writer with a day job to do?

This might be a worthy experiment: is the end result better if I write for maybe three or four hours instead of six or seven (or more)? Or what if I take longer breaks? This is why cookie-baking is nice, because I can give my brain a break: let’s think about measuring flour and cracking eggs, brain. Isn’t that soothing?

But then…the impatience. The part of me that insists on sipping from the mug of steaming hot cocoa, or taking a bite of the fresh-from-the-oven pizza, then informing Tom “I burnt my tongue.” It’s a million times worse when it comes to writing. The impatience monster gets angry and stamps her flat little foot. “You write too SLOW.” She tells me. “You need to finish this draft FAST. So you can revise it again and make it BETTER. You need to do more, better, faster!” Impatience and Insecurity are playmates. One whispers in the other’s ear.

But Motivation – not Impatience, who can be sloppy in her eagerness – is what will ultimately help me get this draft done. And time – wherever I can find it. And cookies.

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. I haven’t had a full day of writing for a while, but I think those are actually often more productive for me. After a while I just get into the zone and stop judging what I’m writing. So I actually think those long writing days can be good – I wish I could get myself to focus long enough to have one again!

    • Productive, yes, I agree! But terribly draining. Often it’s a good kind of tired, where I feel I’ve accomplished something and it feels terrific. Maybe because I was just starting this revision, in the end I felt tired and overwhelmed with so much more to do. But I know, I had the luxury of devoting a whole weekend to writing, I really shouldn’t complain!

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