Zabowska's Blog

November 26, 2009

Writing Patterns

Filed under: Uncategorized — zabowska @ 9:09 pm

      There are two kinds of writing patterns that all writers engage
       in: patterns that work and patterns that don’t work.
      
       Writers seem to develop patterns without thinking and some of
       these patterns are less than productive for us, especially over time.
       Developing writing patterns is usually helpful. Writing patterns
       can help save time and to become more efficient. But not in all
       cases.
      
       Sometimes we develop habits and patterns that worked in the
       past but no longer serve us well when circumstances change.
       Those patterns might even sabotage our writing efforts.
       Sometimes your writing patterns can become so ingrained they
       can actually interfere with your writing progress.
      
       I believe that all writers should examine their writing patterns
       in order to discover those that work, and get them to write and
       complete projects, and those that don’t work. The first element of
       this patterned approach is to determine which writing patterns are
       working for you.
      
       One way of doing this is to discover what works to get you to
       write and complete projects, and changing those that don’t. It is
       sometimes hard to accurately determine what works for you to
       complete novels or books successfully. In order to help you
       determine what works, here are a few key questions that you
       could ask yourself.
      
       First, what is the best time for me to write.  Am I a morning
       person, or do I enjoy burning the midnight oil? Knowing when
       you are at your peak performance levels in terms of mental
       functioning can really help with your writing endeavour as well.
       Try to determine a precise time, say morning, evening or night,
       when you write best and that you could commit to as part of your
       writing schedule on a consistent basis.
      
              Second, what is the best duration for a writing session? Think
       about a realistic duration that fits with your current life and
       obligations. For instance, is it best for you to work on your project
       every day, or leave it for a time and return to it? Is it better for you
       to work in short sessions (say less than an hour), or longer sessions
       (say several hours in length). Can you use shorter sessions to do
       some writing tasks such as, revision, research, outlining,
       generating examples or character backgrounds, and longer
       sessions for actual writing? 
      
       Third, when you write, do you prefer to have background noise
       (such as family, television, and other household noises), music, or
       silence? It is important for you to know this about yourself. With
       myself, music can sometimes put me in the mood for writing,
       depending on the kind of writing that I am doing. But silence
       needs to reign supreme when I write. So, many times I have to use
       ear plugs when I write.
      
       Fourth, what motivates you to write? Can friends spur you into
       a writing routine? Are you part of a critique group, and can those
       people really help you? Are you a loner? Do you usually motivate
       yourself with small incentives, such a small piece of chocolate or a
       new outfit when you finish your manuscript in a given time? I for
       one am a loner for the most part. So, I usually can motivate myself
       to write and have incentives in place.
      
       Fifth, what is the best mode of writing for you? Do you do best
       to brainstorm in the beginning? Do you outline your manuscripts
       or novels? Or, do you just sit down and write without an outline?
       Does tape recording writing sessions work for you? Do you like to
       write your first drafts by hand? Do you like to compose on the
       computer? Become aware of what really appeals to you and helps
       you write at your best.
      
       If you are unsure how to answer the above questions, perhaps
       you should experiment with different ways of doing things until
       you discover what works best for you. All life is an experiment
       and it is no different with writing.
      
              After writing for over twenty years academically and four years
       creatively, I can honestly say that there is no one right way to
       write. You can try modelling another person’s writing for a while,
       trying to emulate them, but ultimately, you will have to work
       things out for yourself. The only way to know what works for you
       in your writing is to experiment.
      
       So, take the time to answer the above five questions. You will be
       on your way to discovering what your own patterns of writing
       are!

Sunny

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