Saturday, March 15, 2008

Will Write as Food

Writing preferences, I've decided, are a lot like eating styles. There are binge writers, who go for months without writing as a novel deadline looms, and then frantically cram writing the whole thing into three weeks. There are grazers, who work in whatever fifteen-minute intervals present themselves and have no trouble composing coherent works in mini-feasts of words (Neil Gaiman once told me he does this while traveling). There are seasonal writers, gorging on words in the winter and going on a lighter verbal diet in the summer when the outdoors beckons. Anorexic writers have writers' block. Gourmet writers concentrate on small, exquisite outputs.

I'm a breakfast writer: a steady morning diet day in and day out. If I don't write for more than a few days, I get cranky. If I have to cram in eight-hour shifts at the keyboard, I not only get cranky, I get tired (not unlike the sluggish feeling after a huge Thanksgiving dinner). I work best with a steady routine: between 1,000 and 2,000 words daily, in the morning. Other writers might find this either constricting or boring. I find it reduces strain and stimulates production.

Next month, I resume traveling after a quiet three months at home. Nebulas in Austen, Northwest Media Arts in Seattle, LaunchPad in Wyoming, Worldcon in Denver, University of Leipzig. All of this will mean a) less writing, b) more crankiness, and c) a more erratic diet. In both senses of the word.

1 comment:

bluesman miike Lindner said...

It's weird, isn't it? Speaking now not as a fictioneer, but as a broken-down lyricist, if a month goes by and I haven't written, I FEEL MEAN! Gotta trust the Muse, though--She, in her power, can manifest anytime, in any form. And =never= ignore her! She might feel hurt, and never come again. My last, #94, came in a dream...