On Writing,  publishing

A Question…


Such a dangerous question when asked in relationship to so many different things.

Yesterday, in the last chapter of the book I did about writing a novel in five days while traveling, I made a comment near the end that I found the exercise fun to be able to (just for a few days) feel like I belonged in the world of the pulp writers.

And I made a comment that I was born too late.

A reader wrote me privately with a good comment. Basically the reader reminded me that I should feel lucky to have the modern things we writers use such as computers, control of our own work instead of selling it to gatekeepers and so on.

The reader made a very good point. We do have it so easy, so much easier than the pulp writers did. I know that, I study the pulp writers and their lives.

Yet even with things being easier, it is unusual for a writer in 2017 to write a novel in five days. (And realize the novel I wrote would have been on the long side for the length that pulp writers wrote.)

And the idea of someone like me doing that every week for years and years is just alien in this modern world.

So I got to wondering why? And I tried to find some reasons.

— Not a shortage of markets.

Any story can be out and in reader’s hands in very short order. No gatekeepers anymore of any value. So that’s not why.

— No problem with the mechanics.

Manual typewriters were a problem in the pulp days. (Anyone remember how to change a ribbon or carbon paper?)

But now we have computers, large screens, laptops, voice writing, you name it. All are used to make writing easier. And it is a ton easier. Not even in the same difficulty universe.

From there I came up with a blank.

Mechanics and markets, the two major limiting factors other than the writer’s belief system. And both mechanics and markets are a ton easier in the modern world.

So why do writers in this modern world not just write novels every week, week-after-week?

That even “Why?” question…

I knew the answer. Writer’s belief systems. Modern writers don’t believe they can.

That belief has been trained out.

Writers of the modern world have been taught to think that writing at pulp speed is different, unusual, a fantastic feat, massive work, and on and on and on…

I then realized I had done it too. And until tonight I hadn’t caught myself on it.

Look back at the last chapter I wrote. I called the entire idea of a novel in five days, “Crazy.”

Why? Writing a 40 thousand word novel should take me between 35 and 40 hours.

Sitting alone in a room and making stuff up for 40 hours in five days. What is so crazy about that????

And more importantly, what is so difficult about that?????

Those of you who work real day jobs, corporate jobs that take 40 or 50 or more hours a week should be looking at that and being disgusted. I got to spend 40 hours in five days just playing.

And people will pay me a lot of money over the rest of my life and beyond for those forty hours of playing.

Yet even I got caught up in the modern attitude of telling stories for fun and for hours at a time isn’t possible. Or it is difficult.

Or it is crazy. (I’m tossing my own words back at myself notice.)

So maybe it’s time for me to do a few more myth posts around this one area, if nothing else but to talk with myself about this problem in my own head.

Somehow, I have let the attitude of modern writers seep in, writers who think making something up for an hour a day is tough.

Now if day jobs and family limit your play to just an hour a day, that’s fine.

But if you have an entire day and you think you had a good day because you made up stuff for one hour, you may have an issue. Not a computer issue or a market issue, but an issue of attitude.

And I clearly had an issue when I thought the idea of spending 40 hours to write a novel in five days was crazy.

No wonder I got it finished. It wasn’t crazy or difficult at all. It was just another fun thing I did while enjoying my travels in Las Vegas.

Attitude is everything.

And having fun is the key to fixing the attitude.

(And I think I will add this onto the end of the book as a second epilogue…Might be the most helpful thing I say in the entire thing.)


  • Melissa Bitter

    Oh goodness, gracious, mind blown. Kapow!

    All very good points, which makes me realize that I believed firmly in the myth as well. Looking forward to the series of thought posts that come out of this paradigm shift. 🙂

    Also, I wanted to jump in a few times earlier to say congrats on the challenge and for making the time to get it done. It was fun to read along, following your adventure.

  • Author aspirant

    So maybe it’s time for me to do a few more myth posts around this one area, if nothing else but to talk with myself about this problem in my own head.
    ^^ please do

  • Robin Brande

    This is a really important follow up. Thanks for pointing out (and thank you to the person who pointed out to you) this still lingering block. If even you catch yourself thinking that way…!

    I look forward to you examining it some more in future posts!

  • James

    A few comments from the hobby-writers’ gallery:

    1. Part of it might not be training as much as the desire for the work to be “important” (another one of the myths) – hence the literary fiction meme of taking five years to produce a single book which then becomes the darling of the literati set. For many people, say “pulp” and they think “low-quality writing” instead of “low-quality paper for magazines and books.” You love the pulp magazines and their writers so, for you, “Pulp Speed” is a challenge to make it fun. Others might define it as “permission to write sloppy” because to them, “pulp” is the opposite of “high art.” So they slow down because they want their writing to be “important.”

    2. Part of it might be the pressure that some authors put on their writing, when traditionally published. After all, they got rejected for their previous books and, “somehow” a book got accepted and published. They believe they did something right and now straitjacket themselves with the idea of duplicating the thing that lets them get published. (And typing in a straitjacket will slow you down a LOT.)

    3. But you’re right about training. I was at a small writers conference and, for amusement, I attended a presentation about editing to avoid “mistakes.” The presenter took one author’s passage (from the presenter’s writing group) and removed nearly all of the author’s voice from it, turning it into a generic, active sentence, voiceless piece of writing perfect for high school English classes or some modern thrillers. (Aside: am reminded of a blog entry you did about voice way back at the beginning of your blog when you were trying to re-find your voice after finishing a project writing an “invisible prose” thriller for somewhere – I loved that phrase, invisible prose.) Anyway, the passage at the end looked as if it was written by a different author. Which I guess it was – by the presenter. And the audience of wannabe writers went “Ooh” and “Ahh.” I’m sure each of them slowed down tremendously so they could “fix” their sentences as they were trained.

    • J. D. Brink

      I think these are three great points! It’s like you watched some people walking ahead of you, saw them hit the trip wires and end up in tiger pits. Your pointing them out helps me see the logic of these problems, nod my head, and be more aware of the waiting beasts in the pits.
      …And likely that analogy of gibberish only makes sense to myself. Forgive me, all, I’m on night shifts and terribly sleep derived.

  • Annie Reed

    I write a lot at the day job — it’s what I get paid to do. I decided about a week or so ago to keep track of those day-job words just to see how much I really write, with a goal to write more fiction than day-job words. Another motivational tool, but it also ties in to the subject of your post.

    See, I have no problem going to the day job and writing what I need to write there even though it’s technical, requires lots of research at times and crafting persuasive arguments applying legal theories, and frequently involves writing in a language that’s only partly English. I just sit down and write, sometimes for hours without a break because there’s a can’t-miss deadline looming and I can only type just so fast.

    I want to get to the same place with my fiction — just sitting down and writing, no worrying about where the story’s going or how I’m going to get there. I figure comparing the word counts is one step along the way. If I can do that at the day job, I can do it with my fiction. I know intellectually that I can. It’s just a matter of believing that it’s not unusual or a sometimes thing.

    • dwsmith

      Annie, I would love to hear how that turns out. Interesting comparison. It is also why I keep track of e-mails I write every month. If I can’t write more fiction than e-mail words, I feel something is wrong. And I have had numbers of months where the e-mail words were larger than the fiction words.

  • Jason M

    I’ve had trouble typing for more than 3-4 hours. I get kind of fidgety and my concentration eventually gets blown out. That’s why my word count has never exceeded 3000 words a day, which is why I could never do a novel in 5 days.

    Then again, I’m an athletic 40 yrs old. Maybe it gets easier to sit as you get older, or fatter. I don’t know. Nonethless, I’m trying to train myself to eventually hit 5000 words a day. It’s not easy. (One time I did 7000 words in a single day, on deadline, and my head nearly exploded.)

    • dwsmith

      Jason, the key is not to type for more than an hour at a time. That leads to damage. Stand up and stretch every hour is the key. That resets the body and it can sit for another hour without an issue.

      So part of this is knowing how to treat the machine that is our bodies. Breaks are critical. Just a few minutes of movement.

      • Chong Go

        This is a point I’m grateful for, but as far as I know, you’re the only person I’ve ever heard emphasizing this. Kind of surprising.

        A friend who’s a physical therapist was just telling me a couple of days ago, that when we sit for more than an hour or so, our blood sugars and (something else I can’t remember) changes to more like that of a diabetic, and it takes a lot of physical work to get that back to a healthy range. Yet if we just keep moving every hour or so, we can avoid that “reset”.

    • Linda Maye Adams

      Even when I’m work, I get up every single hour and move around. Usually walk to the end of the building and back (it’s a mall-sized building). It helps me have energy all day. I shudder when I hear someone say they didn’t get up all day to even go to the bathroom. Yikes!

    • D Butler

      I haven’t heard that one before: I can’t write that many words in a day because I’m too young and athletic. *grin*

  • Gnondpom

    I’m wondering whether it could also be a problem of deadline. I know that I work very efficiently when I’m under a deadline, whereas otherwise I tend to procrastinate. Surely I’m not the only one in this case.

    Pulp writers used to have strong deadlines (the magazines had to be published on time), so they didn’t have much choice but write and finish on time. Or they would just stop being hired by the magazine. I guess that the fact that you had a deadline helped you write your novel in 5 days (sure, it was self imposed, but it was a deadline nonetheless, especially since your challenge was public).

    In indie publishing there are no real deadlines, and the ones in traditional publishing are absolutely nothing like writing a novel a week, so there is no reason for any writer to write so quickly. And then of course if you don’t do something and you don’t see anyone around you doing it, you start thinking that it would be impossible. Back to the myths.

    • dwsmith

      I do think that is part of what plays into the myths. I wrote a number of books for traditional publishers in under a week to deadline.

      So I have a hunch that you are right, deadlines play a small part. But I got a hunch the larger problem is our society.

    • Harvey

      Excellent point, Gnondpom. And that’s where personal challenges can come in. If a writer taks on a personal challenge, s/he sets a deadline. Tell a few close, SUPPORTIVE friends and the deadline will become more solid.

  • Ian H

    It’s the myths. I remember changing type-writer ribbons. And getting fingers caught in between keys.
    I don’t know if anyone pointed it out when you mentioned Rensselaer Dey. I had read many years ago his account of being asked to write Nick Carter, but this time I actually noticed something I didn’t when I read it first — he was already so used to writing quickly that the idea of a new series of 30000 words a week didn’t bother him at all. Nor being asked to cut them to 20000, and then go up to 30000 again. Imagine what he could have done with a computer!

    • Michèle Laframboise

      Yes I read the interview and what I took from it, besides the obvious work pace, was his love and interest toward everyone he encountered in his travel. His openess, and willingness to listen to what very different people had to say. This impressed me.

  • TinkBD

    And… Dictation. 😉

    Erle Stanley Gardner dictated for many years, beginning , I think, in the twenties. He dictated and wrote his word massive daily counts on trips and vacations. He took along wax cylinders AND his secretarial staff, so the equivalent of your computer in the seatbelt.

    We have many advantages they didn’t have… so, in the end, it comes down to mindset and discipline.

    Good post, DWS. Thanks.

  • Lara Schiffbauer

    You continue to inspire me! A year and a half ago I moved to a new town, and six months ago I got a new job that puts even more constraints on my writing time. To be completely transparent, not much writing has happened over the last two years. I’ve been trying to figure out how to organize my life so I can put writing back at the top on my priorities, and have been thinking about those pulp-writers of the past, as well. I’ve wondered if they didn’t have as many emotional constraints, for lack of a better term. They wrote and people read and it wasn’t an instant feedback loop like on the internet today. For a long time I have been caught up with wanting to be the perfect writer, whatever that might be (because I still haven’t figured that one out) and that seems to slow/stop me more than anything else. My time has gotten to the point that I need to just write, if I want to be a writer. I hope you do explore the Myth of Why, because I would enjoy your take on the issue. 🙂

  • Elise M Stone

    You wrote:
    Mechanics and markets, the two major limiting factors other than the writer’s belief system.

    I think you left something out: lack of imagination.

    Let me explain. I am severely left-brained. I used to make my living as a computer programmer and, while there is creativity in solving the problems in that job, there are also strict rules. I got there because for most of my life I was discouraged from using my imagination, despite the fact that my favorite activities were reading and writing stories.

    Anyway, about 15 years ago when I was getting close to retirement, I knew I had to try writing novels before my life was over. So I went the usual route of taking classes and joining writers groups and critique groups. And eventually wrote my first publishable novel four years ago. Then two more in that series.

    But it was becoming just as much work as the day job used to be, so I decided to do NaNoWriMo (not my first by a long shot) and write something that wasn’t important, something just for fun. I was never going to show it to anyone, so it didn’t matter that my traditional mystery story suddenly wound up with a troop of fairies in the middle of it. Two more NaNos, two more books (in between working on the serious books), and I realized I had another series.

    I spent most of 2016 revising, polishing, formatting, and designing covers for those three books. Yes, and publishing. Longer than I wanted, because I wasn’t writing any fiction.

    My writing muscle is like any other muscle–it got flabby from lack of use. I struggled in starting book four. I fell back on my old habits, reading books on story structure (I firmly believed I was a plotter and that that was the only way to write a good story fast. After I sweated through the outline.) I read one which inspired me so much, I set up a Scrivener template with all the proper steps in it, and started filling out index cards.

    And got stuck not too far into it. After a few days–or was it weeks?–of staring at those plot points and rereading sections of the plotting book, I knew that wasn’t working. (I’m not totally stupid. Stubborn, but not stupid.) So I pulled up “Writing into the Dark” on my Kindle and read that instead. I remembered that I had written the first book without much of an outline, and under the NaNo pressure of 1667 words per day no matter what, used the DWS method when I got stuck then: Write the next sentence.

    I’ve been (almost) writing into the dark for close to two weeks now and haven’t hit a wall yet. Of course, it’s early days, and I still have a few index cards left to guide me as to what happens next. Almost every day I write, my left brain wants to wrest control from my imagination. It’s a struggle and it does make me tired. I’m hoping it’s not too much longer before writing is fun again.

    • dwsmith

      Elise, as you said somewhere in there, writing is a muscle that if used and practiced, it gets stronger. The problem is that all the stuff stopping you, the critical voice, the rewriting to make something “perfect” isn’t training any creative muscle. It’s just making the critical voice stronger.

      What you call imagination is what I call getting out of your own way. All of us are full of creative, original stories because they are our stories, told in only how we can tell them. But we have to learn how to get out of our own way, something the pulp writers did completely.

      Heinlein’s Rules might help you crush that critical voice that is stopping you and once you do that you will be amazed at how wonderful the creative voice can be. Keep having fun.

    • Martin L. Shoemaker

      I believe that computer programming trains your brain for both world-building and story structure. We learn to build complex structures in our brains, make sure they’re logically consistent, and translate them into a tangible expression. So story structure comes more “instinctively” for us, and attempts to push it too hard only stop us from doing what we know how to do.

      Think of it as Agile (Story) Development: answer the immediately pressing questions, and make sure you don’t break anything that came before as you answer them.

  • Marilynn Byerly

    If you read a pulp novel and compare it to a contemporary version of that type of story, say two detective novels, you will realize that they are very different. A pulp novel had a few clever plot ideas and maybe a clever worldbuilding idea, and they were presented with no main character depth, stereotypical secondary characters, and a bit of violence to liven it up. That’s it. Today, readers expect a depth of character including some emotional personal components, etc., for the main character as well as most of the secondary characters. The plots are more complex, the world more fully realized, etc. That’s the difference between sewing a sampler and a tapestry.

    A few writers may be able to pull off that feat in a few days, but most can’t.

    Add to that writers are now expected to promote their books, build their brand, and fight for distribution or space shelf, etc., etc. which takes a chunk out of the writing time.

    We also must deal with reader attention. When the pulps were out, there were few other sources of entertainment so a reader was able to spend a dollar or so on a pile of detective magazines and the latest novels of his favorite authors, and he had time to read whatever the writer chose to produce. These days, the books and magazine cost much more, inflation included, and readers simply don’t have the time to read that much. What’s the point of putting out a book every few weeks if your audience can’t keep up and will reach the point that they don’t even want to see your name on a cover again? I know I’ve reached that point with a few favorite writers who produce an ungodly amount of books.

    So, no, it’s not always the writer’s fault for being lazy or self-deluded about how much he should be writing.

    • dwsmith


      Wow, hit a button I see, didn’t I? (grin) I love how you think writers of today are so much better than those of old, yet if you go to most book racks, you will find a stunning number, usually a third of all books there written by pulp writers. Still in print decades after their deaths.

      So let me get this straight, you believe we writers must slow down to write better, more complex stuff, the readers don’t have the time to read us, and it sure can’t be the writer’s fault for not getting to their writing. Did I get that right? (grin)

      And that folks, hits the problem on the head. You believe any of what Marilynn is saying, you are in trouble right off. Get help, quickly.

      • Marilynn Byerly

        No, not a button, a literary specialty. I come from an academic background, and one of my greatest interests is the changes in narrative over time. I have read extensively from all periods and popular genres including popular pulp from the Thirties and Forties. Narrative HAS changed dramatically over time. Heck, in the last thirty years, it has changed incredibly. Omniscient has all but disappeared in favor of third person which has moved from cold third person to warm and hot third person. (Explanation here: http://mbyerly.blogspot.com/2015/10/hot-warm-and-cold-viewpoint.html ) I’m talking popular fiction/genre, NOT literary fiction, as you seem to think.

        This change comes, not because popular writers looked down their noses at pulp fiction from the Thirties and Forties, but because of what the reader now wants. All forms of entertainment have become more immersive, and fiction had to follow to keep readers who want more than a few clever plot ideas, flat characters, and one or two worldbuilding zingers. They want to be inside the skin of the main character and feel and see the world as he does during the adventure. For example, in the late Eighties and Nineties, category romances moved away from cold to slightly warm viewpoint to warm and hot viewpoint, and the writers who didn’t or couldn’t make the change lost their readership and their contracts.

        I am more of a reader than a writer these day, and I read close to 200 books a year from mystery, fantasy, science fiction, thrillers, and romance, among others, and the most successful/bestseller writers tend toward the narrative changes I’m talking about although a few like Dan Brown tend to be pulp writers in style although with considerably more plot and substance than earlier writers.

        So, no, those of us who write popular fiction shouldn’t write like the Pulp writers of the Thirties and the Forties because our readers aren’t from the Thirties and Forties. They demand much more of the writer which takes more time to create.

        • dwsmith

          And anyone who has taken a workshop from me and Kris is laughing at this point. I am constantly harping, over and over, that if you want to be a writer in 2017, you need to read modern writers. Constantly.

          So we are in agreement there. Just your attitude about writing that has issues. You seem to believe that you have to slow down (whatever that means… write less, type slower?) to write more modern work. That’s where we disagree completely.

          • Marilynn Byerly

            Fast written, fast read, fast forgotten.

            I’m saying that readers expect more from their reads than those who read the pulp stories of the Thirties and Forties, and that should take time to write.

            If you can write as fast as Nora Roberts and create excellent stories, good for you. If you can write that fast or faster, just for the sake of writing at speed and not creating excellent stories, then you aren’t doing yourself or your readers any favors.

            We’re writers, not blinking NASCAR drivers!

          • dwsmith

            Wow, you are really locked into the fact that if you spend more time writing something, meaning you write it fast, it has to be of poorer quality in some imaginary way in your head.

            Great excuse to not write. You hang onto it.

        • Kristine Kathryn Rusch

          Wow. Writers of the 1930s and 1940s. Like…Earl Stanley Gardner? Yeah, no one reads his work any more. And who has heard of Perry Mason? Mickey Spillane. He’s not being read any more either. Ah, well. Couldn’t write a single sentence, that one. Andre Norton. Oh, people hated her work. Thanks heavens she moved out of boy’s adventure fiction and into science fiction, which wasn’t a pulp genre at all. Naw, nope. And Leigh Brackett too (although to be fair, she’s mostly out of print–except for all those screenplays that were made into classic movies.

          I’m pretty sure Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler wrote with depth of character and a lot of consideration about going Inside the skin of the character.

          Yeah, you’re right. No one wrote anything lasting from the 1930s and 1940s. Too bad, too. All those wasted pages, all those wasted words.

          I know, I know. These people are just the **exceptions** Except that they’re not. A lot of classics in many genres, later reprinted as novels in the 1950s, were published in the pulps. To deadline. Written fast.

          Sorry. This “modern writing is the best writing” snobbery looks down at **all** of literature. Sure, some crap stuff came out of that period. Crap stuff is being published now. Not self-published. Published by “real” publishers. The good work will be read 50-100 years from now? Who determines what the good work is? Readers who pass books to their friends and family. Not academics. Not some weird rules about “good writing.” Or “cold, warm, hot” point of view. (What the…?) Omniscient nearly gone? Have you read any Dennis Lehane?

          And I 100% disagree with your assessment of the romance genre. Don’t know what you were reading in the 1980s and 1990s, but it’s not what I was reading.

          Buttons. We all got them. And clearly, you hit one of mine. 🙂

          • Marilynn Byerly

            When I was writing fiction professionally, I have since stopped because of family and health reasons, I wrote at the same speed as Stephen King claimed he wrote, but I did a heck of a lot of rewriting. I also did a lot of thinking before I wrote, and I concentrated on giving the story depth of character, complex characters, some resonance, etc. I wasn’t just throwing up a few ideas on the page then moving on to the next project.

            We obviously have different ideas of what Pulp is. Popular genre and Pulp from that period aren’t the same thing to me or to people who are pulp experts. Pulp was the dime magazines and pulp paper short novels. I wouldn’t consider Andre Norton pulp since her books were mainly hardcover for a NY publisher. The same for Gardner. Both Hammett and Chandler started in pulp, but they rose above it as few other authors did.

            Writing for a modern audience and giving them what they want, NOT what audiences of earlier periods wanted, isn’t being a purist or literary snob. It’s being smart. You figure out your audience then give them what they want. Modern audiences, for the most part, want a deeper viewpoint and stronger emotional resonance, and that’s what they are buying.

            As to the changes in viewpoint in romance, I was trying to break into category romance at that time and was up front for the changes in editorial attitude. My mentor wrote cold third, but after over thirty books, Silhouette wouldn’t touch her books because she no longer wrote what readers wanted and her sales had dropped. I tried to help her change her style, but she couldn’t. End of career.

            Omniscient has its uses, and some authors use it successfully, but it’s not a viewpoint I’d recommend to anyone who’s starting out because of the difficulty at doing it right as well as its failure at being immediate enough for current readers.

          • dwsmith

            Marilynn, with comments like “I wasn’t just throwing up a few ideas on the page and then moving on” makes you the poster child of what I am warning people about. I warn people about the snobbish people like you who can’t do it, or tried it for a time and thought it too hard, and now make excuses to not write while at the same time wanting to hold everyone back with their snobbish attitudes. And sadly, you can’t even see it and my comments and Kris’s comments will make no difference.

            But I sure hope others can see the difference. That’s why I am letting your comments through, to show others.

        • Felicia

          I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut about this. I tried, I really tried to just ignore it but you know what, nah.

          Marilynn, all of your comments are pretty much saying the same thing, good writing, writing that readers expect, takes time. You can’t write “fast” and have depth of characters, rich worldbuilding, and deep plots.

          Bull crap. Such utter bull crap.

          A novice might not be able to because writing takes practice. You aren’t a master with your first book, or first ten books, or first hundred books. The beauty of writing “fast” is that you write more. With each book, you get better (hopefully, as long as you continue studying craft and read).

          Look at the bestseller’s list, especially in romance. Many of the top authors write a book a month or more. They have thousands (millions in some cases) fans who devour their work. These writers produce books with deep characters, plot, worldbuilding, etc. Or at least books that appeal to many people. Quality is subjective.

          Now maybe you can’t write a compelling, can’t-put-down, novel “fast”. That doesn’t mean others can’t. So stop putting your limitations on everyone else.

          I put “fast” in quotation marks because you didn’t give a definition on what you mean as fast. My own writing speed has slowed down over the years (I used to write 2500 words an hour, now I’m down to 1500 words an hour. The difference is that I stopped rewriting and I’ve slowed down my speed in order to make sure my setting and character development aren’t given short shift. I used to have a problem with talking heads. Now I’m a better writer.) but I put my butt in the chair for longer hours so my yearly wordcount is definitely up.

          Am I an award winner? No. Do I have readers? A few. Am I happier than I was five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago (writing wise)? Heck yeah. I could spend a year writing a book. Would it be better than the book I wrote in a month? Maybe? Probably not. But the next year when I write book two, will that book be better than my next book (book thirteen) after writing a book a month the last year? Heck no.

          Okay, rant over.

          TLDR: Listen to Dean and Kris. They’ve been doing this for years and will probably still be doing this years from now.

  • Maree

    This isn’t unique to writing. It’s really about the divide between hobbyist and professional. As someone who is in a trade that attracts a lot of hobbyists (furniture making) I see a lot of parallels with the writing culture.

    Approaching writing as a trade instead of a hobby isn’t a well understood thing, but I would bet is the way those old pulp writers thought about it exactly like that.

    I have many thoughts on this, but it’s strangely difficult to articulate. (blue collar cringe biting me once again) But thinking like a professional has nothing to do with whether you can quit your day job, and everything to do with attitude.

  • Sheila

    Oooh. Look at that, it’s my embarrassed face. I actually have the time to write for hours — even though my hands would be very unhappy with me — and I don’t. I should spend more time writing. I know it, it’s part of my inner guilt that I carry around. After all, there are people who only have an hour a day, if they’re lucky.

    I’ve tried the write an hour, take a break/nap/watch TV thing, and it doesn’t work for me. If I get away from the computer for any length of time, I just don’t seem to go back to writing. I think I need to do some experimenting to see if I could work something out, though.

    My normal thing is to write for about two to three hours, with bathroom breaks or a lunch break, when I’m on a roll. If I’m not on a roll, it’s about an hour’s worth of work (maybe 1500 words), and then it’s done. Off to do whatever else needs to be done around here.

    Today I got about 3200 words, mostly on a new book (sequel) and a few corrections as I finish up a POD format for the first one.