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Who says we should write fast?

A reader of my New York Times columns Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, asked whether I might devote a post to a subject he has been struggling with: “being a painfully slow writer.” In particular, he asked these questions:

Are there practical ways to become more prolific without addressing psychological issues. For example, you are a prolific writer, what is Zithromax. What routines do you follow. Zithromax class, When do you know it is time to stop writing and publish or submit. Finally what is your typical start to finish process. Do you outline, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. How do you write a first draft, Zithromax without a prescription. What do you do differently in the second draft and so on through your writing process?

The email came at an interesting time—I had just spoken on a panel at a writers’ conference on the topic of “Write Fast, Zithromax interactions, Make More Money.” I was flattered to be on the panel, but felt like an imposter.

Many journalists, Zithromax from mexico, academics, Zithromax dose, and bloggers seem to pride themselves on writing fast. Many editors value these speedy types. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, Given declining per-word rates, especially on Web sites, it’s no wonder writers are looking for ways to cut corners—or to cut to the chase. But I have to confess: I’m not a fast writer, Zithromax street price. The articles and books have piled up, Zithromax from canada, and I have a good chunk of experience behind me, but I don’t feel “prolific,” either, online buying Zithromax hcl.

I have only two goals when I sit down to write: I want to create thoughtful, Zithromax overnight, accurate, beautiful stuff, and I want to suffuse the piece—whether a post, Zithromax without prescription, an essay, Fast shipping Zithromax, a feature story, or a book—with my own voice.

But I am a working stiff; I have to meet deadlines and pay bills, kjøpe Zithromax på nett, köpa Zithromax online. So I have learned a few things to help me do both, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription.

First, Zithromax schedule, I got over my perfectionism by working in newspapers. I used to sweat over every little word, and it was stopping me up, rx free Zithromax. It helped me to have real deadlines and to learn to just do my best, Buy no prescription Zithromax online, even if it wasn’t prize-winning prose. I allow myself messy first drafts, and trust that each successive draft improves a piece, purchase Zithromax online no prescription. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, Second, I realize that there are many good ways to write a story, and no one “right” way. I trust my instincts about what’s most gripping and dig in. Zithromax price, I give a piece my best shot, and trust my editors to help me shape it.

Finally, order Zithromax from mexican pharmacy, I have learned that writing fast is about making sure that I’m not procrastinating. Order Zithromax from United States pharmacy, I have some writing rituals, which get my creative juices flowing; they are part of my process. (Sweeping the patio is a good one; I think of it as “clearing the ground.” Reading something that inspires me in the morning is another.) I allow myself these rituals, then try to be good at recognizing when I am indeed procrastinating, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription.

The rest is “discipline”—small habits that keep me focused and productive, australia, uk, us, usa.

I establish clear boundaries around my writing time. Buy Zithromax without a prescription, I work set hours, start on time, and do not leave my chair (except for stretches and lunch) until I have worked six hours, order Zithromax online overnight delivery no prescription. “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair, Zithromax class, ”
 wrote the activist and novelist Mary Heaton Vorse, and I agree. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, (When I had an office in my home, I worked from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Zithromax australia, uk, us, usa. Now I share an office space with a community of writers, Buy Zithromax without prescription, and it requires a commute, so I work 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Zithromax steet value, leaving more time for lunch with colleagues.)

Whether it is a home office, Zithromax forum, a bare table in a getaway cabin, or my current space at the San Francisco Writers Grotto, I insist upon a dedicated writing space as well as a dedicated time, Zithromax dosage. I don’t do finances here, Zithromax pics, I don’t plan tonight’s dinner, and I don’t read the newspaper. I write, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. I have a dedicated work phone, is Zithromax safe, too. Where can i order Zithromax without prescription, My friends don’t have the number, and my husband and mother have been trained not to use it.

Because I’m disciplined about these things, buy Zithromax online no prescription, I can cut myself some slack when it comes to the work. My Zithromax experience, I don’t put pressure on myself to produce shimmering pages. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, I know that if I just show up and keep at the writing, things always start to click. Sometimes it’s not until the last half hour, but then I have a place to start the next morning, order Zithromax no prescription.

If I’m really under the gun, Zithromax no prescription, with a deadline looming and some especially tough work ahead, I practice a time-management skill I call “rocks in the bucket.” I learned about it from a colleague at the American Society of Journalists and Authors, who explained it with an analogy, Zithromax gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Suppose you have a bucket and four piles: rocks, Low dose Zithromax, stones, pebbles, and sand, Zithromax recreational. You must put all the stuff (i.e., Zithromax over the counter, the work tasks) into the bucket (the work day). The best way to do it is to start with the rocks, then add the stones, then the pebbles, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. The sand is in-fill at the end. (If you try it the other way around, you’ll end up holding a bunch of rocks.

I make a list of all the things I need to do in the day—from reading a chapter for research, to writing an intro, to checking email, to calling my editor. I label each item according to importance. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, The rocks, the things I absolutely must do today, are the A’s. The slightly less critical things, the stones, are the B’s. Then I make a new list, grouping the A’s, the B’s, the C’s, etc. I give myself a time limit for each task and I stick to it. At the end of the day, I won’t have gotten everything done, but I will have knocked back the most important things, and I will have tackled them first, when my energy was best.

Discipline is well and good, but you can be very disciplined and be stuck in a rut, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. How do you stay refreshed, inspired. For that, see my essay “Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline.” When I need to, I take a break, letting my mind wander, letting inspiration drift in. That can be part of my six hours. And I follow each workday with exercise, which recharges me for the next day. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, Brainstorms for the next chunk of work often come in Lane Three of the swimming pool, in hula class, or over a garden bed.

As for the process part of my reader’s question—Do I outline. Do I follow a certain practice with each draft. How long does the whole thing take—I’ll take that up in another post. I’m coming to the end of my six hours, and it’s time to slip off to the gym.

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13 Responses to Buy Zithromax Without Prescription

  1. Gina Pera July 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    Wonderful advice! Where were you 30 years ago when I first started wrestling with these issues?

  2. Kendra Wagner July 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Constance,
    Pragmatic and on-point.
    I do believe we get this notion about “fast” with everything human, in that we mistake mastery with automaticity with speed. They are interconnected but not an equation for artistry. I am still waiting for you to run your book on writing for High School Teachers by me.
    And, by the way, I sent Gina your direction (comment above).

  3. Mary Cronk Farrell July 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Thanks so much! I am a slow writer and try not to think badly of myself.
    Do you allow yourself time to read blogs? If so, how often and how much time?
    Do you write on weekends?

  4. Evelyn Krieger July 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Thanks for the great advice. I also consider myself a slow writer and have adopted a few of the strategies you mentioned. I especially like your idea of prioritizing and setting boundaries. Please check out my blog post on this topic. It was in response to a NYT article: How Many Books Will You Write This Year? http://evelynkrieger.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/how-many-books-will-you-write-this-year-9/

  5. Connie Hale July 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Evelyn, thanks for the link. Interesting perspective, but even though other writers are upping their output, I care most about *quality*. I need ideas to percolate for a while, and I like to do research so my ideas have depth. I don’t agree with your commenter that it’s just a matter of finding your voice. It takes more than voice to write something of value to others, I think.

    Mary, I work as an editor, and of course I read a lot in preparing my books, so I am picky when it comes to reading. I stick to stuff I know will be good (The New Yorker, NY Times, certain articles I hear about, and classics or books recommended by those I trust). I don’t read much online. (Time management, again.) I don’t write on weekends, sometimes using the time to catch up on correspondence, but otherwise trying to recharge. (Unless I’m up against a hard deadline, then I might work a half day on Saturday.) The imagination needs fallow time. At least mine does!

  6. Katherine Griffin July 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Great post and topic, Connie! I think just developing rituals and routines that work for you – everybody’s are different – helps you develop some faith in writing as a process. Sticking to the routines can be enormously helpful in getting through the uncertain places.

  7. Mary Cronk Farrell July 12, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks for sharing your habits Connie.

  8. content writing articles July 20, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  9. Connie Hale July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Dear Content Writing Articles:
    Your comment cracked me up. But, it also made me wonder: Are you real or are you spam?

    A colleague says she has gotten lots of identical comments.

    Other commenters, what do you think? Can we tell when something is a spam just by the syntax? Interesting question!

  10. Mackenzie Kelly September 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    Connie,
    Under this heading you say “Word games, grammar gaffes, and comments on the craft” I haven’t found any word games posted to which I can add my own.

    It is a vowel game and consists of finding words which make a series of real words when using all five vowels. For example:

    pat pet pit pot put

    If I could find a series that uses y as a vowel – but I never have

    Mack

  11. Mackenzie Kelly October 8, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    This one is close, but no cegar

    Stale stele stile stole stule??? style
    Mack

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