work habits

Last week I finished revisions on my latest novel and sent it off to a reader I trust. Note: always have a couple of people who will tell you the truth look at something before you send it out. Agents and publishing houses don’t have the time and money to edit you the way they used to. (Remake of Shane for the literary set – Come back, Max Perkins, Max, come back!) It’s also a good idea to hire an editor as well. However, not my point. My point is about the writing life and work habits. Writers who are prolific, successful or both, put in long hours with their story. They write because they cannot not write. So what did I do after finishing? Let a couple of the people closest to me know, posted it on social media and started researching the next novel. I can’t say much about the next novel, but I am going to give myself some time for background reading because at the moment, it looks like a much bigger book than I’ve written before.

My preferred schedule is to go to the gym or for a hike in the hills, work till lunch, errands, then more writing, then if I’m on a roll, more writing in the evening. When I was wrestling with the revisions, it took a lot of staring into space while I struggled to solve the problems of replacing and moving scenes. One of the instructors at Antioch pointed out the value of writing immediately after sleep and sometimes I try to do that, just to see if more creative solutions come first thing out of dream time. I’m not sure it makes a difference for me. Basically, all you can do is what works.

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