It Works for Me

Most successful writers write every day. Every single day. They floss their teeth. They file their receipts. And they write.

I'm not that writer--at least not in the drafting phase. Maybe I will be when I grow up some day.

But I haven't yet mastered the balance between the voices in my head and the real-world demands. If the kids interrupt me, I snap at them. When the characters interrupt me, I find I've been standing at the sink for 15 minutes scrubbing out the same wine glass or that I've driven three exits further than I wanted to.

I have to pick which world I'll inhabit and stay there.

So, a few times a year, I draft. NaNoWriMo-style, I just push the words out. Some call it "pantsing," but for me, it's highly inefficient plotting. This first draft isn't a first draft, it's a "zero" draft or a "crapdraft." And it's a rush.

I do it for the rush. There's no rush in revision (except for the occasional shout of "Yeah! That's it!")

In the next two days I'll warn the family. I'll show the husband the fridge magnet with the pizza parlor's number again. I'll tell the kids, "If Mommy is talking to the laptop, don't enter the room." And then I'll ride the ride.

Maybe next year my method will change. But for now, this works for me.

What works for you? As a reader, do you read a little every day, or does life shut down while you stay up all night with your novel?