Write You Fool—Write on a Regular Basis!

You can see him (or her) now, finding their writing space and staring into it. Nothing comes—damn it, nothing! James Scott Bell says, “Write a certain number of words, on a regular basis—a quota. Then, you look up at some point—three or four months, or a year—and you have a completed novel.  I used to do a daily quota, but felt like I was a slave to it. So, I do a weekly quota now. If I miss a day, I can make up my weekly quota. And, I take one day off a week. That way, you become a prolific writer.
Is he right? Yes, if you want to be a prolific writer. Some, like John Grisham, write for only 6 months at a time. For me, I need some space between novels too but, once in the writing mode, find it best to be on task on a regular basis. “Write you fool” is a good mantra to keep me going. Hearing from other authors is great motivation to keep going, keep reading, keep exploring and keep the story flowing until the keyboard melts. Then stop, edit, revise, pause, and edit again. Like athletes, writers have their own quirky preparation. Their relax, and reward their writing efforts, in different ways too. Whatever works for you, do it!

John Grisham makes writing error, but does he need an online checker?

From my own experience, I have enjoyed using online grammatical aids, to a point! Here’s my humble take on them:

+ve: picks up repeated phrases, checks sentence length, and overuse of adverbs, etc. Psst, here’s where it would have helped John Grisham in “The Guardians”—on page 157, he writes, “He takes a drink and studies the ocean.” Then, on page 159, John writes, “He takes a drink and studies the ocean.” Well, software would pick that up.

-ve: does not help you develop your own writing style, nor flow or ‘voice’. There is often a cost.

Ask yourself this question: would Hemingway, et al, use an online writing tool? They might in their early days of writing, but I am convinced they would go up the wall after a while and stay their own course through the rough editing waters. Good writing and editing software are destined to call off their romance after just a few dates!

Skip to toolbar