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06 February 2007 @ 07:08 am
Q & A - #7 - "What's your writing schedule, and...?"  
Q & A - #7 - "What's your writing schedule and how do you unwind when you're finished writing something intense, where you had to dig way down?" ~ ryan_field  


Since grad school requires an inordinant amount of weekly reading, I don't have a set writing schedule. I wish I did, and I plan to get one the day I graduate. The day I graduate! The day I graduate!!!Photo Credit to Me

However, over the inordinantly long winter and summer breaks that grad school provides, I attempt to get much writing done. This last summer, for instance, I wrote over 2/3 of NORMAL FOR ONCE. I outlined my novel, guestimated how many words I would need to complete each chapter, divided that by the number of days left of summer, and wrote 750-1,000 words each day. Just like that. If I give myself a goal, I usually accomplish it, or at least get pretty close. 

Over winter break, I gave myself the goal of revising NORMAL FOR ONCE. A complete overhaul that took into consideration revision ideas from my thesis advisors from CSULB in addition to my good friends  robbiewriter  &  newport2newport . First thing in the morning, I would brew some of my takehome Starbucks Komodo Dragon blend, mix it with hot cocoa mix in my Starbucks coffee mug, and hop on over to the Starbucks coffee shop of the day (NOTE: One of the main reasons I choose SB is because they don't have free WiFi, and no Internet means I'll actually get work done).I'd work 4 hours before lunch and at least another 3 hours after lunch, depending on what I had going on that evening. 


When I finish writing something intense, I usually feel like running down the library steps or taking a flying leap with my feet tucked up behind me. I don't do that, but that's how I feel. I have writer friends who tell me they feel drained after an intense writing experience. Not me. I feel energized. I usually can't wait to get home, print out the first draft, and read it aloud to myself, making corrections where needed so I can read it aloud to my wife and get her thoughts on the scene. 

Similarly, I don't usually need an unwind when I'm done writing less intense scenes, either. I just love writing them, intense or not so intense. The time I get to invest in writing feels like a gift from heaven. I wish I could do it all the time.

I'll be answering one of these questions a day for as many questions as I have, so if you've got anything you wish you could know about me, ASK IT HERE.
(Anonymous) on February 7th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
A reply to answer
Hey Jonathan,

Thanks for the answers. I like the answer to part one because it shows you're flexible, which I've always believed was important. And determined, too.

The answer to part two made me laugh because I feel the same kind of powerful energy after writing; I've always felt it. In college I started running after I wrote, and haven't stopped :) My one addiction in life.

Thanks again for the answers...Ryan Field
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 7th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: A reply to answer
Powerful energy...I like that. That's exactly what it is. I imagine God must have taken a flying leap off the library steps when he was done creating.
(Anonymous) on February 7th, 2007 01:01 am (UTC)
PS from Ryan
Signing up this week, without fail. I swear on my blackberry.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 7th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
Re: PS from Ryan
Uh huh...
christy_lenzi on February 7th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
What about those pokey trees in the picture?
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 7th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
The pokey trees. You caught me. I snuck a picture of some trees from down the street. I just love the picture. Photography is something I do to jigger the other creative side of my brain.
christy_lenzi on February 7th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
It's a great shot. I wonder what kind of trees they are?
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 8th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
Spikey works for me. Spikey trees. Spikey trees. Other than that, I have fewer clues than Blues.
(Deleted comment)
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 7th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
You're so good at saying and meaning just the right thing to lift a guy's spirits. Thanks.

But really, if you don't have passion, what do you have?