Shannon Summary: How Do I Write?

20 Oct

Okay, so a week back, fellow blogger, WineCountryMom, suggested that I answer some questions about writing as she had done (which I thought was REALLY informing and interesting from one writer to another). So here’s my “How Do I Write?” interview:

How long do you spend writing each day? 

How long I spend on writing depends on if I’m writing that day and what I’m writing. I’ve gone days where all I did was write. As a teenager, my father actually had to steal my laptop to remind me to eat and sleep, because I will continuously write once I lose myself to my fantasies. However, if I’m not writing creatively that day, I—at least—spend thirty minutes blogging and thirty minutes journaling. (I’m a huge advocate of journaling!)

What time of day do you prefer to write?

Nighttime! I’m a night owl. If I could, I would sleep all day long, and write from sunset to sunrise every day.

Do you set yourself a time limit or a word limit? No limits?

I generally don’t do either, but I have done a word-limit before. November Snow is 125,978 words (600 pages), but most publishers won’t risk a first-time author with a novel over 80,000 words, so I’ve set that limit before.

Do you write with music on? If so, what music do you like to write to?

Yes and no. It depends on my concentration. Sometimes, I find even music can be distracting, but I initially use it every time—I generally listen to classical (but very dramatic) music. Something mellow with very few words, so I don’t get distracted by lyrics.

How often do you check the Internet? Do you fall into Internet black holes? Or turn off your WiFi completely?

I’m on the internet constantly. I try REALLY hard to ignore it, but, even as I’m writing, I find myself needing to research or look for inspiration.

Are you a basher or a swooper? Kurt Vonnegut characterized writers into these two camps: “Tellers of stories with ink on paper, not that they matter any more, have been either swoopers or bashers. Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work. Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.”

I’m more of a swooper. Although I try very hard to be a basher, it’s hard for me to continue to write when I don’t just lose myself to the words and story—coming back to fix mistakes later.

Do you eat when you’re writing? What snacks/drinks do you go to?

Hardly ever. If anything, maybe a coffee. But my hands are too busy typing to eat. Plus, I’m very clumsy, and I don’t want to spill something all over my laptop (because I surely will).

What’s your biggest procrastination tool? Or are you a freak who never procrastinates?

I like to believe I never procrastinate when it comes to writing. If anything, my writing becomes my procrastination towards my every-day life.

How do the people (roommates/partners/children) who live with you fit into or around your writing schedule? 

I fit them in or I fit writing in as my schedule changes. If I feel like socializing, I socialize. If I feel like writing, that’s what I’m doing. I don’t let those schedules effect one another unless it’s a special event.

Do you find yourself tied to the place you’ve grown accustomed to writing? Or can you just pick up and go?

I’m actually a pick up and go person. I find my every-day desk distracting, because I do homework, journaling, blogging, and writing there. I prefer to go to a nice coffee shop (cliché, I know) or a hookah house or anywhere with WiFi where I can put in headphones and not get kicked out after a couple of hours.

I hope this was interesting to fellow writers, and maybe you can relate or have found things we have in common! I think these are great questions to consider when thinking about yourself as an author, and I encourage others to take a moment to contemplate answers (or maybe even post about them!)

Happy Saturday! Here’s a picture of my cat, Bogart, because you can never have enough pictures of your pets, friends, and family!

Bogart

~SAT

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10 Responses to “Shannon Summary: How Do I Write?”

  1. pwettyfly October 20, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    I used to live in a world of fantasy as a child, but adulthood has completely stripped me of it. And I’ve been wondering how I can go back. I haven’t written anything that was fantasy or pure imagination since I was 15, and I would like to. Any suggestions?
    BTW Humphrey is gorgeous!

    • Shannon Thompson October 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      Do you have dreams at night? If so, I would suggest keeping a dream journal for a little bit. Then, every day, expand on those dreams, making them abstract. Since dreams aren’t confined to our world, maybe dreams can help you imagine a new one.
      ~SAT

  2. P. C. Zick October 20, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    I love it, Shannon. I’m going to do the same thing next week or the week after and mention you as the inspiration. Thanks for sharing. We are very similar in some of our writing methods even though we write in different genres.

    • Shannon Thompson October 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      Thank you! And I’m looking forward to reading your future note.
      ~SAT

  3. Stella October 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    I liked your question and answer format in this blog entry. I saw myself,even though I am years and decades older than you, in some of your answers. I am a dabbler when it comes to writing.I think and think about it,then I sit down and write,and rewrite. I enjoy writing,I love manipulating words to paint a story. People who read my writing often say they feel like they are in the room with me.I take that a a great compliment.

    I like the picture of your cat. I am a cat person,as well. I am currently writing a story for my eight year old granddaughter about a cat who has special powers. She is loving it.

    SLC

  4. armchairauthor October 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    This was a really interesting post. I think I’ll take a turn at answering these over on my blog. I’m glad you found your way to my blog so that I could find my way here, to yours. Will you be doing NaNoWriMo this year?

    Also, you have lovely hair.

    • Shannon Thompson October 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Thank you for the compliments.
      Strangely enough, considering I’m a writer, I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo, because I don’t like limitation or forcing writing when I can’t connect with it. That being said I still think NaNoWriMo is a great event, but it’s not something I personally participate in.
      November is my favorite month though! And I’m looking forward to reading your “How Do I Write?” interview.
      ~SAT

  5. jrwritesthings November 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    “If anything, my writing becomes my procrastination towards my every-day life.”

    This sentence is stolen from my heart.

    Thank you for opening yourself up to these questions. A very inspiring/thought-provoking post!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Music Muse: deLord « Shannon A Thompson - October 24, 2012

    […] I posted my interview “How Do I Write?” I received a few emailed regarding my answer about music. Some of you were surprised to find out […]

  2. Here’s How I Write « Writing Tips, Thoughts and Whims - November 1, 2012

    […] A. Thompson, a fellow blogger, gave me the idea for this post. I liked learning about Shannon’s methods and choices during her writing day so I thought some of you might find my process interesting. […]

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