Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why I Don't Write Daily

They say:

In almost every interview with an author I've read they’re asked, “How many words do you write per day?” 

Stephen King claims to write somewhere around 6,000 words a day. 

Dedication is a great attribute. 

The problem with writing each day, however, is newer wordsmiths’ forgot about the world around them. They want to be like top earners, so they act as such, sitting at the keyboard all the time. People are forgetting to live without a screen or pen. 

Before Stephen King made it big he worked a normal job, and went out into the world discovering life. If you have an hour to kill, here's him talking about it with George RR Martin.

Today, authors use Google to see what trees look like. I'd rather touch the leaves and smell the maple sap for myself.

Writing is sincere when the author lived part of the story.

Ernest Hemingway, for example, wrote conversations he'd hear in public. Then he’d mold a story from the experience.

I'm not suggesting you murder someone to research serial killers. Probably. It's just counterproductive to write a letter to an inmate rather than trek over and meet the person behind the mayhem. Truman Capote, In Cold Blood. Anyone?

This idea is nothing new. Going outside is how Ralph Waldo Emerson came up with “Song of Nature” and many other masterpieces.  

Before I started writing Diaries of Karma, I talked to military personnel who had taken lives and read dozens of books on professional killers to understand my assassin. I minored in psychology to create my psychologist. I worked as a temp at a marketing agency for a year and went to business school for two years to mold out my ad agent. My narrator is a dead poet who lived by karma, so I met with people who believed in spirits and listened to their stories with an open mind. Plus, I researched all topics above for years before writing chapter one. The book isn’t published yet. But when people read it, they’ll definitely feel like my characters are real.

During my researching days, I didn't write much at all.

Why turn my passion into some mundane daily habit? People get bored of and quit habits. Habit writing may even cause writer's block, which could be why I've never struggled with it.

Say you forced yourself to write 600 words a day, but didn't leave the house except to go to work. 


You can't remember anything that happened, except while you ate a peanut butter and jelly on rye you saw pigeons surround what appeared to be a rat carcass. 

You wrote what you witnessed, but the result of your work felt flat. This is the point where I recommend stop writing and take up a hobby. 

Play tennis. After a few months, write a screenplay about a tennis player who falls in love with his coach. Add the pigeon/rat prompt and you'll be a writing machine.

I wrote a 52k word romance novel in two weeks using life lessons, outlines, and scribbled prompts. For those two weeks, I didn't leave the house, but I spent six months doing stuff.

Currently, I'm in Japan. A main character from a five-part fantasy saga I've got outlined happens to be Japanese. It's no coincidence.
(From the shrine in Kobe)

So, before you write your next sentence, I hope you will go outside and experience something new.