We had a fabulous teen author, Jack Gantos, at the Schaumburg Twp. Library not too long ago. He is class personified as well as funny, a very skilled writer for different ages, and an artist. On the days we took him to the high schools and grade schools, he got up at 3:30 to do his writing for the day. Yes, I mean A.M.

I know I do not have that kind of discipline, yet I handle many freelance projects and my library deadlines professionally. I suppose I am then the type of person who manages many things in a short amount of time rather then a productive person with an eight hour stretch in front of me - or a three day one in the case of last weekend, where my 5 page goal disappeared behind a visit to the beach, antique stores, family events.

Ironically, I get very annoyed if a favorite author takes 'too long' to finish the next book in a series. I'm not crazy about some current bestsellers and their attempts to 'write' 6-9 books a year, but it's hard to wait a year for a favorite character! There is a particular NYT bestseller author who really offends me with 6+ books a year, because he thinks he can also write for teens. I can think of a few who can write well for both, like mystery writer Peter Abrahams, but this is a writer who cannot. I recently did a workshop and forbade any participants from mentioning his teen series. Yes, we'd all like J.K. Rowling's money - but not everyone can write well for YAs; it is completely different than writing for adults. If you can figure out who I mean - and it is no one from LIM - email me at aalessio@stdl.org and I'll send you a prize, unless you tell me you like those books.

My librarian colleague and friend (and fellow LIM panelist), Susan Gibberman, suggested that if a person writes 100 words a day, that in 3 months almost 10,000 words would be written. This is about 10 minutes a day. You might think - well, that's hardly a book. But it's more words than are being written on my computer right now!

November is National Novel Writing Month. It's an initiative to write an entire novel in one month. That seems a bit extreme to me, especially in a month where I have 30 of my relatives over for Thanksgiving, but perhaps if I had the deadline to finish another book by the next LIM conference I could do it. Does anyone want to join me?

Also I'm curious - those of you who write every day: what is your routine? Would you get up at 3:30 to get your quota in?

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Comment by Lisa Stiles on September 14, 2007 at 1:37am
I participated in NaNoWriMo twice and found it to be a wonderful exercise in turning off my Inner Critic and getting my rear in the chair to write. Now, I try to write every day on my lunch hour at a nearby library or cafe. On the days where I don't write during lunch I make it a point to write for at least an hour in the evenings. And then I really try to knuckle down on the weekends (with varying success...). It is most helpful to me to not try to write at home - too many distractions.
Comment by Fabrizio Fulio - Bragoni on September 5, 2007 at 9:03am
used to do it from 2.30 to 3.30 a.m. , untill i started boxing (well just amateur boxing) and discovered what happens if you get on the ring having slept just 4 hours instead of the usual 7/8....

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