Let me preface this by apologizing first for yet another discussion started by me! Sorry!
But I'm finding it difficult to stay completely sane lately.
I've never worked this hard on my writing before.
I sometimes write eight hours with minimal breaks.
Weekends tend to be less (but not by choice)!
How do you guys stay sane (those of you who do stay sane)?!
Any tips--PLEASE?!

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I cannot write a new draft for more than two hours. After that I have to do other things.
two hours? hmm. That sounds far more normal to me.
I'll mull that one over, thanks!
If I wrote for eight hours straight, I would guess only a total of about two hours of that writing session would be worth anything...worth keeping. I prefer to THINK about what I am going to write for six hours, and then sit down at the computer and spend two hours getting it all out on the screen.
Yes, but you're sane--and I've lost it!
seriously, it's surprising, but I get good results, that's why I'm doing it sometimes like that.
I'm on my third draft and a lot of it's revision, but some of it's writing. too with important notes to my chapter index.
the day I worked eight hours, I didn't feel so well. no wonder, right?
I'll cut down definitely. I don't want burn out.
thanks K.R. so much for your reply.
Hmm. I think the only time I spend that much time at a time at the computer writing is when I'm in the homestretch and the story is tumbling out through my fingers just as fast as I can move them. Otherwise, I probably spend much more time thinking than I actually spend at the keyboard writing.

Sometimes you have to make yourself take a break, or set a schedule and stick to it. Your writing will suffer if you don't take the time to distance yourself from it every now and then.

When you've got this draft done, set it aside for a few months, then come back to it, and you'll see things that need fixing that you couldn't see because you were too close to it before. I've got stories that I thought were finished until I went back up to a few years later and realized I'd missed stuff. Taking a few months' break from it will let your brain recharge as well, and you can work on something else on a reasonable schedule in the meantime.
Pepper, excellent advice and I thank you for it.
Another insight!
See the story I wanted all along (minus the rubbish) is just bursting out of my head now! I realize now that--and that's what's driving me to overwork. hadn't looked at it like that.
I do also agree that I must come away from it for a few months.
Can go and work on other things, definitely. then return to it. very good.
thanks a lot Pepper!
I take breaks-- usually to eat or drink or see hubby. He turns into a big of a pest if I stay in my lair too long.

Part of the reason I have to stop is because I'll know WHAT I want to do, but not how to do it best. So, rather than keep going (or skip it and come back later) I stop and mull it over for a while. I prefer to work in a linear fashion and hate skipping things.
totally agree with you.
hus is pretty undrstanding. He likes to tinker in the shed and is happy to goof around (games) on his pc--so I'm lucky about that. and besides, during the week he doesn't get home until I'm usually finished anyway
that said, I do placlate when necessary! go to things on weekends strictly for him and so on.
I absolutely agree that I never want to skip something. linear all the way!
what I've been doing Clair, is I'll write or re-write a chapter, work on my notes (one file) which is actually a chapter summary and a chapter planner all in one.
then i tend to re-read what i've written several times (on and off)always notice something when I'll go back.
The thing is though I want to cut back a little because my reading has suffered.
and I love to read and it helps. I mean I opened up my fav book, three novels by Chandler and I marveled (sp) at his style. all the detail there and how he did it and how rich the story and the characters were for him doing it.
thanks for your reply!
Every writer is different; every day is different.
Crime writer Sandra Ruttan has mentioned that she writes long days, too, so that she can complete the first draft of a novel in a matter of weeks.
Of course, few writers are ever categorized as sane ;-)
sanity has no bearing on anything we do!
I KNEW it!
seriously, thanks a lot it does vary. didn't know Sandra said that. Good! I feel better.
actually, i think you have to go by how you feel (every which way) physically, emotionally, MENTALLY and so on!
i'm going to do that at least.
like right now, it's early--I know I have to take the dogs out and then I get to plant myself writing. and you know what, most of the time I can't wait!
the house, cooking is carefully slotted in towards the end of the day. but BEFORE huz gets home, even though he's an angel.
very helpful reply. it would vary from person to person.
My problem is I'm obsessive. I live in the story while I'm writing it, so I'm constantly jotting down notes and tweaking ideas. Within my writing day, I'll go back over what I wrote the day before and correct mistakes, tighten anything sloppy, and then move forward with what comes next. I do write more as I go along. The beginning is slow, then it goes faster up to about 20,000 words, then it usually slows a bit and so on.

However, my understanding is that Ian Rankin writes in a very similar fashion - all hours for a matter of weeks until the draft is done. Val McDermid, on the other hand, usually keeps business hours and takes frequent breaks.

It isn't about sanity, it's about what works for you.
always the voice of reason.
True, whatever works best for me, etc.
I just over did it last week! but I won't again, as I didn't feel well!
It's hard to stop though when it's going well (hopefully).
But I do thank you for your reply.
And I especially agree that for everyone it's different.


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