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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kinow where you're coming from Tom.
I think 2,000 words is totally respectable. I generally do that too (when I'm not insane and do more)!
My dogs are nuts and they do interrupt me--but I ignore them (training)! me, that is. I would go around like a total slob with dishes all over the place, but I can't. (husband and a weak but half-hearted pretence at being a good wifey).
But during the day--I keep working (most of the day), do take breaks to avoid terminal nausea now.
then an hour before he comes home i whip myself into shape (as best I can) and get dinner going.
Weekends are tough now in the summer because of his interests and dragging me along. but that's life. i supose that's why I work so hard during the week.
Stanley's sounds like fun. We don't really go out much--it's only pubs around here to go to and they're NOT lively!
We live in YOrkshire (remember that scene in an American Werewolf in London, where the American boys stop into a pub)?! that was in Yorkshire)!
I'm reading a memoir about Graham Greene and he got in his 350 words a day, every day. No exceptions. Once done, he was done, and went out and did stuff.
thank you, but that was Graham Greene!
Me? I'm sweating, but it's to a good purpose.
In having over done it, I've learned how to cut back and work more efficiently.
Miles to go, but I see it coming together and it's exciting.
I find that 4-5 hours is just about right for me.
and if on some day I find I need to break off sooner I do.
As for breaks, I've given myself more of them.
thanks for your reply!
I will say this, Carole. Early on in the process for me, I was afraid if I stopped I'd lose the characters and the plot and all that. It took time and experience and confidence to learn to walk away and trust I could get back to it. I'm still obsessive, but I'm more able to sleep through the night now when I'm working, instead of writing through the night.

Sometimes, a break is essential to let the ideas breathe. And other times, it's nose to the grindstone. There's no formula, and saying all writing should be done one way or another (long stretches vs short stretches, pre-plotting vs winging it) is silly on anyone's part. We all work differently, and we all have different challenges in our lives that affect our schedule (family, day jobs, etc). We find ways to write around those other things, and for some of us we write all day, for others they're used to writing for shorter blocks. None of it is right or wrong, it's just different.

And for me, I often use the internet and e-mail as a way to take a break from the writing process, getting out without leaving the house to remember people actually exist out there.
Oh boy! You have so made my day!
Moi, an author? (in waiting, hoping, sweating and working, maybe)!
You know I don't even read for pleasure anymore, with this feverish third draft?
I read, but am looking at the way the experts use character, plot, dialogue, and everything else!
I do actually enjoy what I read (some of time, though)!
thanks Margaret!
So (to piggyback on what Sandra said), we are all very different and our personality will steer the method. I am easily distracted, so I need to stay away from email and use it as a carrot at the end, along with cookies, going in the garden and reading. I needed to make myself more obsessive or I was never going to get anything done. Like Sandra said, I was afraid I would lose the characters etc. - because I did lose them - I would let other things in my life take over. Now that I have been doing this for a while I have figured out what I need to do to balance life and writing; doing enough to stay engaged (for me) without going overboard. I am NOT totally confident I have it down pat, I think that is going to take a couple of more books under my belt before I feel that way! You seem to be figuring it out just fine Carole. Off I go to my tower...
not ivory tower, surely!
thanks so for that, Tina
Yes, I think I'm onto what's right for me.
today for instance I did my five hours and it seems just right.
I write and then later on re-read, edit and polish.
as you say, with experience comes the right method of working,
No, just a metaphoric tower, the crazy lady locked in - more like the wife in Jane Eyre. It's an attic room, too hot and stuffy but quiet. Just me and the crows. And SEE, I haven't gone yet...bad bad girl. Off I go, really, I'm going this time...
I had a nervous breakdown when I was 17--no fun, and I do not recommend the experience. Now at 72, I am wiser and "saner." Seriously, when I took flying lessosns in my 30s, I had to get a letter attesting to my sanity. My psychiatrist of long ago actually remembered me. I had been a young college student taking 23 hours--way too many. Now widowed after nearly 35 years of marriage, I realize that those few months of my life made me a far better high school teacher than I would have been had I not experienced them. I had to learn to pace myself, a valuable trait to have. I still am no quitter, however, just not the perfectionist I was in my teens.
Come on Sue, my parents were both retired teachers. There is no way you could have survived a lifetime of teaching and remained sane.
Wow Sue, thanks for sharing.
It's no fun, I'm sure. And now widowed after so many years of marriage. I admire you. You've been through plenty, but have come out strong and that is wonderful but I'm sure it was far from easy.
Yes, I think we all have to (me, especially) know the difference between quitting and pushing ourselves over the limit. I think that's a hugely important point.
And probably the most valuable idea to come out of this entire discussion.
Perfectionism without limits is extremism without sense, something I'm certainly going to take on board!
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm grateful.
Love it. :)


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