Thursday, May 17, 2007

Reading and Writing Program

Since The Earl's Enchantment was published in April, I've been encouraged by its success and have returned to seriously working on my novel. Since May 3rd, I've written over 9000 words, and I'm finding the writing is much easier now that I'm on my new reading and writing program. When I read Stephen King's book On Writing, he mentioned that writers should establish a reading and writing program-- "four to six hours a day, every day." He also mentioned Anthony Trollope (image below), who would write for 2.5 hours every morning before work. When I was a freshman, my British literature professor mentioned Trollope and his work ethic, hoping to guilt all of us into more consistent work habits. The lesson didn't sink in when I was 18, but it certainly is sinking in now that I'm trying to complete a novel. My own program is conservative in comparison to Trollope and King's; I read for 1 hour each day and write at least 500 words per day. On some days, when the Muse is smiling, I've been able to write over 900 words. Occasionally, I fail to meet these goals and give myself a guilt trip, but for the most part, it's a very useful program for a beginning writer.


Marianne Arkins said...

"On Writing" is my favorite book on the subject, hands down. Followed closely by "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook" by Donald Maass.

Good luck in finishing your novel!

Nienke Hinton said...

What's nice is the program is not over-zealous. Makes it doable. Good for you, Sara!