What My Writing Time REALLY Looks Like, by Nadine Poper

I am sitting here on a Saturday night, in my home office, trying to finish a PB manuscript for my third book about dachshunds, aka wiener dogs.  I sat down tonight with the intention of writing til the end of the story, but I actually only have three additional sentences, but a ton of scribbled ideas that are going in several directions.  And it has been 4 hours!  So what happened during these 4 hours?  Here goes:

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~sat down at my desk with a bowl of ice cream and a glass of water
~ stared at my typed unfinished manuscript and reread it aloud
~stared at my notebook and pencil waiting for an idea
~typed the next  sentence
~deleted the sentence
~typed another sentence (this one I kept)
~ heard the ding that a Facebook comment was made and checked it
~ responded to the friend comment that has absolutely nothing to do with writing
~had to reopen my manuscript Word document that minimized when I checked FB
~heard the sound of my dog’s nails walking down the hall (please don’t scratch at the office door)
~heard my husband say “Na, can you take the dog out?”  My reply was, “No, I am writing”.
~scribbled some other pencil ideas down in my notebook about what may happen to the wiener dogs next in my story.
~typed the next sentence.
~deleted that sentence.
~Googled “funny dachshunds playing outside images”
~Jotted down a few notes
~heard the ping of FB again and had to look.
~began a PM discussion with another indie writer who I have never met before.
~spent a few minutes looking at her FB page.
~decided to close out FB to minimize distractions
~needed more ice cream and a potty break
~opened my manuscript again because it minimized, and I got serious about finishing
~stared at my notebook and visualized my characters and their current situation in their current setting.
~realized I wanted more humor at this point in the story
~got back on FB to my dachshund groups I joined
~wrote a post asking for members to tell me about anything their wiener dog experienced outside that was funny.
~started getting hits right away.
~had to reply to all of them.
~wrote down some great ideas for my characters in my notebook.

~Googled “can you eat sap from a tree?”

~Googled “Is sap from maple trees edible?”

~learned that sap can be removed from hair with peanut butter (I can use this!)
~back on FB to tell a friend that I am not going birding tomorrow morning (another passion of mine)

~decided to write to Lindsay Bandy in hopes that other writers will tell me that this is all NORMAL.

  • How about you? What kinds of distractions and struggles do you face during your writing time? Do you ever find yourself pleasantly surprised at where a bunny trail led you? How do you maximize your productivity? 
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6 Responses to What My Writing Time REALLY Looks Like, by Nadine Poper

  1. Ha! SOME days look like this, but luckily not all of them. If I’m having trouble with focus it usually means that I haven’t found the heart of the story yet. But I always stop to read the EPA posts. :))

  2. Nadine Poper says:

    I am so glad to hear your opinion on this Wendy. Makes me feel a little better. By the way, my one wiener dog is named Wendy 🙂

  3. Sandy Asher says:

    Sounds normal to me. Which is why I get a lot of my deeply concentrated writing done in airports and on airplanes. No Internet, no husband, no dog, no laundry, no dishes . . . and the ice cream’s expensive and not that good. Sometimes no flight, either, but delays just mean more time to write!

    • Nadine Poper says:

      Hi Sandy. Maybe I should just sit in an airport a few times a month to escape. Probably calmer than my house. 🙂 There is just very little opportunity for chunks of down time in my schedule with being a full time elementary school librarian, mom, wife, etc, etc. “Hey, where’s mom?” “I think she went to the airport again!” Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Thanks for replying.

      • Sandy Asher says:

        I don’t know how ANYONE manages a full time teaching job in an elementary school and still has the energy to write anything at all! I have my el. ed. certification, but quickly realized during student teaching that I just didn’t have the strength and creativity to go around twice. I salute you!

  4. This reminded me of my own life. I sometimes think I’d get a lot more done if I didn’t have a FB account, BUT I know I’m a social person. If I were to trap myself in a room with no social outlet, I wouldn’t last long as a writer. I used to work in a VERY quiet library in a museum. I used to take a lot of bathroom breaks, just so I could say hi to the museum’s switchboard operator who sat outside the library.

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