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‘How Can You Write So Much?’
A Man Question From David
“I was just on your index page [ ] and my head is spinning that you can write so freagin’ much. Look, I mean no disrespect, but I can easily type five times as fast as you. I’ve taught in medical school, written numerous books and dozens of articles, write in freagin’ medical journals for God’s sake, and I don’t see how you do it.”
For a sample of David's writing check out Sweep The Floor.
If it makes you feel any better I can’t replace a hip or put a car accident survivor back together, let alone do it in a timely fashion. In my opinion, if you—being smarter than me and able to type besides—worked my schedule, and lived my life, you would double Tolstoy’s life time output every couple of months. I’ve seen you read a 200 page book in an hour that took me two weeks to write and four hours to read. I think if our brains were dunked into an aquarium together and made to have a psychic battle it would look like Tyson versus Spinks.
So David, if you’d be willing to take your salary from the high six figures down to the low five figures, here is the word-smithing regimen that will make you the most prolific author in history!
For the curious, I cannot type, at all. I peck with my left index finger and my right middle finger. The L, E, A, S, and N keys are now blank as I hit these with the wrong hand, and the keyboard is only three years old. My output is 15-30 words per minute. Today, between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. I have written, proofed and published about 5,000 words in 5 articles and 1 fiction serial, which took as much energy as the 5 articles.
1. Never do a rewrite, but edit an unworthy piece instead
2. Never scrap an unfinished piece, but recycle it. Robert E. Howard did a lot of this.
3. Look at the keyboard instead of the screen [which I have to do] as this saves your eyes from strain and enables you to write for up to 16 hours at a stretch.
4. Write all of your stuff in your head while you are doing simple manual labor. I do not recommend you writing a horror story in your head during open heart surgery. When you get to the typewriter—oops, ouch, damn, I’m sorry Charles, I forget it’s a computer—you have a written piece in your head and are just down loading.
5. Proofing and editing your own stuff becomes a must when you produce more than enough to keep 10 editors and proofreaders busy. The problem with proofing your own stuff mainly comes down to the fact that your mind remembers what you wrote and recognizes whole words not letters, and makes imaginary corrections while you read, so you end up looking like an asshole for writing ‘pedal’ 16 times in Fruit of The Deceiver instead of ‘petal.’ You can minimize this in three ways: writing something else before you proof your work; alternate writing fiction and nonfiction; proofing the word file in different fonts types and sizes than you write it in. The articles that I put up are proofed once in the font and size that I write in, once in a reduced font, and once in an enlarged font. That has minimized typos to about 1 every 1,000 words. I try to eradicate these by copying and pasting my work off the front end of the site and into a book format, and proofing that, before publishing that as a print version. Also, when an article or story hits our top 50 list, I proof it again, and alas, usually find a typo. The point is, you cannot proof your own stuff to perfection unless you are one of those extremely rare female language savants, so there is no sense in wasting the effort. I have proofed all of the Sunset Saga novels 5-8 times, and I still found a typo in one yesterday.
6. Don’t waste any time trying to sell your books. Just write and let some greedy snit with a gift for gab try and sell it.
7. When you have a concussion, right a combat scene and edit the mess later, instead of standing in the corner trying not to fall asleep.
8. When you are drunk write dialogue and edit it later rather than passing out.
9. When you are hallucinating from staying up for days on end write atmospheric horror, and edit that mess later.
10. Write everything as fiction and nonfiction, which doubles your output in relation to your base material. For instance I just wrote a series of nonfiction articles about Crazy Mark, and then used him as a character in a fiction story by renaming him White Boy Wayne, putting Steevos’ head on him, and giving him Rone Bone’s house and bike.
11. Never sit and think at the computer. If that happens get up and do something and write in your head, then come back to the computer having done a chore—such as washing clothes—that would have otherwise bit into your writing time, having written in your head as you worked.
12. Do manual labor instead of working with your mind.
13. Target your energy level. I have noticed that when I work less than 16 hours per week and over 30 that my productivity as a writer falls off sharply, so I keep my hours between 16 and 30, which is roughly your Tuesday when you’re working like a Civil War surgeon at Gettysburg.
14. Find when your energy level peaks and write your fiction at that time.
15. Find when your energy level dips and write your book reviews, technical self-help, and explanatory pieces [like my boxing articles and your medical articles] during that time.
16. When you are feeling slow in the morning drink that entire pot of coffee like I just did.
17. When it is getting close to bedtime, and you realize that if you do not stop writing soon you will not be rested enough to write a lot tomorrow, then break out the ghetto rum and start getting drunk so you can pass out in time for the scheduled 3 hour nap.
Good luck David, and please don’t take my advice, because if you stop practicing medicine I don’t think any other doctors will see me for free in return for a copy of Incubus of Your Sacred Emasculation.
Thanks for checking out the site Brother.
1,097 words in 55 minutes
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