Confessions of a binge writer

Professional authors will tell you they spend two hours every morning in front of their computers in their tiny upstairs offices, drinking coffee and creating impressive metaphors.

The only way to write is to just do it. Writer’s block is myth, they’ll tell you. Devote time every day to your craft goes the typical advice.

Well, they may be right, but that’s not how I do it.

I don’t sip. I gulp.

Thirty minutes a day. An hour a day. Two hours a day. I’ve tried doing that. But it doesn’t work for long. I’ll leave my manuscript to languish for weeks. Months. Even years. By the time I get back to it, I’ve forgotten was a genius I was. And what a fool.

Then I dive back in. Head first. And write like an obsessed fan of episodic television newly available on Netflix. Forget thoughtfully savoring it; I devour.

Today, I opened my current work in progress and realized it had been seven weeks since I touched it. (Ugh.) Did I spend an hour with it, carefully adding 300 well-chosen words?

Nope.

I spent 6 hours with it, banging my head against the futility of Chapter 27 and then discovering my previous eloquence that fixes all my problems in Chapter 29. And I added 1,387 words to the 55,736-word tally.

That’s how I work. My first memoir was written in three manic chunks, each two or three years apart. I lived, ate and breathed my story during those writing periods. And forgot about the point I was making in between.

This is how it is for me.

I’m a binge writer.