Saturday 29 January 2022

Six - Nick Garlick

Six pages.

This is my limit when I’m writing a first draft. The rate always picks up as I work through further drafts, but as much as I’ve tried to write more, to push myself to write more, it always settles back at six.

I read with envy of authors such as Stephen King, who goes for 10 pages a day. And authors like Neal Stephenson and Dean Koontz, who regularly pull 12-14 hour stints at the keyboard. And I’ve tried. I really have.

But it doesn’t work with me. My limit is six. And they take me about three hours. And that’s it.

Part of it’s down to not knowing the entire story in advance. I’ve found that can only begin with a vague outline and then ‘discover’ the story as I go along. So trying to find ten pages of new action every day is tiring.

Yet it’s more than that. Pushing myself beyond the six-page limit also uses up energy for the next day. If I pat myself on the back for getting down eight or even ten pages in one session, I can almost guarantee that the next morning when I sit down to write, I’ll be lucky to come up with four. Sometimes even three.

So six it is.

And six it shall remain.


Andrew Preston said...

In Feng Shui, the number 6 is considered to be lucky.
It means 'flow' in Chinese.

Rowena House said...

How good to know your number. The promise that it will work again because it worked before must be hugely reassuring. Good old six.

Steve Gladwin said...

Pretty much the same with me too, Nick!

Nick Garlick said...

Thanks for all your comments, especially Andrew's: it seems that Feng Shui doesn't only order the furnishings in my home...

Anne Booth said...

That's so interesting and encouraging.

Steve Way said...

I think it's brilliant that you've found what works for you and are at peace with that! Keep up the great work!

Nick Garlick said...

Large appreciative Heart emojis to all for your receptive and encouraging comments.
Thank you!