La Riposte

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Muse vs. Mechanics

This Wednesday Thursday Blog Hop / ROW80 update post will touch briefly on the question of Muse vs. Mechanics, which I deem an appropriate subject for a week where, on the surface, few of my writing goals were met.

I’ve seen several fellow ROW’ers who appear to use methods that appear rather mechanical to generate writing – word sprints, goals driven by word counts, etc. And while I’m hardly in a position to judge, I must say that I’m not sure this method would work for me. I tend to write the core material for most of my projects “as the spirit moves me,” rather than because I’ve sat down with some deliberate goal for X number of words in the next Y hours.

This week is a good example. While I have done very little on my planned writing projects (about 5 pages of translation, but that’s it) I have written 6000 words of a historical fiction novel, as well as completed a bit of research and framed the plot. This was for an idea that has been knocking around for some time, but had never been put to paper.

Does this mean I’m abandoning my ROW80 goals? Not at all! It’s just been one of those weeks (on the road, sick, etc.) which made rigid adherence to planned activities difficult to encompass. The “goal” projects are still important, and I’ll look forward to reporting progress on them this Sunday, but I’ve gotten a lot farther this week following the Muse rather than the Mechanic.

Curious to know your thoughts on this subject, and wishing you a great and productive run-up to the weekend.



  1. i think I would cry trying to figure out how many words I had already written... not my cup of tea... can't force good content ya know?

    visiting from the hop!

  2. I go back and forth. I'm usually a spirit moves me writer, but I found it wasn't moving me as much as I wanted and I needed some discipline. The wordsprints have helped me with focus. At the very least, I get my head back into the game and produce something!

    But I also think you have to base your goals in what works for you.

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  4. @Eschelle - agreed! I just write!
    @Tia - also agree that discipline is important - goal-oriented structure tends to work better for me when I'm working on editing of completed fiction, non-fiction writing and in other aspects of self-publishing, such as promotion and networking.
    @Huda - thanks, and done! ;)