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Binge writing

August 3, 2011

Dennis Blanchard, author of Three Hundred Zeroes, recently mentioned his habit of binge writing at twenty hour stretches. He contrasted that with his wife’s habit of a more orderly (Calvinist) approach to writing. Which is better?

To state the obvious, to each his own. It all depends not just on the personality, but the genre of writing. If it was a travel guide or some other work highly reliant on research, then his wife’s approach would seem to be more appropriate. However, Dennis’ motif  is the entertaining outdoor narrative. Such a work by its nature is bound to be full of idiosyncracies, highs, lows, adrenalin rushes, depression, and yes-binges. So perhaps binge writing is the best way to tell such a story.

Hemingway was a binge writer, while Michener and Grisham are Calvinists. Perhaps an aspiring author should experiment with both, to find their appropriate modus operandi.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011 15:21

    I think I fall more into the binge writer category. I can go weeks without writing, and then fall into a narrative which just takes me and won’t let me go for days or even weeks.
    Whatever your writing habits, I think it’s important to know what works for you, and what doesn’t – for example, if I were to put aside exactly one hour of every day to write, then I know I’d never be as productive as I am leaving it until the ‘binge’ takes me 🙂
    C-C xx

  2. August 4, 2011 12:27

    My question to Dennis is whether he is a “binge hiker.” He took 300 zeroes, at which point he headed back to the trail, at times hiking into the night. So no surprise he’s a “binge writer” also!

    I’m a binge worrier, except when I’m hiking. Then I’m a binge life lover. Get me back to the trail!

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