Lynn Dickinson explores the positives and not-so-positives of being a binge writer. Lynn Dickinson explores the positives and not-so-positives of being a binge writer.
If you’re not familiar with binge writing, it’s when you get one of those gripping, irresistible, sensation ideas that grip your creative parts so hard you feel like you’re suffocating.
On the other side of the spectrum, there’s what Dickinson calls “drip writing.” That’s where you write 200 words a day, or however many words – you have a word goal, or a chapter goal, or a set goal.
In short, binge writing (while exciting) “isn’t as productive as drip writing” (Dickinson). Having done both binge and drip writing, I can say from that experience she is correct. I’ve binge-written a few first drafts (Stars and Bones 1, and Hard as Stone). I was so thrilled with the concepts, the characters, the plot, the world – I couldn’t wait to set everything up and knock it down. I lived and breathed those drafts.
I’ve also taken my time and plotted out stories bit by bit, added a scene at a time, adding a chapter at a time, pausing to contemplate a scene within the larger scheme. I’ve rarely gone a day in the past three years where I haven’t written anything – be it 500 or 10,000 words.
Those binge-writing moments are great – but as Dickinson mentioned, they are unpredictable. It would be hard to write a novel and finish a novel on binge writing alone. Binge writing is wild and mad, and for a first draft that attitude is fantastic. For for a revision, it’s best to have a clear mind and steady hands.
At least, it is for me.
What are you? Hmm? Are you a binger or a dripper? or something in between?