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Digger Cartwright Interview 2013: Question 5

Posted by Digger Cartwright
Digger Cartwright
Robert “Digger” Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including The Versa...
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on Thursday, 07 February 2013
in Digger Cartwright

How long does it take you to write a book?

It can take me anywhere from six weeks to seven or eight months to write a book. If I just sit all day every day, I could turn out a manuscript in four to six weeks. Unfortunately, the mind doesn’t permit me to sit and write that long. I’ll generally have the creative inspiration in bursts of maybe an hour or two then in need to take a break. I might come back after a break and realize that I’m not in the zone anymore, so I’ll have to put it aside. I have to be in a certain mindset before I can sit down and write. When I’m in the right mind, it just comes naturally. If I’m not in the writing mode, it feels like I’m forcing it, and I don’t think that lends itself to my best work. Thus, why it may take me seven or eight months to write a manuscript. I might not have the inspiration for several days for a week, but when I get it I might have it for weeks on end. And, of course, I get sidetracked with business from time to time and that takes me away from my ability to sit down and write.

Sometimes I’ll write myself in a bind. You know, I’ll be writing and take the story in a direction I hadn’t anticipated then I have to step back and figure out where I go from there. Sometimes I’ll readily know how to adjust the story for the unexpected change, and sometimes I won’t know right away. I might need to think about it and let it play out in my mind before I can sit back down and start up again. Writing is a real fluid situation. Changes come up and that impacts the timetable. Overall, I think the average for me would be in the six month range, and remember I’m writing in addition to overseeing my various enterprises and charitable endeavors.

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