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A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write Paperback – January 17, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Rev Exp edition (January 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393312631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393312638
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The premise of Atchity's L/A House method is that discipline leads to productivity and that discipline is a matter of mastering time and the necessary writing skills. Conventional wisdom suggests writing every day, but here we have a case for writing being transcribing what has already been formed in the mind. Atchity propounds a left brain/right brain view of the mind, while applying a nomenclature of "islands" and "continents" that gets in the way sometimes. Index cards and periodic vacations are among his suggestions for organizing materials and using time. Suggestions for equipping the writer's office, as well as marketing and contracting, are included. Fran Lewis, Albany
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Exhilarating. After reading this, you're going to have to write.” (Carolyn See)

More About the Author

"I believe we can change the world through stories. 'The universe,' says Muriel Rukeyser, 'is not made of atoms, but of stories.' I believe in making a difference in the lives of others through the power of storytelling, both as a story teller myself and as a "story merchant" who enables other storytellers to make a difference."

Dr. Ken Atchity loves being a writer, producer, teacher, career coach, and literary manager, responsible for launching hundreds of books and films. His life's passion is finding great stories and storytellers and turning them into bestselling authors and screenwriters--and making films which send their stories around the world.

His books include, most recently, novels THE MESSIAH MATRIX and SEVEN WAYS TO DIE (with William Diehl) and nonfiction books for writers at every stage of their career. Based on his teaching, managing, and writing experience, he's successfully built bestselling careers for novelists, nonfiction writers, and screenwriters from the ground up.

Atchity has also produced 30 films, including "Hysteria" (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy), "The Expatriate" (Aaron Eckhart), "The Lost Valentine" (Betty White), "Gospel Hill" (Danny Glover), "Joe Somebody" (Tim Allen), "Life or Something Like It" (Angelina Jolie), "The Amityville Horror: The Evil Escapes," "Shadow of Obsession" (Veronica Hammel), "The Madam's Family" (Ellen Burstyn). Full film bio at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0040338/

He was born in Eunice, Louisiana; and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where he attended Rockhurst High School (and was editor in chief of The Prep News). After undergraduate work at Georgetown (A.B., English/Classics), and getting his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale, he served as professor and chairman of comparative literature and creative writing at Occidental College and Fulbright Professor at the University of Bologna. He was Distinguished Instructor, UCLA Writers Program, and a regular columnist-reviewer for The Los Angeles Times Book Review.

As CEO of www.storymerchant.com, his Story Merchant companies, www.aeionline.com and www.thewriterslifeline.com, provide a one-stop full-service development and management center for commercial and literary writers who wish to launch their storytelling in all media--from publishing and film and television production, to Web presence and merchandising & licensing.

PRESS:

Newtopia Magazine Interview

Mongrel Patriot Review: Producer and Writer Kenneth Atchity by Tamara Spivey

A dreamer who realizes his dreams and helps others do the same, Ken Atchity has impressive credits in the worlds of film, television and publishing.

Read more: http://newtopiamagazine.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/mongrel-patriot-review-producer-and-writer-kenneth-atchity/

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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As a novice in the world of creative writing I would recommend this book to all.
David A. Spearman
The author's description of what our minds are doing while we write and fight writers' block will give you the biggest creative "AHA!"
Donna D. Buskirk
Read this book before you waste another precious minute worrying about how you're going to squeeze in time for writing!
northlaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jay3fer on May 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
The title of this book is confusing! It's not *about* time, though time does figure into it, in the sense that Atchity will teach you how to get time on your side through mastering some very basic skills. The secret here is getting to know your brain and familiarize yourself with all the tricks it gets up to in order to undermine you writing instinct.
This book is part inspiration, part how-to, part common sense and part unique insight from Atchity's experience writing, teaching and producing. I found the section on "breaking into show business" least useful, while his concise exposition of the elements of fiction and drama will be useful even for writers of non-fiction who want to spice up their writing.
I must admit that A Writer's Time is a real mixed bag, but I won't hesitate to recommend it. Atchity will micro-manage your writing career if you let him, from how you organize your desk to how many index cards you use to compose your first novel. But all of those are only suggestions, and, as he says, if his suggestions don't work for you, toss them out.
But even if you disregard his suggestions, hang onto this book, if only for its enthusiasm -- it's hard to come by from veterans in this business. As Atchity says, "Writing is a craft. A craft not only can be learned, it MUST be learned."
In every paragraph, his confidence shines through that not only can you do it, but that you will. Atchity is no ra-ra cheerleader -- he knows what he's talking about. He's created many successful writers before, and he wants to help the magic work for you. Get him in your corner if you can.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Donna D. Buskirk on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this YEARS ago and still recommend it to everyone I know who likes to write or who has to write.

The author's description of what our minds are doing while we write and fight writers' block will give you the biggest creative "AHA!"

You can almost hear your mind saying, "Drat, my secrets are REVEALED! Now I'll have to WORK."

This book is the reason I was able to finally finish my first book (see "How to Make Money While You Look for a Job"), and I even use the methods for freelance articles.

Can't wait to read his article on finding time...I need a time-raise!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By margaret_yang on August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
from book blogger Margaret Yang of the "Writing Slices" blog

I liked the idea of this book. It seemed like the perfect combination of my two interests: writing and time management. However, A WRITER'S TIME doesn't really help with either. Atchity's writing advice is overly complicated, requiring 1000 completed index cards, three desks, and several ten-day vacations. His time management advice is full of "woo," as if writing is a mysterious process that has to be delicately handled.

Atchity divides his mind into "continents" and "islands," his metaphor for rational and imaginative thought. He insists it's the tension between these two states of mind that creates fiction, and he cultivates that tension by refusing to write. Yes, you read that correctly-Atchity thinks that not writing makes him a better writer. He relies heavily on vacations and unplanned days off. He puts great stock in letting ideas percolate, only touching pen to paper when he feels the time is right.

This is not my experience, nor that of most working writers. Writing is our great joy and passion, but it's not delicate. The faster our pens move, the faster the ideas come. Taking several days off while waiting for inspiration is what wannabe writers do. Real writers write.

A WRITER'S TIME makes a few valid points, like when Atchity distinguishes between beginning, middle, and end time. Writers can't expect steady forward progress. A project moves slowly at the beginning and races at the end. Atchity explains why that is and how to schedule writing time accordingly.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
I'm gonna make this short and sweet. This book convinced me that it was possible for me to write a play, a book--any longer work--by giving me the tools to break the process down into comprehensible, do-able pieces.
(Besides, who could not relate to a process where the all-important first step is "Take a vacation," I ask you.)
Now, three produced plays later, I still refer to it before beginning a new project. It wears well over time.
Give it a read, and good luck on YOUR new projects!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ROBERT F HERR JR on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
"A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write" was just what I was looking for as I begin a second career as writer. This book explains how I can best organize my time to combat writer's block and eliminate wasted time. It also helped me get over the 'how do I publish it now that I've finished it?' problem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have been searching for years for a book that clearly identifies and explains a straight-forward and understandable format/process for putting together a novel; I found it in "A Writer's Time". From the first page forward, I found that I continually marked in the book things like "FINALLY!" and "So THAT's how I do it!" If you only read one book about how to put together a novel, this one is it!
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