Four Hours and Out

Karl, in the comment thread to the previous entry, says:

I have commonly read advice that writers should sit down and write for four hours then call it a day. Reading between the lines, this doesn’t seem to be the way that you work. I would love to hear your opinion on the four hour advice, ideally in entry form.

In fact, I don’t work by writing four hours a day and then doing something else; I tend to write for most of a standard work day (off and on; I do other things as well, like read and do business on the phone and procrastinate), and then I will sometimes write after that because writing is also what I do for fun. If I wrote for only four hours a day, it seems unlikely that I would actually get any real work done.

However, I suspect the “write for four hours” thing is a rather rigid interpretation of a set of heuristics that goes like this:

1. Write every day;
2. Write long enough to get actual work done;
3. Stop writing when you’re no longer doing useful work.

I don’t think trying to write for four hours a day is a bad thing for new writers to do, to the extent that they do so with the understanding that four hours is an initial setting, and that they should be paying attention to what their body and mind say about it; over time they may find four hours is too much or not enough for their natural writing pace. Likewise they ought not panic if they don’t fill in their four hour quota each and every day; people generally aren’t machines.

(As an aside: When writing for four hours, or five, or whatever, remember to stop every now and then and give your wrists and back a rest. Ergonomics wasn’t just invented by commies; you can really screw up your writing implements (i.e., your hands) if you’re not careful.)

The nice thing about saying “write four hours” is that it’s an achievable goal newbie writers can click off: Hey! I was in front of the computer, banging away from 10 til 2! Look at me! I’m a writer! And that may indeed be superficially beneficial. Also, of course, it gives the guy at the Learning Annex who is standing up in front of a bunch of people who just paid $45 to find out how to be writers something to say that sounds useful. I think this is all mostly harmless as long as the budding writer takes it as a guideline rather than gospel, and I would hope that most budding writers are smart enough to do that.

Having said that and as a tangent, I am sometimes thankful that I managed to get through the initial parts of my writing life largely unmolested by writing advice and those who dispense it because I’ve found over time that much of what passes for “advice” — i.e., specific and precise instructions on writing mechanics — is either not useful to me or would have been actively detrimental to my development as a writer. This is why, when I blather out my own advice to newbie writers, I tend to avoid specific instructions (i.e., how much to write, when to write, etc) and I also strenuously warn people that I’m writing from my own experience, some of what I say may not be useful to them, and anyway, I have my head up my ass most of the time. Indeed, my feeling is that if any writing “expert” won’t cheerfully admit to their own fundamentally sphinctocranial nature, he or she is best taken lightly, if at all.

Writing four hours a day wouldn’t work for me; it might work for you. Try it and see what you think. Don’t hesitate to change it if you need to. That’s what I think about that.

Now I’m off to ConFusion. See you all later.

48 thoughts on “Four Hours and Out

  1. A lot of the instructors at the Iowa Writers Workshop seem to indicate they work less than 4 hours a day. I often hear 2. Of course, I think that’s a minimum for days the words aren’t flowing.

    In general, short story writers also seem to keep more haphazard schedules than novelists. (and poets more than short story writers) The longer the ultimate piece of work is supposed to be, the more regular sustained effort it seems to take for most people.

  2. I agree with you John. I guess writing 4 hours a day sounds nice, though the day would have to be 28 hours long for me to be able to pull this off. I think the most important thing is to write every day, regardless of the amount of time. I guess the longer the time, the better, but I don’t think one should be discouraged from writing just because they can’t put in four hours a day. Of course, what do I know? I’m just a newbie.

  3. I’m somewhat obsessed with word count. Chang asks about your words per minute, above, but I’m more interested in how many words you write per day. And how many words was OMW, in total?

  4. Stain, I talked about my recent output here. However, wondering about words per day or words per minute or whatever is aside the point. I could write 10,000 words a day, but if they’re crap, they do me little good. Likewise, if I write 100 words one day, but they’re the right 100, that’s good.

  5. I was actually serious about your WPM count. Not that it matters overall, but you obviously are prolific and were able to generate 8 or 9 paragraphs in the time I could write 1. So there’s something to be said for being prolific and cogent.

  6. Here’s a good benchmark for “How to Know If You Are a Good Writer”:

    If your first name is NOT “Christopher” and your second name is NOT “Paolini” and your first novel was NOT titled Eragon, then odds are you are, at very least, not the worst writers ever published.

  7. This is slightly off topic at first, bear with me. I participated in NaNoWriMo. We had to write 50k words in one month. 30 days. It was crazy and hard and evil. But it was fun and awesome. And at the end, I have a novel! On a scale of 1-10, it’s a 5 probably. But, ok, here’s my on-topic point. I found that just *writing* is the best way to write. Write as much as possible, no matter how good or bad it is. Then, when you finish your novel, you can go back and hack it to pieces. It’s easier (at least for me) to change something written than to try and come up with “the best noval evar!!” the first time around.

  8. John, did you get your scalp all nice and shiny before you left?

    NaNo is awesome for writing volume. I’ve found it’s been the best way for me to get the dross out of my system and then the rewrite is where it starts to shine.

  9. I hate this advice; it makes people think they can’t do less. As a full-time desk jockey and mother of two kids, one of whom has multiple neurological disorders and thus a bazillion appointments, I am lucky if I manage to fit in an hour a WEEK. But I keep churning out my column, and publish 1-2 short stories a year, which for now is going to have to be good enough.

  10. Okay, well, for this advice I certainly understand the “minimum” thing, and writers do have other appointments to get to, but if you’re jazzed, the juices are flowing, the muse is dancing, and you’re in the zone, would anybody really quit at 4 hours?

    When I played guitar, I played untl my fingers hurt. I played when and where ever I could. While I have ever so much less time these days, I’m the same with writing. Okay, I take a night here and there to be brain dead, or if the words just aren’t flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup, I go do someting else. Various repetative motion injuries are bad (I have one), so you should really avoid those. But given the time and juice I think I’d keep writing until the words stopped.

  11. I easily wrote at least four hours a day when I was unemployed, but now that I’m collecting a paycheck again, that’s just not feasible. If I wrote four hours a day, I wouldn’t have any life beyond day job and writing.

    The rule I’ve heard for writers with day jobs is one hour a day. That’s far more reasonable, in my experience.

  12. I second what Steve says. Like any creative outlet inspiration strikes when it does and can hardly be forced. As a musician there are days that I pass my arsenal of guitars and synth’s without thinking twice. But when so inspired, and the rivers rush forth…look out! BUT when I was learning how to play I would practice endless hours..daily. Once a comfort level is reached expression in whatever art form; and the ability to tap into the creative source is more important than hours of….?

  13. I write professionally for the military, and I’m pretty good a disciplining myself for technical and professional publication writing. I write anywhere from 2 to 8 hours a day lately, but probably only 4 hours of really productive work. Since most of what I write is highly technical, I take breaks often (like right now, for example) to stay focused. At home it’s a different ballgame, I’m only creative in the morning and I need peace and quiet (yeah, fat chance on that). I think the 4 hour rule is a good one for new writers, especially ones who intend to become professionals some day, in order to develop proper discipline (so they don’t end up like the slacker Scalzi so obviously is). But, once those skills and discipline are established, then write however, whenever, and how long suits you best.

  14. It occures to me, Scalzi, that the real question should be: How many hours a day should we set aside for really important things like adhering food items to household pets and playing with ArtRage II? I’m thinking that’s gotta be at least 2 hours minimum.

  15. Maybe they meant “Write for hours”…..j/k.

    For me, writing four hours a day still isn’t quite practical. I have to eat, sleep, spend time with my honey, and oh, yeah, there’s this full-time job I’ve got going on. :) So, yeah, I’m in the I’m lucky to get more than one hour a day camp.

    Now….the time has little to do with my output I’ve noticed. For example, I spent last Saturday banging away on a short for about four hours, and got maybe three paragraphs I was happy with. And last night, same story, I got almost a thousand words in about 45 minutes and loved almost all of them. (Revising that section is gonna be fun!) The difference can be, in part, attributed to where I was on the story. Last Saturday I was struggling through an opening, trying to establish characters, setting, etc. But I know all that now, so things are coming along easier. So I DID have to put in those frustrating four hours of groundwork in to get the story moving….and no matter what, if I don’t put some time in every day, I don’t move on the story.

    J: re: Christopher Paolini – I can’t read Eragon. I tried. I really did. And my friends and I theorise that we might like the later books better–they had editors involved earlier in the process, I’d bet. It’s just that everytime I read Eragon, I’m re-reading my fourteen year old id writ large across the sky and I cringe a lot. BUT….and this is a big But for me, I always remind myself that even if I think it is heavily derivative and more than a bit clunky, he has finished a book, AND I have not. (I once finished a 53 page novella in college? Does that count?) First I must learn the lessons of Butt-In-Chair-Fingers-On-Keyboard-Fu.

  16. IMO the second book in the Eragon series was much stronger, from a prose-level perspective. (Disclaimer: I enjoyed the first book, despite some wincing at the slushiness. I’ll forgive a lot in an author who moves the plot along.)

    I’m also in the one hour a day group, at least when I’m working on something long. I’m productive for that one hour. If I try to write beyond that hour’s worth of prose*, my rate of wordcount drops precipitously and eventually locks up. A good deadline can kick me up above that daily limit for a bit, but it isn’t sustainable over the long term.

    I also find that voice-y first person gets written much faster than near-invisible tight third person, but maybe that’s just me.

  17. It ranges here for me, I can spend an hour and bang out 1,000 words that have been stewing in the back of my mind all day while doing other stuff. I have spent 7 hours in a row writing a complete 6000 word short story. I have spent hours going nowhere.

    The reason I like freelancing is that if it’s all pulling teeth I go do something else. Xbox, walking, playing with dogs, blogging for money, blogging for free, commenting in comments…

  18. The advice I got was something along the lines of write until you suck or stop writing before you suck.

    But what if it all sucks?? o.O

    I think partly what we’re seeing is a difference in advice suitable for utter novice writers versus advice for people who have gone through a few Nanowrimos and are somewhat farther along, versus professionals and those aspiring to be professionals.

    I do have another question though. John: how much time do you spend editting/revising what you’ve written, compared to the amount of time spent writing? Do you do it as you go along? In different parts of the day? On different days from the writing?

  19. Coming from the technical writer side, I find I usually get about four useful writing hours out of the eight-hour work day. The other four hours are spent researching, reading blogs, answering email, dealing with meetings, and all the other details of the business day.

    Some days, those four hours really add up: my personal best is 20 pages of deep technical guidance. Other days, I’m lucky to get an outline completed during that time. It depends on my mastery of the subject material, my comfort with the project and its goals, how well-defined my audience is, and a whole bunch of other factors.

    I see no reason to assume that my fiction writing will work any differently.

  20. Coming from a technical-but-not-in-the-sense-Devin-means side, I can knock out a good science press release in about an hour (not including a half hour of reading a science article and another half hour of interviewing the researcher). And that’s something in plain English, not regurgitated physics/bio/chemspeak. On a good day, I can probably write two of them, all while spending the rest of the day waiting for Scalzi to update.

    Then again, I wouldn’t really consider myself a writer. A PR flak, maybe, but writing clearly is a significant part of my job.

    I have often thought about writing fiction — or even feature science writing — but I just can’t seem to picture myself actually sitting down and doing it. My writing happens in stylized 600 to 800 word chunks. More power to you, Scalzi.

  21. I type somewhere between 80-90 wpm on a consistent basis, and when the ideas flow, I can’t type quickly enough to capture them adequately. I usually find that I write well for about three hours (in the evenings), but not so well during the daylight hours.

    I’ve finished two NaNoWriMo projects, one of which I am diligently shopping around right now, a dozen short stories, and I try to keep up with a blog as well. It works out okay.

  22. I think 4 hours a day for any creative activity is a good benchmark. Physically, writers’ hands can’t take much more than that, photographers’ eyes get all fuzzy in the darkroom (yes, some of us still use them), and painters surely must get tired of all the fumes after that much exposure.

    But seriously, on the creative, brain-power side of the equation, creatives spend a lot of time thinking about their craft, even when they aren’t “working” on it…it’s a stereotype to see an artist sitting in a cafe, not visibly doing much, and tell passers-by that she is working, but it’s true. Anyone who has stopped their dinner conversation by having that random creative thought about a current project pop into their head can attest to this.

  23. Alan B wrote:
    I think 4 hours a day for any creative activity is a good benchmark. …creatives spend a lot of time thinking about their craft, even when they aren’t “working” on it…it’s a stereotype to see an artist sitting in a cafe, not visibly doing much, and tell passers-by that she is working, but it’s true.

    Now that’s an excuse I can buy into!

  24. Alan B wrote:
    I think 4 hours a day for any creative activity is a good benchmark. …creatives spend a lot of time thinking about their craft, even when they aren’t “working” on it…it’s a stereotype to see an artist sitting in a cafe, not visibly doing much, and tell passers-by that she is working, but it’s true.

    Now that’s an excuse I can buy into!

  25. As a fairly successful procrastitorial author I do a fairly good job of spending a good 4 hours a day fantasizing about the possibility of being a writer.

    Whew, 4 hours is quite enough. Any more and I might actually begin to try and write. Then I have to give my union card back and I’ll lose my benefits.

  26. I’ve gotten very good at taking the advice that sounds useful and tossing the rest out with the recycling. I keep my blog, as I recently pointed out, not so much for attracting readers (because yanno, I’ve have to have more than 2 pubs to my name to start building a reader base) but because when I was starting out I constantly compared my output to the writers I could find information on. Namely Laurell K Hamilton, who commonly does 8-10 typed pages a day. I was working on my first novel at the time and that was as much learning how to write well as it was learning how to keep the muse flowing consistently. I keep a blog about how I progress, how I write and I lightly touch on the real life events that might be delaying me (like a 6 year old autistic son having a melt down and me spending a week assisting in his class). I don’t want other beginning writers to feel so horrible about their lack of progress as I did. I also don’t want to hear a bunch of excuses either. Kids and family=reasons, blogs and internet games=excuses.

  27. Mark:
    “As a fairly successful procrastitorial author I do a fairly good job of spending a good 4 hours a day fantasizing about the possibility of being a writer.

    Whew, 4 hours is quite enough. Any more and I might actually begin to try and write. Then I have to give my union card back and I’ll lose my benefits.”

    WELL SAID MAN! ;)

  28. Rules are made to be broken. Four hours a day for those of us with a day job and other responsibilities can be a bit of a strain, but what are weekends for? (I’ve got Saturday free. I’m sitting looking at the present project. I know where I want to go next. I cannot write a single word. I just can’t. So I’m writing this instead.) I know that when the tap turns on I’ll catch up with my schedule.

    Work habits are a question of what works for you.

    However, something I’m convinced of is that a writer (any artist really) spends every waking minute working – maybe not consciously, but my subconscious is the hardest working part of me, and I trust it. Oh yes, and it seems to work when I’m sleeping too.

    Now I’m going to paint a wall. My subconscious will be taking messages.

  29. I had always heard that your goal should be four PAGES, not four HOURS. Then, if you are on a role and spew out more than your goal page count, you’ve had a very good day indeed!

    More experienced writers often set their goal higher than 4 pages, but this would probably be an unrealistic and self-defeating goal for newer writers.

  30. For those of you that bashed Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, I’d be curious to know what you WOULD think is a good novel. Perhaps you think a good novel is a book that HASN’T been published by a reputable publishing company, and HASN’T been on the NYT Bestseller list, and HASN’T been made into a big budget movie.

  31. Alan B wrote: I think 4 hours a day for any creative activity is a good benchmark. …creatives spend a lot of time thinking about their craft, even when they aren’t “working” on it…it’s a stereotype to see an artist sitting in a cafe, not visibly doing much, and tell passers-by that she is working, but it’s true.

    Lawyers are excuseurs par excellence at this. If your attorney thinks about your case while, say, watching a baseball game, drinking a beer, or leafing through a magazine, it counts as billable time.

    I once went to a presentation on law libraries. There was an older attorney there saying that many of the resources he used to use in book form were now online and that he’d noticed more and more young lawyers using them in that format. With a sheepish grin he said, “Now one of my younger colleagues might spent 15 minutes looking up something on one of these database services that used to take me 1 hour. At $125 dollars an hour, that younger attorney then bills the client $31.25. I bill the client $125. Now which one of us is really the smarter lawyer?”

    I think he was about 51-percent serious.

  32. For those of you that bashed Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, I’d be curious to know what you WOULD think is a good novel. Perhaps you think a good novel is a book that HASN’T been published by a reputable publishing company, and HASN’T been on the NYT Bestseller list, and HASN’T been made into a big budget movie.

    Maybe something that WASN’T a juvenile pastiche of Star Wars and Tolkien. Maybe a book whose plot, such as it was, WASN’T held together with spit, bailing wire, cliches, and multiple deus ex machinae (i.e. innumerable overheard conversations that, miraculously, contain exactly the right piece of information needed to advance to the next scene). Maybe something that DIDN’T spend 10 times more energy describing armaments than it did developing characters. Overall, maybe something that DIDN’T have the fingerprints of a 17-year-old Tolkien fan all over it.

    Fair enough?

  33. Sorry, J, Tolkien and George Lucas were far from original. Tolkien based his work on Greek and Norse legends, and I’ve actually read that “[t]he Star Wars series of films by George Lucas is often considered to be a pastiche of traditional science fiction television serials (or radio shows).” I also found hundreds of examples of “deus ex machinae” in popular and classic literature, including Tolkien’s books. “In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, some consider the rescue of Frodo and Sam by the Eagles a deus ex machina. They also arrive to help the Army of the West against Sauron in the Battle of the Morannon, though Sauron is not defeated until the Ring is destroyed. It should be noted that the Eagles play the role of unexpected helpers throughout most of Tolkien’s writings. In various versions of The Silmarillion material, an eagle saves the body of the elf-king Fingolfin from defilement, another carries the lovers Beren and Lùthien away from dire peril, and Eagles help fight the dragons of Morgoth during the War of Wrath. In The Hobbit, they helped the Dwarves, Men and Elves defeat the Goblins (Orcs) and Wargs at the Battle of the Five Armies. Tolkien’s consistent use of the Eagles in this way, and the fact that these Eagles were servants of the angel-like Vala Manwë, suggest to some readers that this was entirely intentional, making them agents of fate — “machines of the gods” rather than “gods in machines”. (Also, some readers believe no satisfactory explanation is given as to why the Eagles could not have simply carried the Ring to Mount Doom, though others disagree with them.)”

    And, to be honest, I thought “Old Man’s War” was a pastiche of military science fiction, primarily “Starship Troopers” and “Forever War”.

    As far as your other criticisms, do you really think they make the book bad? I would think that a writing technique that gets a book published, gets its two sequels published, and gets the book turned into a movie that grosses $250 million is a VERY good writing technique. If I had a choice between listening to your writing advice, and listening to Paolini’s advice, which do you think I would choose?

  34. Regarding Eragon’s success as a bestseller and a movie, I think the term you want there is “marketablity,” not “good writing.” The two are not mutually exclusive, of course, but neither one proves the existence of the other in a work.

    Regarding whether quality is mutually exclusive with derivation… Well, we all beg, borrow, and steal. But there’s a difference between borrowing the myth, and borrowing from the modern tale that borrowed the myth. The greater artists pull their source material from farther down the food chain, and bring more original ingredients to the mix.

    I’ve only seen the movie of Eragon. I walked out of there feeling like the author had in fact written Star Wars fan-fic in which the Force came with Dragons. Like the author created his plot by checking items off a list, and some of those items were far too specific to simply be archtypal. I mean, humble farm boy discovers superpower, fine. Crochety mentor who turns out to have been a Jedi once himself, I mean dragonrider–fine. Princess in need of rescuing–OK. BUT: Farm boy with superpower attempts to rescue princess against mentor’s wishes, the attempt succeeds but gets mentor killed–Sorry, that’s Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off.

    Sure, everyone begs, borrows, and steals. But what original items did CP bring to the table? At least in the movie, the characters didn’t seem to get developed enough to distinguish them from Luke, Leia, and Obi-Wan rip-offs. The backstory and worldbuilding could have gone somewhere, only they didn’t get investigated further than necessary to be the excuse for Luke/Eragon making his way to the Rebel Base in time for the Battle of Helm’s Deep. There was so much a writer interested in telling his own story could have done with those borrowed ingredients, but CP seemed content to just play in other people’s sandboxes and retell the pre-packaged stories that came with the action figures.

    And why the heck IS the main character named “Let’s see… he rides a dragon, so… let’s take the first letter in ‘dragon’ and shift it one space down the alphabet!” I’ve got the same problem with that, that I have with Piers Anthony follwing the Xanth rule alliteration to the extreme of “Zora Zombie.” Zora’s momma didn’t know she’d wind up zombified; how’d she know to give her a Z name? Ditto the kid named “dragon but with an ‘e’.” An author may wish to give the character a name that resonates with their destiny/outcome, sure, but enough subtlety to let the reader believe in the coincidence would be nice.

    ANYway…

    I’ve been told that if I thought that about the movie I’d think it double about the book, so I’ve skipped it and moved on to the next thing in my to-be-read pile.

    If it helps you sleep at night and feel superior, sure, you can believe I knocked Eragon off my TBR list because I’m an elitist snob who refuses to acknowledge quality in a bestseller. Whatever floats your boat. But as for me, I seriously doubt my opinion of the movie would have been much different had I seen it one-night-only at a respected film festival instead of at the AMC Promenade. These are issues of storytelling; without the megaphone of multi-million-dollar marketing and sales, they’d be just as bad–only less loud.

  35. Sorry, J, Tolkien and George Lucas were far from original. Tolkien based his work on Greek and Norse legends, and I’ve actually read that “[t]he Star Wars series of films by George Lucas is often considered to be a pastiche of traditional science fiction television serials…”

    So . . . why does the fact that Lucas and Tolkien borrowed stuff make Paolini a good author? I’m not griping that he borrowed material. I’m griping that he borrowed pre-borrowed material (as Nicole said, feeding far down the food chain) that did it rather nakedly, without much mixing-in of his own imagination, and without any acknowledgement that he was doing so.

    George Lucas made very clear that Star Wars was his interpretation of the classic Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. Tolkien made clear that A.) his book was based on Norse stuff and B.) his books were never really intended to be read by anyone but himself.

    I also found hundreds of examples of “deus ex machinae” in popular and classic literature…”

    Yeah, but they aren’t nearly as ham-fistedly clumsy as Mr. Paolini’s.

    And, to be honest, I thought “Old Man’s War” was a pastiche of military science fiction, primarily “Starship Troopers” and “Forever War”.

    Yes. Your point? The fact that other authors derive too does not make Paolini good.

    As far as your other criticisms, do you really think they make the book bad?

    Yes. Didn’t I say I thought that?

    I would think that a writing technique that gets a book published, gets its two sequels published, and gets the book turned into a movie that grosses $250 million is a VERY good writing technique.

    Well, you’d be wrong. Crap books get sequelized and made into movies every day (i.e. the Left Behind series, The Da Vinci Code). Excellent books often languish in the deep storage stacks of libraries. There have been four iterations of Scary Movie in the past eight years. There have been only TWO English-language film versions of Dr. Zhivago, one of them made only for public television, in all of history: I rest my case.

  36. There have been four iterations of Scary Movie in the past eight years. There have been only TWO English-language film versions of Dr. Zhivago, one of them made only for public television, in all of history: I rest my case.

    Hmm, maybe that isn’t a good example; Scary Movie was never a book. Okay, try this comparison instead: The last three installments of Star Wars were detestable. But in all of film history, we’ve only ever gotten TWO English-language screen adaptations of Dr. Zhivago. (In fact, does anyone know if there even ever was a non-English film version? I’m assuming there’s a post-Soviet Russian-language one out there, but that’s only a “seems logical” guess on my part.)

  37. Nicole, my definition of “good writing” is writing that accomplishes the goal of the writer. If your goal is to pass a creative writing class, then I can understand your “by the book” attitude as to what constitutes good writing. But, if your goal is to sell a LOT of books, then you write what’s necessary to sell those books. And, no offense intended, but you really should read the book before forming an opinion on how closely “Eragon” follows other work.

    J, my reply to you is similar to my reply to Nicole. My definition of “crap books” and “excellent books” is different than yours. “Excellent books” are books that get read and enjoyed by many people, “crap books” are books that languish in the deep storage stacks of libraries.

    Also, you opinion of “Eragon” was a bit worse than calling it a “crap book.” You called Paolini one of “the worst writers ever published.” Do I detect a bit of jealousy?

  38. You know what, I would love it if we didn’t discuss Eragon in this thread any more, since it’s clear it’s beginning to make people act like dicks.

  39. I may get four hours of writing in a day. But mostly its research and answering emails and tweeting. I guess 4 may be a good outline, but I’ll be lucky if I am actually writing for 2.

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