500 Words and Climbing
One of the nice things about having a BIG project is that it forces me to write every day, no exceptions. I began with a goal of 500 words per night, triple that on the weekdays.
No big accomplishment there. If you’ve ever held yourself to a writing schedule, you know that this isn’t all that ambitious. Most the pros you know crank out a thousand plus in a sitting, and before this post is finished it will be near 300 words. But with workdays consistently stretching to 12+ hours (did a 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. stretch on Tuesday), and filial responsibilities at home, getting in a few hours to write can be a major accomplishment.
Surprisingly – and this is a testament to my ignorance of that wonderful machine, the human being – it has become really easy to break 500 words. What used to take 2 hours, fell to an hour and a half, and then an hour. On a good evening I can kiss H good night and then get another thousand words done before crashing.
Caveat: some nights are better than others. Last night I fell asleep sitting upright at the computer.
Anyhow, the real benefit of this process has been discipline. All through college I considered myself a writer, but I was lucky to write just on the weekends. By contrast, averaging 6ish thousand a week puts me at 15 weeks or 4 months to complete a rough draft of a 90k word project.
The fun part is, anyone can do it. A-n-y-o-n-e. Sit down for a couple hours every night, do it for 5 months and viola, you’ve written a novel!
I’m still trying to reconcile the math in my own mind, but the every morning there's the proof: another 700 words. Let’s hope some of them are good ones.
P.S. I'm interested in hearing how the pros do it. Ed, Erik, Jaleigh, Kam, E.C.? Any anecdotes to share?
P.P.S. *laugh* I forgot the original intent of my post. This weekend H is going rafting with the girls from work. For me that equates to 48 straight hours of eating meat, falling down on concrete and writing! Woot!