Sunday, December 06, 2009

Speed Writing

Gosh, 47 days without a post! Bet you thought I gave up writing or something. Quite the opposite.

After months (many months, years actually, but "months" doesn't make me sound like so much of a slacker) of dithering and procrastination and trying to come up with a formula that would motivate me to write, I seem to have accidentally stumbled upon something that works, so if I don't post here as often as I used to, it's because I'm being more productive in a 'real' writing sense.

I won't go into details, because what is working for me is not likely to work for you, but to satisfy your curiosity—and to give you a peek into my method on the off chance you might find motivation in it as well—I’ll tell you this much:

I shifted my focus away from a set amount of time each day to a set amount of words. Over the past years, I have proven time and again that I can easily fritter away the hour or two I put aside for writing, but now that I know I can't stop until I finish a set number of words, those words come, and they come quickly.

Also, it's gratifying hitting targets every day as it provides a sense of accomplishment throughout a process that traditionally has been a slog.

The quick writing has other advantages, as well. In the past, I used to agonize over every paragraph and finish the book having rewritten lots of it along the way. So when I read it over, I think, “Well, that’s not too bad,” and I tinker with a few bits of it, pronounce it done and send it out. My purpose now is to get to the end of the story with nothing but the skeleton of a plot and a heap of words that screams for a re-write. Yeah, I’m actually trying to write something what, when I get to the end, will be obviously shit.

And I have to say, I’m doing a darn good job of it.


  1. Interesting but everyones different. still, worth a try. The end product might/might not be worthwhile. Good luck.

  2. Interesing...never thought about a word count limit. I too am a master of procrastination (sure you didn't say that but it helps me feel like I'm not alone), and a set time limit doesn't seem to cut it for me either. Worth a try. Thanks.