BEDJ #4: in which kaz & chan make a plan*

(BEDJ is my attempt to blog each day of January to celebrate the release of The Iron Witch)

(*Look at me with my poetry! Ha!)

So, my friend and CP Chandra Rooney and I were, you know, talking via The Twitter about #goals for the new year. (Yes, I did just put a hashtag in a blog post. Yes, I might have drunk too much coffee this afternoon. Heh.) We then moved said discussion to email and came up with the following idea.**

On days where there is Other Stuff going on in life–whether that be Day Job commitments; family commitments; social interaction so our friends don’t think we’re turning into hermits; promo stuff; whatever–we will still make every effort to write a minimum of 250 words. Let me put this in context for you: there are days when I’ve been overwhelmed with (for example) family stuff or an Emergency of a Non-Writing Nature. On those days, it’s very easy to allow myself to get sucked into Drama and end up exhausted and NOT WRITING.

Even if all it takes for me to write 250 words, on any given day, is no more than half an hour. Sometimes a lot less than half an hour. Let’s say… an average of 20 minutes.

Am I seriously trying to say that I can’t find 15-30 minutes in a day to write New Words of Fiction? Really?

Do you know how much, in terms of pages, 250 words actually is? (Roughly, I mean.)

One page.

One. Stinking. Page.

Even if I hand write that page in my notebook, it would probably only take me 30 minutes if I write fast-enough-to-get-it-down (and depending on how much dialogue vs. description is in the scene) but not-so-fast-that-I-can’t-read-my-writing-later.***

Imagine: a world where, even on a bad day with all sorts of Other Stuff To Do, I could write a page of fiction and keep the momentum going. This is so important to writers! Chan and I talked about this part in particular, that need to feel you moved forward even just a little. There’s nothing worse than turning around after three days of Stuff and realising that you lost all your momentum on a project. If I don’t write for more than 2 or 3 days in-a-row (and I mean writing New Words, not editing or fine-tuning or blogging or working on something else writing-related), I lose that sense of energy and start to feel stuck. That’s just the way it goes for me. Some writers will probably be bursting to get back to work after an enforced (or otherwise) delay in their progress… So far, it hasn’t worked that way for me.

Most ‘averagely good’ writing days get me between 2,000–3,000 words. That’s when I’m writing a first draft and things are going okay. (I’m not the World’s Fastest Writer, but neither am I the World’s Slowest.) However, my progress can be kinda random, like:

Write one day; stop for two days; write for an intense week; stop for three days; write for two more days; stop for one; write for two brilliant weeks; stop for five days; etc. etc.

I want to write EVERY day.

Even if I only write 250 words on some of those days.

Me and my pal Chandra are doing this. We’re going to give it a try for 2011, anyway. If there’s anyone else out there who wants to join us in the ‘250 Club’ or the 250-Words-or-Bust Gang, feel absolutely free to do so!****

**I’m pretty sure it was my idea, but I don’t want to brag.
***It’s important to note here that my handwriting is totally dire. I pity anyone I sign a book for in the future. LOL!
****It’s not, like, a real gang or anything. But still, it could be fun to play along… 😉

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11 Responses to BEDJ #4: in which kaz & chan make a plan*

  1. keriflur says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll join your gang!

    I’m down with a cold and was seriously considering not writing today. You ave reminded me what I don’t want to skip a day, so I’m going to go write.


  2. Katherine says:

    Funny, I also made this one of my personal goals for the year. I figured even if I had nothing but terrible days where I have to push for the 250 words for the entire year I would still have a novel to show for it at the end of the year. I just really want to get int the habit of making it a point to write every single day, not just when it’s easy to find the time.

    Unfortunately I already missed one day when I spent all day yesterday dealing with a sick kitty and taking him to the vet and then came home and passed out on the couch. Oh well, today’s another chance, so off I go to get my words in and cuddle the sick kitty.

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m in! There’s been a couple days when I’ve written about 100 words, but I’d love to go for even doing 250 minimum, since like you, I find that if I take a day away from writing that it’s a lot harder to get back into it.

  4. *waves hands* I want to join the gang! Can we get matching bandanas and go around scaring old people with our ballpoint pens?!
    I find myself doing the whole write for a week, then nothing for a few days. Dang life getting in the way!
    Looking forward to more awesome and random blog posts for the rest of January 🙂
    Liia x

  5. Janell says:

    I’m trying the same thing. For a new writer (like ME) making it a daily habit just makes sense. I think! When I realized that it was one page something clicked. Here’s hoping that click continues.

  6. music_lover3 says:

    I’ll join your gang too! Should be fun. 🙂

  7. ThisViewOfMine says:

    I finished the book Shutter Island(loved it) last night and decided to start Magic Bites. OHMYGOSH. I cant believe i told myself i’d only read one chapter and then go to bed. PSHH. Why do we keep telling ourselves these lies. It was around 3am when I finally forced my eyes away. Now I know what other books to get when i order The Iron Withch; books 2-4 are a must!

  8. Jess says:

    Oh! This is a great idea. I’d love to join in.

  9. Carolin says:

    You’re speaking my mind. It’s scary.

    I also lose my momentum when I don’t write, but I struggle to write every day. 250 words sounds like a manageable amount to keep going! I love it. I’m so in. 😉 We need a twitter hashtag. *gg*

  10. Kristina L. says:

    I’ve been kicking around story ideas, working on how the plot will go…but no real writing has occurred. 250 words a day (minimum) is definitely something I can achieve, no matter what is going on. Great idea!

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