(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. 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… 😉