Thursday, April 30, 2015

Making the Most of Your Writing Time

Today's post was inspired by this post from McKelle George (@McKelleGeorge), who was our Mystery Editor a few months ago.

In McKelle’s post, she talked about how she wrote a whopping 61,000 words in 18 days! This got me thinking about whether a feat like this was a possibility for me. With my schedule (and needy children always expecting crazy things from me, like food and my attention), probably not, but there are ways I can stifle my inner editor and increase my word output.

I'm one of those wierdos who loves editing and revising. I hate drafting. It's messy and ugly, and so daunting at times. I wish I could just hook up a machine to my brain, have it record the the first draft in all its awfulness, and get right to revisions. That device hasn't been invented yet, unfortunately, so I'm stuck with finding ways to more efficiently extract the words manually so I can get to revisions faster. :)

One thing I did during NaNo 2013 and haven’t done enough since then is word sprints. Our local NaNo group held them on our Facebook page, but they're also happening all the time on Twitter--check out #WritingSprint and #WordSprint. Word sprints are great for powering through those parts of the story where you feel stuck. The worst that could happen is you end up with a bunch of words that you cut, but you could also come up with some really great writing and maybe even a spark of an idea or two that will make your story even better.

Another thing I do sometimes is write it out in a notebook. By the time I'm done, there are usually notes and doodles all over in the margins, but this usually keeps me from editing as I go and, in turn, keeps me from getting stuck on the same scene for days, revising and rewriting--my favorite form of procrastination. And I don’t care if it sucks because I’m going to edit it when I transcribe it anyway. This is a great way (for me, anyway) to circumvent my inner perfectionist. She’s crazy neurotic, so I try to avoid her whenever possible. Plus, this gives me an excuse to buy lots of notebooks and that's always a good thing. :)

This post also has some great suggestions for apps that help you avoid distractions and stay on task. 

Those are just a few of the things that work for me. What about you? What helps to get the words flowing when you're stuck?

1 comment:

  1. I've recently started doing word sprints. Well, I didn't know they were called that, but I guess that's what I'm doing. :) I set the timer on my phone (usually for 30 mins) and write with no stopping (barring an emergency of some sort).


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