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Friday, November 04, 2011

"How many pages have I produced? I don't care. Are they any good? I don't even think about it. All that matters is I've put in my time and hit it with all I've got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome Resistance." –Steven Pressfield

How many words can you crank out in an hour if you’re not editing? If you’re just putting words on the page as fast as you can think them? A thousand? Two thousand?

Try this: Sit down at your desk with your writing implements – computer or pen and paper—and look at the clock. Crack your knuckles, flex your fingers, yawn, take a drink of water, and look at the clock again. Ready? Set the timer for fifteen minutes and start writing. Don't stop to think, to ponder, to craft some great metaphor, just fling words at the page as fast as you can type. If you run into something you need to research, make brackets around a generalization and plan to come back later when you’re allowed to think. If you don’t know what happens next, skip a few lines and start writing what you can see no matter where it is in the story.

When the timer dings, count your words. If you’re using a computer it’s easy to check the word count. If you’re writing longhand, count the number of words in 5 random lines (not sentences, lines). Find the average. Then count the number of lines you filled during your timed writing and do the math. Close enough is good enough. How many words were you able to write during that time? Now do the math again to find out how long it will take you to write 1666 words.

Every day during NaNo, set the timer for the amount of time you know it will take to write 1700 words, then get busy meeting your deadline. If you know how long it takes to get your word count, you won’t be thinking about editing until the timer dings. Now you don’t have to worry about how many pages or if they’re any good. Just go with the timer. Once a week check your word count and maybe do a bonus session if you need to stay on target.

Overcome resistance. You can do it.

2 comments:

Nicole Maggi said...

I've really been enjoying your NaNoWriMo-inspiring posts. They've been very motivating to me!

Barb said...

With this month's quotes, I'm preaching to myself as much as to anyone else. I'm not doing NaNo, but I'm trying to stick to my goal of writing every day (practicing what I preach, dontchya know).
I'm glad to hear the quotes are helping.
Good luck!!