Posted by: Judy | January 28, 2016

Eureka!

I think I finally found the best way for me to write a book. I tried it for the first time, last Friday. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I simply found myself doing it. I also think it’s all tied into the acceptance I’m a storyteller.

I’ve experimented with a variety of methods. None of them have been consistently successful.

Consistent. That’s what I’m looking for.

I’ve set a timer, for varying times, ten minutes, twenty, thirty. I’ve chunked my time in segments, fifteen minutes, thirty, sixty.

I’ve done sprint writing. Writers In The Storm runs one a couple of times a year. I’ve found them productive, but as I said, they’re a couple of times a year.

I’ve tried setting daily word goals.

I’ve tried to break up those word goals into hour segments. I noticed I was writing 400-500 words an hour.

Last Friday, I noticed I was writing in 50-word segments. At first, I thought it was stupid. It was so few words. Funny how 50 words turned into 60 or 100 by the time I finished working a sentence or two or three. Next thing I knew, I’d added 3,000 words without stressing. It was easy.

I’ve used the past week to see if it’s a fluke. 🙂 Still working. I’ve also discovered the fun of keeping it to 50 words. There was a time when I’d see the partial, 38 words, and think I need to add another 50. Instead, I stick with the 50, which means I only need 12 more words. I can do 12. It usually ends up being another 23, and I’m already on my way to the next 50.

Since the realization I’m a storyteller and discovering this new way of writing, I’ve written every day. On a slow day, when I was distracted and having trouble putting words to paper, I only add 1600+ words. ONLY! 1500 used to be a good day! Every day since I started, but the one, has added 3300-3600 words. This is huge for me. I feel like I can be the writer I was intended to be with consistent writing like this.

I occasionally become caught up in the 500 and 1000-word targets. Old habit. I also start to panic about all the material I need to cover. Stepping back and remembering I only need the next 50 words ends the anxiety. I know the next few words, and the next few words. The next thing I know I’ve full scenes with description and dialogue, and the story plays itself out.

Thanks God for the insight and the inspiration.

By the way, Errant Knight is due 1 February. I’m not panicking, but I am nervous. This is so different from what I’ve done before. Praying it shows a marked improvement in my writing and storytelling.

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Responses

  1. Neat! Applauding you for a great discovery!

    I just found out about a running and writing retreat to be held in Oregon the first weekend in September and I’m thinking about going for it. It’s been over three years since I tried to write anything creative :-/

    • Might be the perfect opportunity to dip your toe back in. 😉

  2. I think the 50 word plan is brilliant. When we set attainable goals, it helps provide the encouragement we need when things get sticky. I once participated in a project where you had to write a story using EXACTLY the number of words as your age. At the time, I was 48 years old. It became a real challenge not to exceed the 48 words, and still convey some sort of story. So 50 words, to me, sounds like a perfect block of writing.

    Good luck as you continue forward towards reaching your goal.

    50 words at a time. Easy-peasey. Okay, maybe not so easy, but at least it’s doable. Just write the next 50 words. You can do that, right?

    Brilliant!

    • Thank you! 😉

  3. Bite-sized chunks make anything doable! I love this approach:).

    • I simply didn’t realize how small I had to make the bite. 😀


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