Yesterday, I wrote 10,000 words, actually 10,002. I started the third book of the Viral series, I set a goal, and I made it happen. Here’s how I did it and what I learned.
My long writing days constitute my equivalent of a day off (my day-job is a little weird). I woke up at 7:00 AM but that was hardly helpful. After updating all my social media stuff, going to a chiropractic appointment, and visiting a bookstore and a library for some pre-release discussions, I pretty well killed the morning.
I decided that eating was a good idea before getting started, so I stopped for “breakfast” and finally arrived at my favorite B&N cafe, ready to write. My goal with going to bed early was to try and accomplish something I hadn’t yet, 10k words in one day. Starting a new story with an outline ready is probably the easiest place to put yourself for such a task, but there are other ways. Since the morning was dead, I figured I would burn out early and didn’t put much focus on it. I also found myself writing 1000 words per hour, which is slower than my other “big days.” I’d planned on a pace of 2k an hour for 5 hours. Nothing yesterday was going as planned.
Set a goal:
After the first two hours, I posted something on twitter about having 2k done, and only another 8k to finish off my 10k. I wasn’t even super serious about it at that moment, but I planted a seed that I should at least keep going and see how close I could get. With every passing hour, I got more thirsty to reach that 10k. At the halfway post, I took a short break to start a blog article (not this one). I would work on the new novella for an hour, then take about 15-20 minutes to add some stuff to the blog post, then take a “fresh-air” break for 5-10 minutes, and repeat.
Today I’m doing something similar, but at a more relaxed pace. I’m just going to keep writing and working on stuff and see where I end up. The first item on the list is this blog post, even though I finished off the chapter I stopped at last night. But back to yesterday.
I started breaking the 10k into hourly goals, trying to get a little further ahead with each chime of the clock. Okay, so there wasn’t a real clock chime, but I was totally marking the hour shifts and re-evaluating at each one. I started telling myself things like “no breaks till you get to xxxx word count” and “you aren’t eating until you get 10k.” It was getting serious.
The closer I came to my writing goal, the more I wanted to reach it. 3k left. 2k left. Only 1000 more words. The last five hundred took the longest. My fingers stopped working and I was backspacing to correct every other word. My back was tired of being in a chair all day, and my mood started to suffer. At this point though, I couldn’t stop. I had to finish, even if it meant staying in the cafe until they closed.
I jotted down the word count number I needed to see in my processor, subtracting the previous outline words in the document and the formatting. 9612 would be my word total that, when added to my blog post, would mean 10,000 for the day, and the opening of my novella finished. I swear, the last 200 words felt like a test of my resolve. Every conversation happening around me was a distraction. My mind was a distraction, though it never told me to quit, it was not helping me move the story forward.
I finished. I saw 9614 appear in my status bar, shut off the program closed the laptop, and took a rather large swig of cold coffee. It was 8:30. I’d spent the last nine hours in this coffee house writing, with an occasional twitter post. ~1025 word blog post and 8977 new words on the novella. What a day. You would think with an accomplishment like that I would have been super happy right?
Nope. I felt like crap. I was hungry, tired, my hands were shaking from a caffeine overdose, and I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep right there on my closed laptop. I almost forgot to post the victory before powering of the lappy. Maybe I’ll feel better when I wake up in the morning. Then I can look back on the whole experience and be proud of myself.
My eyes opened this morning, and the first thought that crossed my mind was: “Bet you can’t frickin’ do it again!”
Yeah… I’m back at the coffee shop. I hope this 10k thing doesn’t become an addiction, but I’m definitely trying a new strategy today. I’m going to be diversifying, writing some short stories, some blog posts, etc., and also working on the novella. I’m happier when I’m writing fun stuff, when I keep it fun, and I tend to write quicker too. We’ll see what happens. What’s the most words you’ve ever written in a day? Do you sometimes have experiences where you finish a goal and you’re to exhausted to celebrate? Please share, I don’t want to be alone in this 😛