What I’m Learning From This Race

For those of you who may have missed the last couple posts, or may not have understood them, my friends Deb, Ali, fellow blogger B. Freret, and I are all in race to see who can get the most words written in two weeks.

I’m not going to talk about our word count now.

Right now I’d like to talk about this process and what it does to your brain (or, at least, my brain because I’m not entirely sure what happens to other brains….)

1. Focus. This is probably the whole point of any writing contest. Like National Novel Writing Month, you just move your focus away from time-suckers.
2. Little bits count as much as big bits. A lot of writers feel they don’t have time to write because they feel they have to have big blocks of time to create. While bigger blocks are certainly more helpful, they are not necessary. Many professional writers talk about how they write now–not how they wrote when they were 9-5 jobbers like us, so please keep in mind that a lot of great novels were written bit by bit, in the moments that could be stolen as well as planned. And trust me, if you feel you can’t get a lot of words out in a day, it’s because you’re plotting to spend a couple hours at a desk. Since this competition began I’ve averaged 6 pages a day…and I have not had more than an hour in front of a desk at any given time.
3. If you’re struggling with a plot point, you’re pushing too hard. Cut loose a little bit and see what happens. Speed fixes a lot of blocks.

All right. Enough with this mini-lesson. Back to writing!

Ali Challenge Deb Writing Thoughts

jenny maloney View All →

Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. You've pretty much hit the nail on the head, honey. I thought I wasn't getting anything done on Monday, because I was writing in the five minutes I could sneak between this task and that duty. But I ended up with 13 pages.

    Not so many Tuesday and Wednesday, though.

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