This summer I have been in Turbo Writer Mode. Basically, I have July to finish my comic novel, Darcy By Any Other Name. It’s a wonderfully funny romp. But it won’t write itself.
So Mondays through Wednesdays I write 3000 words a day. The rest of the week I’m also writing, but not new material. I tell you what, by week’s end my brain feels stretched like a wrung-out sponge! But the chapters are mounting up. Definitely worth it.
Here are some things I’ve learned about pumping out words.
1. Set aside time. You need time for writing. And for thinking. Ah, but remember this: You will do your best thinking as you write.
Quiet, dedicated time is important.
2. Don’t forget that morning cuppa. A hot drink both comforts and empowers. But too much caffeine is not your friend.
Some is good. A lot, not so much.
3. Gather your tools. For me, this means finding my best pair of reading glasses. And then not setting them down “somewhere.”
A backup. And a 2nd and 3rd backup.
4. Stay on task. It takes time to warm up the flow, so keep throwing words on the page, willy-nilly. Make lists of ideas, walk through a scene “telling” it. No editing, no backtracking.
Sigh, I often
use need a timer to stay focused.
5. Carry a notebook everywhere. Words beget words, and ideas can strike at any time. If you’re not prepared, you’ll write on scraps and napkins. Try not to make notes while you are driving on the freeway…like I did here (the receipt!).
Be ready for ideas…or else you’ll do this.
6. Accountability helps. Fellow author Susan Kaye and I check in every single work day. Same with my pals at My 500 Words. Because time is not yours to waste, not when there’s a book to write. Find others to help you stay productive and growing.
You don’t need to go it alone. Join us!
7. Above all, keep your sense of humor intact. As you write, entertain not only your future readers but also yourself. The first draft is all melodrama anyway, so dare to go over the top.
My very own Foster Farms “Chicken Impostor.” Because I need a smile.
8. For heaven’s sake, back up your work. Daily. And don’t lose the flash drive like I did. (I have no idea why I wrote “2 of 3″ on this one. There must have been a reason.)
Back up your work. Just do it.
“Never give up, never surrender! Words of wisdom from Galaxy Quest, right? Don’t lose heart. Writing is all about stopping and starting again. You only fail if you quit for keeps.