7000 Words In 7 Days Completed

When I announced I was going to do a My Novel Recommit challenge to get back to writing every day again, I didn’t realize I’d selected one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a while at home and at work to do it.

But I did it. 7012 words in 7 days.

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Photo Credit: ®DS via Compfight cc

Many days I wrote until 1230am was up in the middle of the night with kids and then up at 630. It was rough. In the middle I knew I couldn’t do it. In the end I powered through. It’s always a thrill to meet a deadline.

If you joined me in the challenge, thank you. You helped me stay accountable. Special thanks to Maria Berg for competing.

I am going to put the books on the backburner for the next two weeks as I finish the preparations on my talk at the Breathe Writers Conference on Worldbuilding. I’ll tell you more about it later.

What I learned the most from this writing challenge is that no matter the tools or limited time that you have you must keep writing. That is the one and only key to being a writer and for some reason its the hardest thing to do.

I hope you find sometime this weekend to write. Create a challenge or be ready when I put another one up on my blog next month.

 

What Do You Need To Take Your Writing To The Next Level?

We’ve all said it. If only I had ___ then I would absolutely be a better writer. Come on, out with it. If you had more money to buy the tools, more education, less responsibility, didn’t have to work full time, had 29 hours a day.

What is that one thing you need to take your writing to the next level?

Photo Credit: Dave Catchpole via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Dave Catchpole via Compfight cc

A lot of time we compare ourselves to the greats and that’s not fair. We say things like, if only I had the writing gumption like Stephen King, or if I could just live in Paris when Hemingway did, I’m sure I’d be able to write something grand.

The problem with this thinking is that we are not focused on what we can do right now. I am not talking about a can-do attitude, but more what we are capable of doing at this juncture in out lives. Could you write 7000 words in a week? Could you write 10,000? 2,000?

I’d like to circle back to the original statement above. What do you need to take your writing to the next level?

Does it have to be all or nothing or can you start with 200 words a day? Give up one TV show a week? Buy a portable keyboard and write in the notes section on your iphone at lunch? Can’t do an MFA what about a free Coursera class on story telling?

I believe, firmly, that you should begin exploring the path of the next level now so in three to five years to can be past that obstacle or more at peace with your schedule or financial situation. But it starts with knowing what you need or what your main challenge is. Then being creative enough to get around it or write within the confines of it.

My 7000 words in 7 days is what helps me. I needed a challenge to get me writing at full speed again. Thus far I’ve written 4113 in four days.

What do you need to get to the next level writer?

How Committed Are You To Your Book?

Have you ever been intimidated by another writer? Not their presence or their writing, but their commitment to the craft? It happened to me yesterday.

I picked up the last book in a series – The Books of Beginning – titled The Black Reckoning by John Stephens at the library. I like to read the author bio in the back of books to see what else they have written and get to know them a little. This ritual proved crushing.

I wish I never picked up his book nor turned to the back flap.

I was shocked by what I read.

The Black Reckoning

On the dust jacket, it mentioned, casually, that John Stephens woke up at 4AM to write the Emerald Atlas (the first book in this series) before leaving for work each day. Wait. What?

4AM?

Really?

Imagine with me for a second if you could do this. Take that, multiply by seven, add another five hours for a writing night or long afternoon and that’s twenty hours of writing each week. How much could you write? How fast could you finish?

My first thought is that 4AM is impossible. I have two children that wake up through the night. But what if I could make it work for a week? A month? That would give me eighty hours of writing time.

I know this is probably not sustainable, but it makes me think. How dedicated am I to my books, blog, or any other area of my life? I want the easy path but I know I must choose the most difficult one at times.

How much time do you dedicate to writing? Is it enough? If you need more time, what could you cut out of your life to recapture the lost time?