Wednesday, 1 August 2012

1st August, 2012. One Month In.

I realised that as it is the 1st of August, I am one month into my challenge. More importantly, while I'm not typing fast etc., I am finding writing 10,000 words not so hard, as I can sit down a write for longer periods of time without feeling overstretched or tempted away. This is all demonstrated by today's challenge.

Today had all the makings of a disastrous writing day. I stayed up till 1am last night because I couldn't put down my book until I had finished it. So I woke up late and groggy. After I finally got out of bed (using a game of Settlers to negotiate with myself) and had breakfast, it was 11.35 when I went to start writing. This was a seriously bad sign, as it meant I would need to write through the afternoon and fight the nanna nap temptation. (Just to give you an indication, current score lies generally in the vicinity of NN: 532. Buffy: 10.)

Just over the last week (sort of since I started keeping a record of my writing sessions) I've found that agreeing to sit down for a set number of hours, but breaking every hour to get a new cup of tea and have a bit of a stretch, works really well. I begin each hour by recording everything that might affect how I write in the coming hour and then at the end of the hour I record how many words I've written and how easy/hard it felt. It's slowly getting me the data I need to perfect my writing performance. Luckily I have another 4 years and 11 months to work it all out.

So today in my first hour I felt like I struggled a bit, sitting back with my arms crossed trying to ponder, then remembering I can't stop to ponder, I must ponder on paper. However, when I had finished that first hour I found that I had written 2,422 words. (Okay, I know when I first started I was like 'oh, I can write 3,000 words an hour'... don't know what I was thinking, that was a lie. I can do between 2,000-2,500 depending on how much flow I can muster.)

I then suddenly remembered I had to ring my brother, which totally could have waited, but seemed like a necessary thing at the time. So the second hour didn't start until 1.15pm, and I feared the gap would affect the flow I had developed. However, I actually really got into it and kept writing until 2.40, so got 3,157 words done. Halfway there for the day which was pretty exciting. Next hour started again at 2.48 and I polished off another 2,479 words. 

The fact that I had managed to keep writing, even though I had broken the flow to make a phone call, and had managed not to get overcome by tiredness and the need to take an afternoon nap was pretty amazing. But then my little sister was coming over, and instead of trying to get as much done before she arrived, I ended up reading 'Born to Run'.

Yes, I started reading, even though I knew in my heart that Jenny would want to do something, and I wouldn't get back to write that final hour. I let it go anyway. And as it happened, Jenny did want to get a video out. But we started so early we were done by 7.30pm. And by 8pm I was back at my computer. And by 9pm I had completed over 10,000 words for the day! I'm now up to 60,946 words in the story, and can see the end in sight. I have also worked out one or two scenes I want to put in earlier.

So, managed to overcome getting out of bed late, breaking the flow to ring my brother, the need to have an afternoon nap, and coming back late in the evening after a reasonable day of writing. And to be completely honest, I have no idea how I fought all these temptations with so little effort. Usually any one of these would spell the end. But I think my mind must be getting used to this writing idea. It's being trained to just pick up and carry on whenever.

Coffee in the second and third hour also helps, I think. And not really being offered better options.

But I will need to investigate this further. It will be on my list of things to look out for: how to get temptation to lose its sting.

I'm now going to jump into bed with a clear conscious and read.

Good night all.


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