I didn’t get much writing done this weekend, opting instead to spend a romantic weekend with the Boyfriend. I did, however, get the chance to do a little reading.
The February issue of RWR contained an intriguing article titled “Speed as an Antidote to Writer’s Block.” The gist is that writing quickly — and regularly — helps us beat that devil procrastination.
Since I often find myself afflicted by that particular demon, I paid particular attention to that article. (In fact, it’s still the only thing from the issue I’ve read word-for-word. I’ve skimmed the rest, but not settled in to digest it yet.)
The article points out that speed writing is done:
- Without a lot of distractions, such as the Internet or reading back through a MS to “check” facts.
- Simply, as opposed to being a perfectionist looking for quality above all else.
- To be shared. Apparently, fast writers share their drafts ASAP, seeking feedback. A perfectionist, on the other hand, will revise, revise, revise (or stop writing at all) rather than let someone else read their “weak” effort.
Over the years, I’ve been more the perfectionist type. I stop writing when I hit that wall … and sometimes don’t go back to it for months.
Participating in the NaNo last November really helped me see the benefits of speed writing, though. I might not have written as quickly as the others (I never once won the “word wars” we had at write-ins), and I didn’t finish all 50,000 words.
But sitting down to write almost daily did help me get a lot accomplished, and I was able to ride that writing high to the end, finishing my story in early December, shortly after the end of NaNo.
So you have my pledge now that I’ll do the NaNo again this fall. I already have a plot marinating in my head for it, something I started working on after my NARWA group did a “Book in a Month” talk a couple of years. (I stalled out in the research stage, around Day 6, because I’m not much of a researcher anymore.) I do, however, have a basic outline for the story, which stars one of Brad’s brothers … Brad being the hero in this year’s GH entry, the one that apparently STILL doesn’t have enough conflict.
Until then, I’m going to keep plugging away on “Operation Treat Writing Like a Day Job.” Right now, that seems to be enough to keep me writing, so why mess with success?