Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Few Words Every Day... Adds Up

I am firm believer that you don't "find" time to write, you make it. If you are serious about writing, it becomes the activity that you can't wait to wedge into your schedule between work, dinner, laundry, and buying a house.

Many people I talk to often question, with great incredulity, how I manage to write so much. Especially, when they here I've written a novel. (Somehow writing over 60,000 words in short stories has less impact, but that's a separate issue.)

I only work three jobs. And I get minutes here and there in my teaching job while the slugs are oozing slime over their books and papers or eating my pencils.

NaNoWriMo is another one of those times when I take a close look at when and how much I'm writing. I push myself harder during NaNo to get those precious words. I'm not a very good loser. Ask my Hubby why we don't play certain board games anymore...

But as I have pushed myself to add words to my word count each day, even if it's only a bit, I realize that I could be making a lot better progress on my non-NaNo writing than I have been. I could have more short stories written. And I could have many more words, sentences, and chapters in Bo's second novel. If I only pushed myself harder.

Now, granted, there's a fair amount of dreck in my NaNo. But it's still proof that I have not been pushing myself to write nearly as much as I could.

I think I'm adopting a new habit-- one that will hopeful persist beyond NaNo. Write a chunk. There's a thread over at Absolute Write's Water Cooler (OMFG, I do spend too much time there!) that's the "Page a Day Thread." The idea is to write 250 words a day, everyday. Such a nice managable chunk. So, as I sit in the Independent Study class watching the kids work, I realize I can put in 250 words real quick. It won't take long. And I do.

Or those few minutes while Hubby is getting ready to go somewhere... and I'm already ready... yes, I do wear the pants. I can plop at my computer-- which is on nearly 24/7 anyway-- and poke out another 250 words.

Bit by bit. Like eating an elephant.

And the sense of accomplishment from having continued to up my word count... it's a nice feeling. I've started the habit. I hope to continue it. And hopefully, I will have more short stories, and more novels, to show for it in the coming months.

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