Fiction-Words

Here is a recipe for writing as many fiction-words in a day as you would usually write in a week, even though you had other, More Urgent things to do today, just because sometimes writing can (oh yes oh yes it can) be as much fun as the fun books we like to read for dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 notebook you like
  • 1 writing implement you like
  • 1 month plus 1 day
  • 1 opportune hankering for 1 cookie
  • 1 keyboard-based word processing mechanism

Instructions:

  1. For 1 month, write a set number of words of a story you’d like to write per week (e.g., 2000 words/week).  Write them in your 1 notebook with your 1 writing implement.  Write them absolutely any time you have a few seconds or a few hours to spend with your notebook.  Planning words count.  Crossed-out words especially count.  Carry your notebook everywhere with you.
  2. Towards the end of your 1 month, get 1 opportune hankering for 1 cookie.  Not those cookies in the individual plastic wrappers that grow naturally in the habitat of your office, but the freshly-baked cookies at the bakery down the street.  Leave your office.  Feel good walking down the street for a cookie in the middle of the afternoon.  Feel good just being outside.  Now stop in your tracks!!  That’s right: that idea you just had WAS the idea for how to make every piece of your story click into place and sing and sing and sing.  Rush back to the office!  Grab that notebook!  Scribble your eureka epiphany into your notebook as fast as you can.  Realize that the idea is coming out so hard and so fast, you are going to have to finish your story on some kind of keyboard-based word processing mechanism.
  3. Start typing your story as soon as you get home.  What’s this?  The word count is skyrocketing pretty fast, since you’d already written so many of your words in your notebook.  You’re changing a ton of them as you go along, but it doesn’t matter: you know how to do it.  Somehow you keep knowing what comes next.  Get some sleep when you can’t write any more, but start right up again the next morning (if you’ve timed your opportune cookie hankering properly, it’s Saturday now, and you can blow off your other plans to write, even though they’re technically More Urgent).  Write, write, write.  Break for lunch when you hit your first good stopping point.  Revel in the joy of getting to a stopping point.  Write write write some more. 
  4. Stop when you realize that, by some miracle you’ll never be able to explain, you’re kind of done for today.  2,000 words today: the same number it was so hard to write every week for the past four weeks.  It’s okay if you change all this later.  The point is: look at all those words you wrote today.  Feel what that felt like.
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