A brief flash of productivity
I do like getting up early on a Saturday, getting on with whatever needs doing, and then still having a large portion of the day ahead of me. Last Saturday, with a very early start, this went according to plan, and by about 2pm I was free. So, rather than just talk about writing, I thought I’d actually get on and do some.
And while I didn’t write for long, maybe an hour or so, it was an incredibly productive session. Somehow, I managed to get over 1,000 words of a story down. I have no idea if it was any good – I was afraid to read it back right away, to jinx it or shatter whatever confidence I gained from actually writing something. I thought it best to leave it a week, and then return to the story with fresh eyes. But, 1,000 words! Never mind the quality, feel the width!
I think what helped, is that as much as I don’t really set aside any time to write, I do think about potential story ideas a lot. This might be when I idle away a lunchtime, or when I pop to the shops, or when I am travelling somewhere. I might just spend five minutes mulling a story or a character over on each occasion, but it all adds up.
So, when I did actually sit down to write, I had access to a lot of material in my head. It was then a case of getting it all down in a vaguely coherent way.
This may not be the most efficient way to work, but until I engineer the time, it seems like as good a way as any. Anyway, I’m sure the lack of time is an excuse. I can think I’m giving my thoughts time and space to breathe and grow, but perhaps I should just be getting on with it, anytime, anywhere. Those stories are no good to anybody stuck in my head.
Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? You should sign up. It’s a November thing. Many people consider the month-in-the-making stuff their final draft, but I figure it’d be a good way to get stuff on paper, if nothing else.
I just might do that. I’ll probably then fail to write anything over the course of the month, but it is the thought that counts, right? Getting something on paper is the key. I can’t imagine having anything close to a final draft, though. It is all about the tinkering. And that takes a while.
I tried it last year, and got about 2000 words into things before my internal editor kicked in and tried to tinker. I’ll give it another go this year. Maybe I’ll spend October thinking about things like character and plot, so I’m not just winging it in November.
I’m tempted, but the chances of me writing 50,000 words in a month are pretty remote, especially as I am in the middle of wedding planning. However, it might encourage me to be a little more productive with my free time.
If I were to attempt it, I’m torn between working on a story I’ve had in my head but haven’t yet committed to paper, or to working on something brand-new, with perhaps a little prep work in October. As the focus is on quantity over quality, I’m leaning towards the latter, as this may quell my own internal editor as it won’t matter so much if I’m ruining a new idea I’m not so attached to.