Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just Write

Image courtesy of Graur Codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear readers, I realize did not post yesterday or last Friday, and I apologize for that.  I have been under a huge amount of stress, which NaNo has compounded. I've been struggling to keep up with the word count--as of this moment I am only at 28,274 by the Microsoft Word word count algorithm, which has been consistently lower than the NaNo word count algorithm. Par for today is 30,000.

So, I'm not drowning, but I'm swallowing a lot more water than I'd like to be.

I honestly wish I had some good, elegant writing advice today, because I need it.  The reset button I blogged about last week has become more like a snooze button on my alarm clock--I guess you can overdo anything.

But I do have some brutal, unappealing advice:


You can preface or follow that with an expletive if you are so inclined. The expletive helps if you're really angry or frustrated.  Technically, expletives don't have to be vulgar words, so go ahead even if you're not the swearing type.  An expletive is just something you say instead of something else; e.g., screaming "BLANK!" when you've stubbed your toe, instead of saying, "Ow. I have injured my toe and am in considerable pain." That's right. "Darn," "heck," "phooey," "shoot," "son of a biscuit," and other variations thereof are still expletives.

My preference throughout this has been "Write; just flipping write."

Regardless how you phrase it, it's times like these you just push through, like that time you had an essay that was due the next day at school and you started the night before.  You manage to get it done, because not finishing it is not an option.

Adopting this attitude can be good even when you are not doing NaNo--you have to be flipping determined that your work will be finished.  It won't be finished if you don't keep working on it.  So even if all you do is sit down and write one sentence, you have written.

Writing is what matters.

One sentence a day might take you a while to finish your book, but what if it was one sentence every waking hour?  That's approximately sixteen sentences, right?  This sentence right here is the twenty-sixth sentence in this blog post (if I counted right, and you count sentence fragments as sentences, too).

In two days, you would have a respectable amount of writing--and certainly more than you would have before.  If my counting is accurate, this whole blog post (excluding the invitation to subscribe at the bottom) is 36 sentences.  At a rate of one sentence per waking hour, this would have taken me two days. Imagine what that would amount to over the course of a year.  Writing is always one sentence at a time--so just focus on finishing that one sentence.  Finish one more.  But only focus on the one at a time, or you'll drive yourself batty.

Just write.

Even if you swallow a lot of water on the way, all that matters is that you get to the other side of the swimming pool.

Share any thoughts in the comments. 

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