A Note on Deliberation.


Right now I’m 70K into what I’m guessing will be a 100K first draft. I’m planning to finish it by June 30th. This has been a little slow going the past week or so because I’ve been moving into a new apartment, so production has slammed to a halt, but as of tomorrow, I’m go for action.

You see, I did a little experiment the other day. Er, week. I was stuck at just over 65K, and I had a free day. On that day, despite the fact that I can usually write only 1000-2000 words per day, and that’s if I have the whole dayI decided that I was going to hit 70,000 words. I was going to do it. It took me fourteen hours and an obsessive lot of Pomodoro-ing (plus encouragement and a kind assent to not distract me from my husband), but I managed to write over 4600 words in one day. Just because I was really determined to do it.

This taught me something very significant about writing. Something that we all hear, but that I think every writer needs to learn for themselves: when it comes to writing, deliberation is key.

I don’t just mean writing deliberately—though that is very imporant. Every word you put down should count, at least by the end. What I mean, though, is that the act of deliberately sitting down to write is imperative in getting things done in this game. Me, I can tell you all the ways to not get writing done. Sitting down with a definite goal and time frame in mind is the only way I’ve discovered to really get results. Oh sure, there’s sitting around and waiting for inspiration to come, but I’ve learned that inspiration is a lot more likely to hit you if you’re out looking for it.

It’s like working door-to-door sales: you can’t sell anything if you don’t knock first.

So that’s my flash of inspiration for the day. I’ve figured out that in order to write my 30,000 words by the end of June, I need to write at least 700 words per day. That’s not even a thousand—I can do that. Of course, I’m a little petrified, because I don’t know 100% where I’m going in between major scenes, but that’s okay. I have a lot of material to work with, and a lot of places to go.

I’ll keep you posted as to how well I’m doing.

What are your writing goals right now?

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3 thoughts on “A Note on Deliberation.

  1. I have never heard of pomodoroing. What a great idea. I could really use the incentive.
    My goals right now are kind of all over the place. I’m doing a paper doll series for a children’s magazine, a picture book storyboard for an illustration class in June and trying to nibble away at a YA fantasy.

    • A paper doll series? That’s so cool! I used to get the ones in the American Girl magazine when I was a kid and I loved them!

  2. Hi there!

    Let’s see. My big goals at this point are to draft eight short stories in June, (just started on number six, yay!) and to finish critiquing other writer’s short stories before I leave for a workshop in Kansas… on June 24th, which is coming up VERY SOON! Wish me luck.

    I’m looking for some ninja writers to interview for my Ninja spotlight series. If you’re interested, go to http://kelworthfiles.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/im-looking-for-a-few-good-ninjas/ to find out more!

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