Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Forcing Productivity

If you saw my previous tongue-in-cheek-but-actually-confessional post about actual productivity for many writers, you'll know why I was distressed after I took a good hard look at my own time set aside for "writing."

I had to come up with some kind of plan. Some incentive to keep me on the straight and narrow. Otherwise it would be internet forever and no books at all to show for it.

But, my inner self whines whenever I think this, I like writing rough drafts about as much as I like shoveling manure. On the other hand, I LOVE internet.

I had to do something! So I created a rule for myself that went into effect immediately.

NO INTERNET unless I've written at least 1 thousand words in the WIP. Per day. 

Writing is hard. But will write for internet!!!

BUT so far, it's working out pretty well. I grit my teeth and bang out the required lines, which produces a happy, glowing feeling inside. Once I'm finished, I triumphantly hit save, and then I can log onto Twitter and brag about my success. With this accomplished, I'm free to gleefully watch youtube videos about fainting goats and baby tigers. And chances are, since I got my creative juices flowing, I might just return to the WIP too.

Speaking of Works in Progress, I've returned to the nasty nasty MS that gives me fits. And I think I'm making headway!

* fireworks! applause! ice cream cake! *

The biggest push for me was a new and enthusiastic beta reader who is begging for more. Naturally, being the kind and generous soul that I am, I must write in order to put her out of her misery. * modesty * Annnnd with the writing comes sudden bursts of creativity.  It's really a lovely cycle.

So thanks for that, Rebecca :-D

Anybody else making headway with a WIP lately? What's YOUR secret to getting that creative drive back?


  1. The best way to get my creative drive back, for me, is to stop all writing. It takes about 3-5 days, but it usually does the trick.

    (This is kind of addressing a different problem than what you said in your post though... But kind of not. As far as forcing myself to write... I turn on weird music and snack.)

  2. @Jaimie Yes, snacks! Ice cream cake for me :-D

  3. AWESOME idea. I have the same problem. Too much Internet, not enough writing. And 1000 words isn't all that hard. I use this website to help force me to write:

  4. @Stephanie Thanks! So far it's working, so I recommend it ... and yeah, 1k is pretty attainable, but still a solid number.

    I've heard really good things about Write or Die. I'll have to look into it, thanks!

  5. i do better if i try to hit a scene or two a day. when i get focused on word counts, i get panicked and add a whole buncha words that inevitably need machete-d out of the WIP.
    but goals! and rewards! brilliant! :)

  6. I think whether you use a word count or a scene count goal depends on your editing style. If you're the kind who cuts a lot when editing use a scene count. If you add a lot when editing then use word count.

    Just my two cents. I do think setting attainable goals is an awesome idea. Getting something that you can finish (and see the progress of) every day is a great inspiration.

  7. @aspiring_x When my word count is too high, I do that. Once I tried to set a ridiculous goal of 5k a day and then most of what I wrote was crap because I completely panicked about meeting the goal and like you said, just wrote random words. After that I did scenes for a while. But so far (crosses fingers!) I think 1k is manageable for me.

    Know what works for you! If you try to do anything else, it usually ends up being counterproductive. Good thoughts!

  8. Goal setting and rewards are a good way to get motivated - and eliminate a lot of guilt, lol.

  9. It is amazing how writing spurs more writing! Keep it up :)


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