I didn’t work on my new book today, and despite progress in other areas I am still disappointed in myself. I’m probably only 12,000 words away from THE END, so it won’t be long, but still I should have given it an hour.
Thinking about my day’s failing reminds me of one of my favorite writing techniques to overcome writer’s block, one I think is fun and productive and most of all useful to a writer who’s struggling to get some words down, so I thought I would share it with you.
Timed sessions, 30 minutes long.
Yep. I do this at least once a week. I set a timer on my phone for half an hour, and then I start writing and refuse to let my fingers stop moving until I hear the buzzer. I don’t read what I’ve written, edit the last sentence, or even correct typos that I can plainly see. I just keep typing typing typing.
When the session is over, I sit back and check my word count before taking a break. Sometimes I’ve written 400 words. Sometimes I’ve come close to 1000.
You have to not worry about the writing being bad. It won’t be as bad as you think, and if you’re blocked then bad writing is definitely better than no writing at all.
Besides, bad writing is cool, because at least you get down some framework, and when you read your own bad writing, most of the time you can see how to make it not bad.
I used this technique almost exclusively during this past NaNoWriMo and I succeeded in reaching the 50K goal for the first time after several years of attempting it.
Try it. Thirty minutes. Don’t let your fingers stop moving until you hear the buzzer.
Then take a break and repeat.