I’m three-quarters of the way through a work-in-process. The project is progressing faster than any other I’ve ever written, thanks to a no-excuses daily minimum word count. In the beginning, when I typed up a writing schedule to write in my word count to date, the daily accountability was daunting. But once I adjusted, the benefits of a formal “log” quickly became apparent.
The formality did two unexpected things. First of all, looking at the proof that I would have an 80k rough draft in approximate eight weeks was incredibly motivating. We all know when we begin chapter one, the next 350 pages loom over us like a Mt. Everest of words. Secondly, the momentum I generated by committing to 1,500 words every single day increased my creativity. I’ve been able to stay immersed in the project, picking up the plot line each morning without any need to recap what I wrote the day before. I’ve brainstormed plot issues on the fly and kept all my subplot balls in the air. (A freakin’ miracle!)
And no excuses means exactly that. If I got stuck on a plot point, I go back and flesh out an earlier scene. Words not flowing? I’ll outline scenes to come. Busy day? Take the laptop in the car. Prop that sucker up on the steering wheel and write in the parking lot during my teenager’s guitar lesson. A few days I’ve stayed up very late to get the words on the page.
So, I’m crossing my fingers. The draft should be done (or nearly so) in another two weeks.
What works for you? How do you keep the words and pages flowing?