HOW I WROTE 60K WORDS IN 10 DAYS
Recently, I completed the rough draft of a book in ten days. 60,000 words in less than two weeks.
There were times I struggled. A couple of the days I only managed to get in 3,000 words which meant I had to make up for it by writing eight thousand words twice later on.
And I did it.
It was crazy, but I did it.
At the end, I was drinking coffee and Diet Coke all day and into the night to manage it. (Something I never do normally—I rarely drink soda at all).
But I accomplished what I set out to do.
When I posted about this on my social media sites, other writer’s reacted with “wow” emoticons and comments asking me how I did it.
So how did I do it?
In 3 ways:
- Mindset—I believed in my heart I could do it
- Self love—I refused to push myself too hard to do it
- Intense and absolute focus
When I set out to do this, I believed I could. And any time that belief started to waver in the slightest, I made sure to tell myself repeatedly—to affirm to myself—that I could do it.
Beliefs are just thoughts we’ve repeated or thought often enough to cement them into our brains.
They are habits oftentimes. Something that becomes automatic.
We can train ourselves to do what we want simply by reordering our thoughts. When a negative thought pops up—and it will—we can say, no, I don’t believe that. I don’t want to believe that because it’s not going to help me.
a matter of insistently, stubbornly bringing your thoughts back to the
There are a lot of people who believe in the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. A lot.
Me personally? Pardon my French, but I think it’s bullshit.
Harming ourselves is never good. It’s something we’re not going to maintain because ultimately we can’t. We are programmed to avoid pain, not embrace it.
So when I was coming down to my last two days and I was facing a need to write 13,000 words to reach my goal, instead of sitting brainless and forcing myself to keep typing… I went outside into the sunshine. My husband took me out to lunch. I reminded myself that this wasn’t life and death.
And this helped so much! I forgave myself for being tired and feeling like my creative well was empty. I allowed myself to be human.
And by walking away even when under that deadline, my creative well did fill back up.
And that novel is good. It’s full of intensity and heart and characters with depth. And those last 13,000 words showcase this. The reviews for that book are some of the best I’ve ever received.
So not only can you write fast if you set your mind to it—you can write well. Because I kept telling myself “I love you” and “You can do this,” I felt carried and supported by my inner self. My soul, if you will.
I believe I am connected to the infinite wisdom and intelligence of the universe. That belief supports me endlessly. God. Source. Whatever you’d like to call that higher power of ultimate love. It reminds me that even when I doubt myself, I can—in fact—succeed at anything I set my mind to.
Intense and Absolute Focus
This last piece is so essential. The ability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time—in my case 10 days—is something we all have but don’t tend to exercise often.
What makes it easier for me is having a meditation practice. Sitting and quieting my mind as best I can for a few minutes a day means I can shut out distractions more successfully.
Writers love to go on retreats because it usually means they’re able to go off on their own or with other writers to focus exclusively on their writing.
I put classical music on my earbuds so I wouldn’t hear the noise of my family watching television.
I wore comfortable clothing.
I made sure I was warm enough since it was winter.
If I became uncomfortable, I’d grab my laptop and move. I’d rotate from my office to my couch to my bed—whichever felt the best in that moment.
I also thought about the story I was writing. I had a plan. This project is the first time I ever worked directly from an outline.
I used to consider myself as somewhere between a pantser and plotter because I’d have a general idea and know my ending but not much else.
Having an outline helped me dramatically. It was like I was connecting the dots.
Before, I would sit and let the story happen, which meant it was up to the whims of wherever my mind happened to go at the time. Having an outline directed my mind in the way I wanted it to go, drastically cutting the time it took to write.
So what do you think? Did this information help you? Do you have any questions or your own experiences with something you’ve challenged yourself to do?
If so, please join my Empowerment for Writers & Creatives Facebook group so we can all discuss it together.