Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Word at a Time

Like most everyone reading this, I am a busy person. Even though I work at home and can allocate my time as I please, it still seems like I'm scrambling on deadlines of one kind or another almost every day. I translate German to pay my bills; I publish several novels a year at Splashdown, which includes a ton of time for editing, designing, and admin; and I try to keep fresh laundry in my drawers and keep my old house from falling apart.

I also want to write. What's a girl to do? There's never enough time to catch up on everything, let alone write novels on top of it all. But recently I got desperate. Decided I couldn't live without writing. Decided I want to finish this current novel by November.

Some calculations showed me that to do so would only require 500 words a day. That's all. And so that is what I decided to do. First thing each morning - a priority. So I sit down and type - or scribble in a notebook first if I need to loosen up the brain - allowing myself to create rubbish if that's what it takes. It's a first draft. It's all right for it to be rubbish. Even so, experience tells me that most of it is okay and can be righted with a few tweaks later, in the editing stage. As long as the desire for perfection doesn't stump my flow of story, that's the main thing.

500 words is not much. It's attainable, it can be squeezed into my day - though it is at the cost of some other things like keeping up with news and blogs. For this season of my life, I am a writer above all else, and so I must write. What an amazing personal boost it is, too! Doing what I'm made to do is such a mood-changer. Any day I write is a good day. And to think I neglected this for so long because it seemed there was no time.

For those of you on Twitter, there are a few of us egging each other on under the hashtag #500wordsaday, and my progress reports go to my Facebook as well. Will you join me, and reclaim the writer's life?


  1. Good for you, Grace. It is a challenge. Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to do a 9-5 job. But so much less interesting! Keep it up.

  2. Hi Grace,
    That's been my story this year too! I'm taking on your 500 words in the morning challenge too. I too get miserable when I don't write fiction. And I also get inundated with time demands similar to those from your list. In fact, sometimes it seems I'm a bit lax on the last one, as family members have been known to cry out, "I've run out of clean undies!"

  3. Grace, great post! I need to do this too :) Next term, when my kids are back at school, my goal is to become more disciplined with my writing routine and set a word count goal for each day.