Saturday, May 14, 2011

Writing Momentum

I'm not dead. It may look like it, though, since it's been a while. It's not that I'm out of things to blog about, I'm just busy. I'm in the middle of a new project that is a kind of dystopian/steam punk/fantasy. Also, I had a lot of reading to do the last couple of months. I suppose I should get around to writing a bunch of reviews, but here are some the books I've read recently:
Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
The Monster Hunter books by Larry Correia.

It seems like there were more, but I can't remember them.

Anyway, I've thought about getting away from blogging about writing because, well, every writer and their dog and their dog's fleas has a blog about writing. What can I, a lowly jazz musician, say about writing that hasn't been said? Well, I thought of something: momentum.

Over spring break week, since I didn't do any teaching, I gave myself a challenge to see if I could be a full-time author for a week. I wrote 23,000 words. I probably could have done more, but it took a day or two to get my mind working. The funny thing was, the next week, in spite of being back into my normal teaching schedule, I added another 18,000 words. I was surprised when I saw that because I didn't think I could have written that much. Then I figured out the secret: my mind had writing momentum.

I thought back to when I would write sporadically. I would stare at the screen and hash out a few words here and there. I was lucky if I could get 1000 words in a couple of hours. When I have momentum, though, like over the last few days, I am able to get over 2000 words in two hours of writing.

So, the moral of the story is this: write every day. I know that's nothing new. But a big reason for me is that when I'm consistently working on a project, my mind is working on it even when I'm not writing. Then, when I sit down to write, the ideas just seem to flow. There, my two bits.

3 comments:

David J. West said...

Write on Berin, always good to keep the juices flowing. I have such a hard time starting up again when I quit for a day or two-darn vacations.

Berin Stephens said...

David, writers don't get vacations, didn't you know?

David J. West said...

So my wife tells me.

Last summer we were in Montana for a fat week, 8 days I think, and I was so messed up because I wasn't writing at all.

My wife kept telling me to relax and take it easy, but I couldn't because I wasn't writing.

And even when we returned home it was so hard to get the momentum rolling again.