Thursday, September 2, 2010
500 words a night - can you do it?
I think I may have finally found a way to kick my ever-present writing procrastination, and it's pretty simple - 500 words a night.
I'd love to take credit for it, but I can't. If it were up to me, I'd be up to my old tricks. I'd sit at the computer, determined to finish my chapter or story or essay. But then I'd answer some e-mail. And log onto Facebook. Then maybe I'd check into Twitter - just for a few minutes, I swear. But of course, by then, I'd be a little tired, or maybe somewhat restless. I could put off writing for another night, right?
Sure. Until those nights turned into weeks, or worse yet, months. Left untreated, procrastination is a nasty little habit.
Luckily, I have a friend in Sara Bennett Wealer. Wealer is a former reporter turned YA author whose first novel, "Rival," published by HarperTeen, is coming out in February and has already been creating quite a buzz. But Wealer's not resting on her laurels. She's already working on another book, writing 500 words a night whether the muse moves her or not. "Finishing a novel," she told me, "is sometimes akin to an endurance sport."
Don't let that pretty face fool you - Wealer is a dynamo. Her path to publishing is detailed on her Web site, www.sarabennettwealer.com, and believe me, that book contract didn't just fall into her lap.
So I figured she knew a little something about perseverance. And after all, how hard could 500 words be? Not hard at all, it turns out. Or really hard. It just depends on the night. But setting that goal, and keeping that goal, seems to make all the difference in the world to me.
Maybe it's all those years of working on deadline.