Monday, October 21, 2013

Writing is a Marathon

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, which means thousands upon thousands of people are gearing up for a frenzied month of writing, myself included. Last year, I wrote 50K words of short stories (and a novella/novelette). This year, I've just wrapped up novel revisions and am looking to put more short stories out there. I'm also interested in writing a science fiction novella, so about half of my words for the month will be devoted to that.

Me & the kid make a mad dash for it.
Prepping for NaNo also has me thinking about writing in general. When I near the end of a writing project, I tend to go faster. I can almost see those two most wonderful words, THE END, and I'm in a hurry to get there. Most of the time, however, I plod steadily along. I tend to measure my goals in weeks and months, rather than in daily increments, simply because each day varies so much from the one before it that I can't consistently measure progress that way. But sometimes, I get caught up in these pushes, and I think, "I must hurry and finish this story and see it published and move on to the next one and then the next because there's no time, and oh my gosh, I'm running out of time, and there's still so much to write, and...." And on and on my neurotic inner voice runs on the little hamster wheel.

So I think NaNo is a good time to remind myself that this whole writing thing is a marathon and not a sprint. True, it's fun to dash madly sometimes, but mostly you've got to keep plodding on, putting one word down at a time until you've got that entire story on paper. Then, once you've reached the finish line, you do what those marathon runners do and load up on carbs. I've already got my eye on a chocolate donut.

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