100 words

deviation_number_100_by_donnobru[1]As I may have mentioned a few times before, I’m working on finishing my second Young Adult novel, Inside Out. And have been for some time. I am extremely slow in my writing and it comes in stops and starts, and I had also become stuck last year after playing around with the plotline in a way that totally confused the timeline (let alone the author).

Having decided to remove the scene that I’d inserted, which had totally changed things but then was getting in my way, it’s freed me up to finally finish the sucker. But I’m still slow, and the evil necessity of full-time work is getting in my way. At the end of my three week’s leave, a little deterred by not getting as much done as I’d hoped, my brain suddenly decided to come up with a brilliant way to get around my slowness and frustration.

Instead of trying to accomplish a lot at once and then feeling too tired and worn-out to even open the document, let alone write anything worthwhile, I’m taking it easy on myself.

I’ve challenged myself to write a minimum of 100 words a day, every day. It’s in my phone reminder so I can’t forget. I know that sounds very little, but so far, it’s a winner. Remember it’s a minimum of 100, so when the words are flowing, I often produce two or three times as much, plus I re-read and edit the previous day’s words. And because I’m achieving this daily on the manuscript, it frees me to work on other things if I feel like it (such as my short stories or the plotline or a scene for my other two ideas for novels).

It’s working! The guilt has gone, and I’m increasing my word count – more importantly, those words are moving the plot along and filling in the last gaps. Some nights I’m exhausted and I struggle to come up with more than the 100 words, but at least they’re there the next night, waiting to be edited and move things along.

Writing space

Hermie assisting with the writing process

Yes, it’s a very slow way to write, but it is far better than my alternative, which is not writing anything at all, and feeling depressed and overwhelmed, and making myself feel far worse, in a vicious cycle.

So, writers out there: what do you do when the writing is slow (glacial, in my case) or non-existent? Do you think the 100 words minimum is worth a try? 😀

About carolynswriting

Author, Menagerie Manager, 9-5er. Love my writing, my family and other animals, my friends, and even my job :)
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18 Responses to 100 words

  1. nxvastxrm says:

    Thank you so much for the idea! I have recently started writing a novel myself and have been struggling to get the desired words a day to move it along. I will definitely try this now and hopefully it will help me as it helped you! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you! I just said to my husband that it would be ironic if the 100 words didn’t happen tonight after posting the blog, but then it did (162 words to be exact) even though it’s been a very long day. It’s becoming that daily habit that other writers talk about, but that I’ve never really developed until now. So yay to both of us and I’m so happy to have inspired someone 😀 Good luck with your projects!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is such an inspiring way of doing things! Novel-writing and final year of uni have not mixed well for me at all so I can totally relate to the guilty cycle of feeling depressed and overwhelmed about it all… In fact things had got to a point where I hadn’t written anything for months! But this is an amazing tip which I will definitely try to incorporate in future! ❤ Thank you so much for the motivation! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Yusra (and so cool to hear from you!) – yes, it becomes a vicious circle/cycle of not doing anything and then being overwhelmed by not doing anything – us humans are weird like that, aren’t we 😉 I hope it works for you & I’m rapt to have inspired you – best of luck with uni & the novel (which I’m thoroughly excite by) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, I genuinely feel better after this post! Always appreciate the warm words and wishes, Carolyn! ❤ Uni is just about done now so I'm back on WordPress but am taking things slowly… Getting back into a regular routine of writing is the main thing. I have missed it! 😀 It's so amazing that you're on your second book. Totally in awe and wish you lots of luck for it too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. colinandray says:

    I take a complete writing break! I know that while I am out with Ray, gardening, or house/shed cleaning (or other distraction)… my mind is still analyzing the circumstances around needing the break and will eventually give me something to work with. I find high energy distractions very good (running). It was explained to me that high energy work is the logical choice for a “creative block”, because the brain is the first “station” in the blood’s circulation starting from the heart. To have blood cursing through your brain as a result of exercise will stimulate same and kind of “spring clean” up there! Works for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. poppychat says:

    This is such a good idea. I’m all for ‘little and often’ to get things done, although I’m a bit tougher on myself and aim for at least 300 words. I have to submit 2000 per week for my MA, so if I do more one day, I can sometimes have a day off from typing. We’re learning to love deadlines – they’re the kick in the butt that most of us need! But as long as you’re turning out words they build up, day by day and then you have your novel (although I find editing can take five times as long as writing the damn words in the first place!). Best of luck with finishing it – sounds as if you’re making great progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It does work – I’d set my bar higher but so far this has worked with the small amount of spare time I’ve had recently. I hope to increase it at some stage! Woo – an MA is definitely big business in comparison, and best of luck with it too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am a big fan of having a couple projects going – when one is slow, I move to another one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely. It reduces pressure and creates the need for less time to achieve a goal you’ve set. This was a very smart idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Doctor Jonathan, it felt like a tiny, laughable goal to set but it’s still working wonders – I now write triple that amount daily, plus longer amounts (or more editing) when I have more time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: 100 words to 64,000 | Carolyn's Writing

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