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My 5k Challenge...


A couple of weeks ago, I looked into my literary mirror and didn't like what I saw…

I was juggling several huge projects at a time, effectively spinning my word wheels.

So, last week, I decided to down one project at a time, no matter how many hours or days it took, for I am not a circus performer. I cannot juggle. I’m a writer. And it's obvious that I can't keep many works in the air at once.

In that vein, all last week, I undertook to write 5,000/day for 5 days.

I had been used to pounding out around 2k per day, but never five, so I knew I was jumping into the deep end. I was, and am, determined to finish the first of my many projects, a two-book set of my cozy murder mystery, CLUEless, so what better way to do that than to pound the keys until my fingers bleed?

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it was a trying week. I basically wrote and slept, wrote and slept, continued writing and sleeping, and finished off the week by writing and sleeping some more.

No going out.

No exercise.

No chores done, no errands made.

I morphed into a literary robot who needed nightly comas.

But gull darn it, I pounded out that 25k!

And here’s the Good News: that mega draft wasn’t any better or worse than the 2k daily draft I had previously spewed.

Better News: My mind went into Deadline mode, whereby I had NO time to second guess or ruminate on my various weaknesses as a writer. I had to get out that 5k per day or die trying.

Best News: And I did, without those evil doubting dragons breathing fire down my neck.

The Moral of this Harrowing Tale: Quantity will NOT decrease a writer’s Quality, and it might actually slay those doubting dragons.

Caveat: I did not sprint write. I had my scene cards. I knew what I was supposed to pen. I didn’t go off like a half-cocked hacker high on ephedrine and write endless babble that led nowhere and served no one. I kept to my natural writing pace, adhered to the established plot line, and whenever, wherever that 5k dropped, I quit writing for the day. I did not try to end a chapter. I stopped where that 5k magically appeared.

My Advice: If you’re having difficulty juggling projects and getting nowhere, put your fingers where your keyboard is and try this mega daily write. If in the end all it does is make your original word count look like a walk in the park, you’ve benefited from that mega attempt.

Will I continue the 5k/day deal? Yes, and no. I will go into each writing session understanding that’s the goal, but anything under that is okay, too.

The Goal I WILL keep: Work on only project at a time. I’ve tried juggling literary oranges in hopes of joining a publishing circus. I'd get fired. Too bad. I love oranges!