Crunch time. Do or die. As Tim Gun would say: You’re having a make it work moment.
That moment when it has to get done and you don’t know how it will done. You have no time. You have no peace and quiet. You have to rip the MS apart and start over. You’re stuck and not moving anywhere and deadline is inching ever closer. Or maybe all of the above. (I hope not!) Whatever the situation, we’ve all had a variation of the ‘make it work moment’.
I’ve been there. I once had to rewrite a book in under two weeks. It’s not ideal, but there are ways to get things done when they HAVE to get done!
Here are my quick tips for getting lots of words down fast:
1. Word challenges. 1K 1 Hour is a good one. Nothing but writing, no stopping, no editing for one hour. Aim to get 1 thousand words.
2. Think about what you’re going to write before you sit down to write it. That way you don’t spend ALL day parked in your chair thinking. (let’s face it, most of us don’t have that luxury!) And when you do get a chance to sit down, your work time is maximized.
3. Turn off the internet. (I suck at this one. But do it. There are programs that will shut your net down, like MacFreedom. Use them if you have to.)
4. Turn off your internal editor. That’s something the afore mentioned word challenges are good for. You can polish later. But as La Nora says, you can edit crap. You can’t edit a blank page!
5. Trust your voice. Really. Do it. It can be hard to recognize what is sparkly or special about our own writing voice. I liken it to our inability to hear our own regional accent.
6. If you’re stuck, fake it till you make it. Keep writing until you hit your groove! (this works for me sometimes)
7. If you’re stuck and can’t unstick…take a walk. Take a shower. Do the dishes. Go buy shoes. Do something else, but don’t sit there banging your head on the keyboard!
8. Give yourself permission to like what you’re writing. Being proud of your work makes the burden seem lighter.
9. Give yourself permission to delete it if it’s not working. Don’t try to continually salvage something that’s broken. It’s YOUR book! It can be as GREAT as you want to make it! Even if it’s a lot of words…if the words aren’t helping, they have to go. You’ll write better ones.
10. Have fun. Best job ever! We get to make up stories for a living. We create our world and its rules. The universe is ours to command. Phenomenal cosmic power, etc. Let go, and give yourself permission to enjoy!
These are things that have helped me in different combinations in the past. I hope you’ll find at least one useful for you!