Five New Pages in Less Than Two Hours: A Miracle

Posted by on Jun 19, 2008 in Writing | 4 comments

It’s not yet 10:00 a.m., and I’m off to the park!

I’m officially done with my writing for the day. Five whole pages in less than two hours. It was a most momentous flow; it felt great, especially after yesterday, which was a dismal writing day. I was constipated about the current scene, agitated about the manuscript that’s with my agent (chronic state), and broody as a hen that ends up pecking its offspring’s eggshell.

(I did manage to EXPRESS MYSELF (see post just before this one) to three people, one of them in an actual face-to-face conversation! Wait, I suppose I communicated with four people, if I include my agent, and she’s nice and responsive, so she counts, too.)

Here’s why the words flowed so well, and my productivity has nothing to do with inspiration or creative excellence or diligent prep-work.

No.

It’s this: I stumbled out of bed earlier than usual, which means I was basically still asleep while I wrote.

Still asleep. That’s the secret for me. Get up too early, groggy and sleep-deprived, and lay down the pages before my inner-critic and my distraction maven wake up. I ought to try that more often!

4 Comments

  1. Lisa, I can’t tell you what a brilliant idea this is! It may change my life. Waking up before the inner critic wakes up–and going in and getting the writing done before your mind quite knows what you’re up to. I, too, have been flogging myself to write five pages a day (which I then changed to 25 pages a week, which somehow felt more accessible.) My rule is: they don’t have to be good, there only have to be five of them. But even so, life gets complicated. There are days I do nothing but push commas around and then read the entire internet. And sigh a lot. I am definitely going to try this. I am not even kidding! THANK YOU.

  2. Thanks so much. Sometimes, I imagine I must be nuttier (not in the cute way) than the average novelist, so I’m glad today’s writing strategy struck a sane cord with you — maybe I’m not so around the bend.

    I agree about the quality — just gotta get the first draft done! However, it could be that without the endless overthinking, the quality may not be any worse than usual, right?

    (I did manage to get in a 30-minute nap this afternoon!)

    Let me know if this works for you!

  3. These past days have been filled with “family” and since I live alone silence has returned to me calming my ongoing schema’s; today I will read and rest, tomorrow I will write. I make this comment because your posts are uplifting to read and knowing that these things I wish to accomplish is difficult and challenging to all who write.

    Your post sparks life and desire as my darkened day spirals downward in support of that which threatens my sunshine.

    I look forward to your post…
    Annie O.

  4. Annie,

    Thanks for saying that about my blog — we can only do our best each day, right? And today, your read and resting day: these kind of days are key!

    I hope your day didn’t spiral down too far (I know the feeling), and I hope tomorrow finds you sunny with the written word…

    Sweet dreams, Lisa

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