‘If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.
Jimmy Dugan in A league of their own

Confession time.

I am not one of those writers who can spew out tens of thousands of words with gattling gun intensity.

The mere thought of writing 50,000 words in a month for National Novel Writing Month sends me straight to the swooning couch.

I have never written that much in a month. Never. Ever. Ever.

To even contemplate it, I would have to amputate all paid and non-paid commitments from my life, throw out my husband, put the kids in an orphanage, and sub-let the beagle, the ageing cat and assorted family members to a range of professional carers.

I admit it. I am slow.

Christie Brown could write faster than me with his left foot.

If it wasn’t for a conveniently apple-shaped child in my age group, I would have come last in every race, every year of my schooling life.

The Speedy-Gonzales fairy didn’t come to my christening. But that’s OK, because the stubborn, persistent and sheer bloody-minded fairies not only came, they refused to go home.

I get there eventually.

Last month, I committed to writing a page a day despite a gazillion other commitments. It seemed achievable and it was. Despite all the usual distractions and a bonus flu that had me sounding like Barry White, the act of writing every day reignited my passion for my story.

Now I’m really firing, 33,000 words into it and ramping up the word count. I’ve even signed up for the 1000 Words A Day Challenge.

For me, that’s hard, but achievable. And it comes with a bonus – 1000 words a day will allow me to finish the first draft before school breaks up and my writing life ends becomes even more fragmented.

(BTW, blogging is NEVER part of daily word count, so don’t think this 350 words counts. It doesn’t.  On that note, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to fire a few rounds into the w-i-p.)

  1. Your words may not come with killer volume intensity Christine but when they do, they’re superlative. Slow and steady wins for me. 🙂

  2. mgbauer says:

    Great post Chris! As someone who’s written 4,000 wds in around 6 months, sadly I can relate to this.

  3. chrisbongers says:

    We’re a sad pair, aren’t we? I’ve written less than 20,000 words this year and 3,000 of those were in the last three days! At least my batting average is improving…

  4. Little Hat says:

    Its the tortoise and the hare story all over again. I would like to write faster too, but a) life keeps getting in the way (like reading and making comments on people’s blogs. Oh and a wife and kids and friends. And paid work?) b) I need to do so much research that breeds so few words c) I’m just ill-disciplined. But I keep writing, and enjoying it. slowly. Like the tortoise.

  5. chrisbongers says:

    I’m with you and Aesop, Steve – tortoises rule, OK!

  6. leemcgowan says:

    I’m having trouble with the analogy here. Aren’t tortoises known for hiding in their shell at the first sign of trouble… no way thats you, by the way.
    And hey finishing a draft by the holidays would be awesome – in the contemporary and traditional sense of that word.

  7. chrisbongers says:

    Hey Lee, good to hear from you! Why do the Gods conspire against us? No sooner do I get into the writing, then my brother flies in for emergency surgery and convalesces at my place for a week. Sent him home hale and happy this morning, so am back into it – again. Hope all’s rocking along for you going into the holidays. Will I see you at the QWC Xmas party?

  8. leemcgowan says:

    Yes, you will!

  9. chrisbongers says:

    Woohoo, see you there!

  10. Good post Chris, I’m usually slow and steady but I always take the NaNoWriMo Challenge each year. I’ve made the 50,000 mark every year except 2010. I do like the idea of the 1000 words a day challenge, although I’m in editing mode at the moment. The first draft of my junior novel, “Olivia Stone and the Trouble With Trixies” is complete and now I’m madly editing

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