I took those negative thoughts and shoved them to the back of a dark corner closet, put my fingers to the keys, and just Began.
When I lifted my head two days later, that maybe three-thousand words has been increased by over 16,000. I have written a minimum of 16,000 words. An average of 8,000 words a day.
I worked on the story about four to five hours each day, because that’s just how long I happened to work on this project. Some days will be longer hours, sometimes shorter. So, I averaged 1500 to 1600 words an hour. Years and years ago, the last time I had a typing test on an IBM Selectric; I could type 80 to 90 words a minute. Even if I took the lower end of 80 x 60 minutes, that’s 4800 possible words in an hour (I hate math so if I’m figuring wrong, oops –call me on it *laugh*). So. Yes. The fingers can create many words in an hour.
But what can the brain, or its creative outflow, allow? That’s up to you. That’s up to how much you are willing to take a risk, or let go, or just plain old Have A Little Fun.
If you sit down for one hour at even 50 words per minute by your fingers, you can have 3,000 words. If you allow your brain free reign, could you have even 1500 words in two hours? Three? A day? That’s a short-short story. Or the beginnings of something longer. Don’t OVER-THINK it; allow yourself to have some FUN. That’s all I did, gave myself permission to have Fun. And, heck, if anything else, it’s good practice. Tappity tap, wheeee! hey, this is fun!
You don’t think I’m going to let this story stand as it is when I hit “the end” and have my thirty-ish thousand words, do you? Heck no! I’m going to re-fine and tweak and fiddle and fix. But I’ll have a beginning, middle, and end, and all the hindsights and foresights to see the story as a “whole.” I wake up in the morning excited about the work, because I have allowed the word FUN back into my writing life. I need to do that often and oftener and oftenest.
If I lower the stakes when I am feeling stuck and afraid and allow myself to relax into it, then my brain gives a little yippeee! My fingers are already troopers.
There’s something to be said for practice, too—I can’t stress that enough.
Are you ready to sit down and not let anything stop you from writing? If you let yourself have a little Fun without giving everything such high expectations and high stakes (performance anxiety), what do you think you could accomplish? What if this moment in your writing, even for one hour, it is all about FUN?
(PS, Last my publishers checked last night, Tender Graces was still No 1 on Amazon Kindle Literary and it was ranked just about 2,000 on the trade paperback ranking, which is an incredible number – *smiling* – Thank you all for your support! I appreciate all your comments and you know I read every danged one of them – y’all are wonderful! You’ve all been here cheering me on and I can’t tell you what it means to me – well, I can – it means SO DANGED MUCH – more than you may know, my friends *MUWAH!*)