Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Journey of a Thousand Pages begins with a Single Letter

I started a writing challenge in the middle of August and have been writing like crazy. It's been a great experience for me because I've had to "report" to someone about my progress. Sometimes it is really helpful to feel accountable for what your doing.

I've always written better on deadline. I'm not sure why, but it's true. I'd be coming down to the wire for short reports and I usually wrote things the night before it was due.

Once I got to grad school I was a little better about writing, but I found the research aspect so fun I would get myself wrapped up in that. I knew what points I wanted to make in the paper, but often the paper would get written in the days before it was due. Somehow I could buckle down at that point and just "get 'er done." I admit, I pulled one or two allnighters in grad school to get a 20 page paper done in time. The irony is that those papers got higher grades. Go figure!

Once I started to write with the intent to publish, I realized allnighters wouldn't cut it. I had to write regularly. These writing challenges provide excellent motivation because I have a deadline of sorts. I've even set my own deadline. I want to get the manuscript I'm writing completed by my birthday in October.

The good news: I'm at almost 80,000 words. The bad news: I've got about 20,000 more to write. I'll keep you posted. I got involved in a September writing challenge too, and it has kept me nicely on track to get my stuff written.

Wish me luck!

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