Writing on the Beach: How I trained myself to write

Back when I was an undergraduate, I was still in the early stages of learning to be a writer. Part of that meant I was finally taking academic courses focused on workshop, critique, and writing fiction and poetry submissions. Part of that also meant keeping up my personal writing to get a novel done. Because, you know, you can’t sell a novel you haven’t written (usually, anyway).

I had a very encouraging friend. She told me to write maybe 100 words each day. And she had me email what I wrote, so she could hold me accountable. One hundred words doesn’t sound too scary, but being held accountable sure can be!

The challenge was a great arena for exploring ideas. And it helped that I’m a fast typer. When I sat down to get the 100 words out, it was more of a daily free write at the computer. Well, it eventually grew, so what I produced each day increased and my stopping point came later. Instead of word count, the goal became getting ideas down. Whether it was a dialogue exchange, a scene, or playing with my characters.

Eventually, I was able to type 1000 words in about 5-10 minutes. When this was mostly the habit, I decided to keep that as my new daily goal.

I did finish my first full-length novel by graduation.

But, revisions! That is a completely different process. Sigh…


2 thoughts on “Writing on the Beach: How I trained myself to write

    1. For fiction, strictly, no. It’s difficult to write that way for the revision stage. However, I have been journaling and between that and blogging, I think I get a steady amount of words down.

      It’d be nice to pick it up again, but darn that Life thing!


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