Sunday, October 05, 2014

Write more, faster

We've been busy around here. Layla just released three new titles, and she has six more to finish before the end of the year. (Elyse is taking a back seat for now.)

So, how are we managing to keep that kind of pace? Well, it meant learning to write more and faster. I don't know about you, but I'm a bit of an old dog when it comes to learning new tricks. Even though I'd been "trying" by reading how other writers did it, I couldn't find a method that seemed right for me.

Then I started sprinting with other writers. I began on Twitter with the #1K1HR group. It's open to anyone, and you can find someone there almost any time of day to sprint with you. The goal is one thousand words in an hour. I found this helpful when I was really pressed or on a deadline.

Then I began working with a group in a Google Hangout. We sprint for 25 minutes at a time, break for 5–10 minutes, then go again. At first, I resisted. I didn't think that was long enough to get anything done. Indeed, the first few sessions, I felt like I had just gotten going when the timer buzzed. Then I realized I was producing more words per minute than ever before. I had my first 5K words in a day, a goal I'd been working toward for years.

Being in a group (virtual or real) gives me accountability. I tried sprinting alone, but I cheated and read email and Facebook instead. So, I went back to the group setting and even hung out during my editing and formatting phases. 

My results: Three titles (about 35K words in all), written, edited, formatted, and published in 30 days. We have four scheduled for release in the next month. 

If you've got another way, let me know. I'm open to all possibilities now. No more old dog here.

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