And the winner of my own personal writing marathon is…me.
I cranked out a smidgen over 5,000 words this weekend. 5,092, to be exact.
Each morning, I prepared by assembling the things I needed to keep me going – coffee, water, Mountain Dew (nectar of the gods), plus a plastic bag filled with sliced raw vegetables and a small cup of ranch dressing for dipping. I made white bean chili a few days ago, so I had a bowl of that in the fridge, ready to microwave.
I began work by re-reading and editing what I wrote the day before, to help me rev up to continue the tale. This is the way I have always done things, and it works well for me. Your mileage may vary. I do not, I should mention, work from an outline initially. Later, as the story becomes meatier, I make outline-ish notes to help me remember timelines, characters, and hot spots in the plot.
Of course, by the time I hit 40k words, I can’t take the time to start at the beginning and re-read. Instead, I re-read the last chapter I wrote and soldier on from there.
I think that having a specific goal and a specific time period to focus on helps enormously. Given my usual inability to focus – I snuck onto the Internet a few times and got caught once – this type of short-term, intense goal-setting proved helpful in ways I did not anticipate. Not only did it help me get the words flowing, but the ideas, as well. New ideas popped up and some original ideas became more clear and solid in my mind.
I may do this again next weekend.