Monday, October 24, 2011

[WoD] Find Your Rhythm and Start Pacing Yourself

NaNoWriMo begins in a week now and it's not too late to start preparing for it. Starting today, let's start getting into the flow of writing. And we're going to do that by pacing ourselves. First, you'll need to find your rhythm in which you write. How to do this? The most basic way would be to set a timer for fifteen minutes and just start writing. Write anything that comes to your mind, and just keep going until those fifteen minutes are up. What do you have when you get finished? Are you a typing writing whiz? Or do you feel that you still need to work on your pacing? It's ok either way. Just keep going. When in those fifteen minutes do you feel like you got the most writing done? If it was more towards the front of those fifteen minutes, maybe it would be easier for you to write a few more shorter bits throughout the day. Did it feel you could have kept going once the bell rang? If this was the case, you should try to write for a longer the next time. 

Another thing to try is writing at different times each day. Do you write faster in the morning that at night, or are you better in the middle of the day? It's not a bad idea to find when you're most productive. For me, it seems to be at night, though that might be I tend to procrastinate my duties off until the last minute. (I need to start waking up earlier, perhaps, just to see how I am in the mornings. Somehow, not so long ago, I used to be a morning person. What happened to that dude?)
A great bit of software for trying this out is Write or Die. You can either use it for free online or download a version for your desktop. In both versions, you can set your word goal. The main difference between the versions is that the online version provides you with a list of options for your time limit whereas you set your own in the desktop version. I prefer the desktop version just because I like setting my own time, especially for the times I just want to write for a quick five minutes (which is not an option with the online version). What I love about Write or Die, and you can do this in both versions, is that there is a bar for the words you've typed and the amount of time you have left: just set a word goal and a time limit and race away! (Doing it this way, I make a lot of mistakes, but I've learned to kill my inner-editor through this process.)
What we're doing now is just getting ourselves into the habit of writing, so when the time comes, we won't burn out quite as fast. It's a lot like exercising. You need to work up to where you want to be. You just can't start doing it and expect to left 250 pounds. No, you work on it over a period of weeks or months. Well, we've only got a week left until the marathon month. Just write more and more everyday. It's never too late to start training.

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