Being a Speed Demon – My Last Minute Nano Project

You’ll have to forgive me if I haven’t been online much in the past week but that’s because I’ve been writing. I decided to take on a last minute Nano project in the last two weeks of November and in order to meet the deadline, I had to write fast. Very, very fast.

I’ve always been a fast writer but as I’ve learned new skills my speed slowed down over the past year or so and I admit I got worried I’d lost my speediness forever.  Which is really, really overdramatic of me but as most of you already know, it’s not unheard of for Jackie A to be totally overdramatic. 

Anyway, turns out I haven’t lost it. A deadline can make me a speed demon.

I’m not going to tell you what my word count was in a week and a half cos actually, I’m a little bit embarrassed and Kiwi about it. But I HAD to do a small boast somewhere so I put it on FB if you’re interested.

So how did I do it so fast? Here’s a few tips. 

1. I can type exceptionally fast. This is HUGE. Being a hunt and peck typist limits your speed. So if you don’t know how to touch-type, now is the time to learn.

2. I spent at least a week thinking about the story before I wrote a word. Not the plot – I’m a pantser – but because my stories are totally character driven,  I HAD to know the characters and their conflicts intimately, otherwise my story would collapse. I had already written 5k to start with and as beginnings take me the most time since that’s when I’m finding my way into the characters, I already had a pretty good idea about the hero and heroine.
 
3. I didn’t do anything else other than write. I’m lucky in that my day job is writing and my kids are at school so once they were out the door, that’s what I did.

4. The times I wasn’t writing (in the evenings) or when I had to stop to get the family food (instant meals you can do in 10 minutes) I thought about my story and what I was going to do next with it.

5. I stayed off Twitter (mostly) and the rest of the net. I kept my emails to a minimum.

6. I didn’t reread what I’d written. I didn’t fuss over my words. I just kept on writing.

7. When the words started to get hard, I would stop and go and do something else for ten minutes while I worked out what was wrong. I know my process and I know that when something is difficult to write it’s usually because I’m not sure about something. Thinking about what I’m missing helps.

8. My husband was a godsend over the weekends, letting me write while he did kid-stuff to keep them out of my hair.

9. The times my husband wasn’t there, television was. And takeout.  I feel no guilt about this. None at all. 🙂

10. Housework? You’re kidding me right?

Now some people might think that fast writing equals crap writing. But that, quite frankly, is bullsh*t. I’ve written books waaaay slower and they’ve been just as big a heap of crap as ones I write really fast. 😉 Seriously though, just because you write fast does NOT mean you don’t write quality. Sometimes the things I write faster are better because I’m not overthinking everything. Oh and you know Falling for Finn? I wrote that in 2.5 weeks and it sold. So there.

Anyway, those are some of the ways I managed to get it done. But really, I think the biggest part of getting it done so fast for me was having a deadline. I need them in order to push myself. Without them I’m a faffer.

So, does anyone else write fast? What are your tips?