For the first twenty-three days of November I wrote more words than in the previous two years, more than 51,000 words, actually. As part of national novel writing month, I began the novel on November 1 and finished on November 23.
With my outline in hand, I began and wrote everyday. I found the process exhilirating and difficult. The sentences poured forth, sometimes 5,000 words combined over two two-hour writing periods. At times it felt like a weakling’s attempt to control a fire hose on full throttle. During my most productive weekend I wrote over 8,000 words.
Since shutting down Facebook and Twitter my ability to focus has increased. As a writer it has to. Without focus I skim the surface. Without focus I possessed no ability to complete this novel. But even with some hard focus ability, I hovered too close to the surface.
But that is why all writers rewrite. The first is just simply to get the words down.
What I am grateful for is this: both the time and the desire to write this novel. I am also grateful for a supportive partner and for the newly found willingness and ability to stay in my seat to keep writing.
While focus isn’t everything in writing, I think it’s about 65 to 70 percent of the game winning strategy.