How I wrote 12,000 words in one day

I reached a milestone today. I wrote the most words I’ve ever written in one day: 12,270. To give you perspective of how that breaks down: during a 20 minute sprint, I can usually produce 500-700 words. So my output today means that I sprinted roughly 20 times, which translates to six hours of white-heat writing.

At first, I wanted to see how much I could write above 8k. And then 9k. And finally, I was so close to 12k so I pushed for that before midnight. Just to see what I am physically and mentally capable of.

That is how I have spent most of my day, sprinting from about 8 to 10 in the morning, then again from 2 until 11, with a break for dinner, walking the dogs, and helping my hubby with some chores in the yard. My days are usually not as open as they have been the past three days, and all that writing time has been a gift. Our only child home has also been at girls’ camp, and I’m sure the silence in the house has helped. This process of speed-creating has been exhilarating.

I learned a few things about my productivity today.

Sprinting first thing–getting 5k words by 10 a.m. really helped. The rest of the day’s writing was just extra gravy. I even managed to clean the bathrooms, vacuum, do laundry, and worked on Personal Progress for church. With fast writing, I could make time for important things that provide balance in my life.

Afternoon was hard to focus, and by 3 pm I was falling asleep on the couch–mentally fatigued. I was starting to write gibberish so I had to get up, move around to a different spot, take a shower. Writing at the kitchen counter or my desk was the most effective way for me to stay awake. I was certainly feeling my writing marathon. My body felt stiff and my hands hurt.

The breaks felt good. Re-tooling my outline so that my characters had realistic and consistent motivations helped so I could just pound out the scenes. I also stayed off FB for most of the day.

Right now, I sit at 31,097 words on a book I started 3 days ago. Hopefully, it’s worth something good. I never know until I am re-reading it again. I will aim to get more words tomorrow and Saturday morning. I won’t have as open of a schedule, but I will try to seize the momentum. Who knows, maybe I can even finish this book.