Thanks, Chris Baty

your_neighborhood_caribou_coffeeMy husband said to me this morning, “Stop thinking about the word count. Just write.” It seems he borrowed something I need to hear point #2 from Chris Baty’s newsletter today, which was: For now, stop thinking about 50K.

I definitely need to stop obsessing over my word count. I am seriously behind, and afraid of never catching up. But if I keep thinking about the word count only, I can’t focus on my story, which is sort of the whole point of this NaNoWriMo exercise.

So here I am at Caribou. I have my Americano in hand, I’m surrounded by other out-of-work writers, and our laptops comiserate with the pounding of our keyboards. And my goal today is simple: write as much of my story as I can and forget about the word count.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dayner
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 23:18:13

    Have you ever thought about doing freelance copy editing?


    • kathanink
      Nov 12, 2009 @ 10:48:50

      You know, I did some copy editing in my professional life. I’ve thought of it, but I really prefer writing. I hate getting bogged down in the AP style, blahblahblah and you need to do that to be a really good editor. I need to just get out of my head and write poorly.


  2. dayner
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 23:14:15

    I’m using every idea, good or bad. I’ll got back later and take out the crap. I’m sure that’s why my word count is so high. Remember NaNo is the perfect opportunity to write poorly, you just have to give yourself permission.


  3. natasha
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 21:59:46

    The amount of my writing that doesn’t make total sense is staggering….


  4. natasha
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 18:19:20

    Did you read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott? Her father gave great advice to her (or her brother, can’t remember) when he or she waited until the very last day to do the big 5th grade science project. He said to just start with one bird, and say whatever he had to say about it. Then move on to the next one, then the next. Do them one at a time, don’t think about the whole thing and what it’s supposed to be.

    At least that’s what I remember; maybe it was something different. But it’s good advice. Of course, Lamott said it a whole lot better than I’m doing, but everyone is complaining that they’re hungry and so I’m off for now….


    • kathanink
      Nov 12, 2009 @ 10:50:17

      I’ve read parts of Bird by Bird, but it’s next on my list after I finish this class (and finish Courage to Write, which is an outstanding book, btw). I keep hearing more quotes that make me want to read it!


  5. darksculptures
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 13:28:19

    Great attitude Kathan! You just write, write, write one word at a time.

    Immerse yourself in your character. Get inside his head and see the world through his eyes, then write down what he sees, what he hears, smells, taste’s and the conversations he has with the people he meets.

    You’ll get there without even knowing it if you just write, write, write one word at a time.

    If you need some humor and a giggle to get you started, go read my new post.


    • kathanink
      Nov 10, 2009 @ 18:38:51

      Thanks! I am working alot more on characterization this week (probably backwards, but I was doing alot of setting last week).


  6. irish87
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 12:51:42

    Have you tried writing foolishly? That is to say, have you stopped worrying about the minor little details that would otherwise impede your march to 50k?

    I ask because I’m writing as best I can on my NaNo story, but I’m also not going back and editing or even proofreading. I can do that once I’m done and hopefully since I am more focused on getting the story out it will come a bit quicker.

    Either way, I wish you all the luck in the world, from one out-of-work writer to another. 🙂


    • kathanink
      Nov 10, 2009 @ 17:08:52

      Well, I can say I am “getting there” in terms of writing foolishly. It’s been a struggle, but I am actually getting to the point where I’m saying “this doesn’t really even make total sense” as I’m writing, but I figure it’s good enough so I can go back and figure out what I was trying to say and edit/enhance it in December. I’ve been working on getting to this place for months! I’m sort of behind at this point because I took a day off, and well…you know the rest of the story.

      Best to you in your novelling venture, too!


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