Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zette's Take: How (and why) #write100 works

From For Blog

For several years, I've been using 100 word leaps while I'm in chat on Forward Motion. I found these work best when I am enjoying the company in chat and still want to get some writing done. They also work very well when I'm doing other work, but have to wait for emails or such to come through.

Writing 100 words is not difficult once you get the knack of dropping into a story and focusing on the little section right there. Write a bit of dialogue and some nice description and you can have 100 words in no time.

From 'For several years' to 'in no time' equals 100 words. Are you going to say that's too much to do? Too difficult? It may take you little practice to get used to it, but there is nothing particularly hard. You can concentrate on a little tiny piece of the story.

You can use #write100 (that's a Twitter hashtag, if you aren't familiar with them) for writing story, notes, world building and anything else writing-related. And of course you don't have to be on Twitter to do this. I block out 100 word leaps throughout most of the day while I'm doing other work, and then settle in for longer writing stretches later in the night.

Twitter might, in fact, be part of the reason you aren't getting a lot of writing done. So use #write100 to help while you are there. Read the Tweets by your favorite people. Write a couple replies. Then go #write100 and come back to Twitter for some more fun and conversation. Do that ten times and you'll have 1000 words.

#write100 (or 100 word leaps when not on Twitter) can be very addictive for busy people. Those who have young children have found this way to work far less frustrating than setting up a big goal for the day and being constantly interrupted and unable to reach the count they want. The smaller goals are easier to accomplish and help generate the feeling that you are making progress because . . . well, you are.

They can also make use of otherwise wasted time. The hardest part for many writers is to be able to write without a lot of preparation. However, if you can get into the knack of doing this, it will pay off in more written material to work with.

Concentrating on just 100 words can also help to break through a writing block. Don't look beyond the scene you are working on. See where you are and add 100 words to it. Description is good. So is dialogue and movement. They're just words. Write them down. You can change them later. The trick now is to get moving. Do 100 words. Then do another 100. Don't push yourself.

This won't work for everyone. This won't work every day. However, if you want to take advantage of a few extra minutes here and there, or work while you Tweet or Chat, the 100 word goals can help.

Have fun!


K.D. said...

Good idea <3

Zette said...

Thank you. This is really a fun little way to get words without stressing too much about goals.

Loyd Jenkins said...

You deserve the thanks. I think that this is something that will help me.