or – let’s just write for the pure unsullied sake of writing and worry about the consequences later…

I have a problem with writing.

Well, I have many problems with writing (is it the right time? are there enough y’s in the name of the day? do I need more tea first? etc) but I can boil it down to two:

  1. I write too much 
  2. I write too little

Let me explain. If I sit down to write a blog post – ideally a short, succinct, to the point kind of blog post, the words just steam out. The simplest topic can result in a 2,000 word rambling barrage of text (and for all of those I apologise deeply).

And, yet, when I sit down to write a story it’s not unknown for me to spend well over an hour honing away and come up with less than 300 words. I agonise over every word and, indeed, every sentence. And whether they’re all in the right order. And whether I’ve repeated myself. And whether I need another cup of tea. The sensible thing to do would be to write fast, write rough, and hone later when I can approach with a slightly more objective eye. I have tried this occasionally in the past, but I often lose inspiration (due to the frequently poor quality of my first draft writing).

… and … Go!

Still, with a view to improving and exercising my speed writing (in)abilities I’m going to embark on a speed writing stint next week. The rules are as follows:

  • The target is around 3,000 words 
  • It must be in one sitting (allowing for quick breaks for tea) 
  • The sitting should be around two hours long 
  • The writing can be in any form (fiction; non-fiction; prose; a truly interminable piece of sub-Homeric poetry), but it needs to be have a beginning, middle and an end (i.e. no half-finished stories) 
  • You don’t need to publish the piece afterwards (but it’d be cool if you did) 
  • You’re of course free to edit the piece at a later date and re-publish or do whatever you like with it

I know a few of you on twitter are interested so it might be fun to pledge your interest in the comment section below so we can all egg each other on (if you don’t already follow me on twitter: @londonjustin).

When’s this happening?

I’ll be sitting down at around 8pm (WST – Perth time) next Wednesday, April 27. If a few of you can manage the same time then all the better – we can send each other encouraging (nagging) tweets as we sprint!