As I sit down to write this I feel like I’m writing a survival journal for a zombie apocalypse. Day 5 and I’m feeling good. I’ve had 2 good days and 2 what I consider bad days. I’m getting there though.
Apocalypses aside, I found day 3 and 4 of AcWriMo a challenge, chewed up in a fog of marking and then of working with teachers in a school on professional learning for a whole day, by the time I slumped home on the couch, I could barely remember my own name let alone what I might write about. I needed a better strategy that was going to let me prioritise some writing as Tuesday dawned bright, sunny and tempting me on the calendar was ‘the race that stops the nation’ (the Melbourne Cup for those of you overseas). I’d denied offers to go to Melbourne Cup parties so that I could get some work done and yet by mid-morning, I’d been for a run, been to Pilates and walked around the lake with a friend. Clearly the body stuff was taken care of – now for the writing stuff.
Jumping on to Twitter, I saw I’d just missed the start of virtual Shut Up and Write Tuesday (http://suwtuesdays.wordpress.com/). The brainchild of Siobhan O’Dwyer, virtual shut up and write provides the opportunity for those who can’t get to one in person to participate by doing 2 25-minute pomodoros and tweeting about what they accomplish. Reading about it, I decided that this was exactly what I needed to get my writing groove going again and rather than wait another week, I decide to do a solo virtual stint.
So better late than never, I jumped onto Twitter to announce that I was going to shut up and write. 25 minutes later and 595 words were taking shape on a book chapter I’m working on. A quick break to tweet about my progress and to check I hadn’t missed the horse race of the year and then it was back to work for another 25 minutes. At the end of my second stint I had 480 words and what I hope will be a pretty nifty metaphor that I can build on. A final tweet about my progress and I’d completed 1000 words and was up to the conclusion of the chapter. I’m sure I’ll find lots of gaps in the redrafting process and maybe I’ll realize that my metaphor is either a) clunky or b) overworked, but without shut up and write I might have just skipped today and slobbed in front of the couch watching horses gallop around a track while women prance in stupid shoes trackside with overgrown objects on their heads.
If you’ve never made it to a face-to-face shut up and write, then a virtual one could be just what you need. Check it out and add it to your list of things to experiment with in AcWriMo!