“Life is always getting the way.” That’s one of my favorite quotes. It’s from the book “Fools Die” by Mario Puzo.
That pretty much sums up how I feel most days. I love to write, create, make-up stories, weave words together to see what pattern they make, but somehow life always seems to get in the way. Every day I wake up with the best of intentions. And every day, I feel pushed, forced, to do everything but write. I have to clean house, I have to take Emma here or there, I have to take the dog to the beauty shop, I have to grocery shop, I have to go do manual labor at one of my rentals… The list goes on.
Cleaning house is one of the chores I hate the most. We have a pretty big house, actually far too big for just three people, and cleaning it takes a day of work. I decided a year ago that instead of spending one full day of the week wasted on this chore I would instead clean just one part of it every day. I would spend thirty minutes or so a day on one area like the downstairs bathroom, the next day the kitchen… In other words, I would clean the house incrementally. It works, too! The house is always clean (more or less) and I didn’t have to dedicate a whole day to keeping it that way. Thirty minutes or so out of each day seems much more manageable.
So, I started thinking… what if I applied this Power of Incrementalism to my writing?
Some days it was hard to get started writing because I was thinking about the whole book I needed to write. That chore seemed to big to tackle. I would lose spirit before I even got started. What seems much more manageable is writing 500 words a day.
I put this plan into action last Thursday. Come hell or high water, I sit down every morning and write 500 words. The words fly out of me, taking less than thirty minutes to type out. Usually, I ’accidentally’ end up writing seven or eight hundred words. In only seven days time I have 4,600 words written on a new book. I also wrote around 2,000 words on a book I already had started. And I still got all my “life” done, too!
The way I figure it if I write 500 words a day, six days a week (I’m resting on Sunday) that will make a total of 156,000 words every calendar year. That’s approximately two books a year. Two books written just 500 words at a time.
That’s the power of incrementalism.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…
(This blog is 461 words long. Only 39 left to go!)