Sunday, April 17, 2011

500 First

I told myself when I returned from my trip to Italy, I would get my act together. As you may know, I am presently unemployed or, as I like to say, "Job Free." You might think this absence of a labor schedule would avail itself to plenty of writing time. On the other hand, you might actually live on this planet and know that quite the opposite is happening.

Nature abhors a vacuum and the vacuum created by free time is being devoured by any number of annoyances, not the least of which is the staggering amount of paperwork involved in being unemployed. (Couldn't they make a job out of that? Paper sorter?)

To counter this, I have undertaken a new writing model I call 500 First.

First thing in the morning, before the phone calls, before my letter carrier mutters obscenities for having to lug reams of mail with the WorkForce logo, before Facebook and Twitter can bewitch me, I write no less than 500 words on my WIP. This isn't free writing; this is creative composition. It's no-editing, forward-only blurry eyed typing that is surprising me with its effectiveness. Remember, this is even BEFORE COFFEE!

Best case scenario: it primes my creative pump so that, after all the chaos of the day descends upon me, I can still feel the pulse of my story. Worst case: I can't fight the tide but I can finish my day knowing I got at least five hundreds words farther into my story.

So far, so good. Have you had success with a plan like this?


Donna Cummings said...

You had me until I read that "before coffee" crazy talk! LOL Actually this is wonderful advice, and I try to make it my goal, since too many days writing slips farther down the "I'll do that next" list. All of a sudden it's not daytime anymore and I have to fight off the temptation to say, "I'll start first thing in the morning". :)

SG Redling said...

Okay, maybe I should have clarified and said "amid coffee brewing." I mean, the coffee is on the way! I'm not a cyborg!

Anonymous said...

Great idea!
Right now I'm treading water a little--letting a first draft rest before plunging back in, but I can promise you that I will put your suggestion to the test when I get into the next draft. But...can I have a cup of coffee at least sitting at my desk for an occasional sip? ha!
Love your last post too about the dump pad--I have one on my desk but didn't know what to call it :-)
Fun blog, I need to bookmark you!

Anonymous said...

I'm not in the Job Free Zone but soon will be, and too that end I'm trying to set any free days I have to follow the pattern I mean to use when I am out of the clutches of 9 to 5. I get up in the morning and start with my chores, whatever they are that day. Working in the garden, the yard, the house, the kitchen, errands, etc. By 1 or 2 in the afternoon, I stop for lunch, take a shower and sit down to write. I find I can concentrate on my story if I first get the cares of the day taken care of and leave a plan in place for what the next days' activities will be. I can go back to the garden in the evening if I've done my 1000 words, but not until.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi said...

Hi SG! When you have a chance, could you please e-mail me ( I'd like to send you your prize from the Writer Unboxed Cartoon Caption Contest. :-) Thanks. -- Debbie

William Olson said...

Even before coffee!?! This was clearly a typo that came by way of your 'no editing' policy?

servet said...


Anonymous said...

I was wondering what your take on the West Virginia chemical spill is.
Id their a real 'Flower Town' in the future?