6k Short of 10k

Reprinted with permission from Ja’nese Dixon

Ja'Nese Dixon

Ja'Nese Dixon

Fear of Writing held a day-long challenge. Writers were asked to cop a squat and write 10k words.

I had a plan. I would gather my research for Black Diamond and use the time to work on my outline for NaNoWriMo.

I had part of that right—I worked on my outline—but I only managed to write a little over 4,000 words.

The Pros
I am nearly done with my outline for Black Diamond. I have the book synopsis or book summary. I also have the preliminary information for working on my character profiles this weekend. Lastly, my thoughts are much clearer on the direction of this book.

The Cons
Are you nuts?! Yes, it was nerve racking sitting in front of a blank screen watching the flashing cursor. My head was full of ideas. But my fingers just wouldn’t comply.


Lesson Learned
1. I didn’t make the 10,000 word goal. However, I can’t deny that writing 4,000 words in one day is wonderful.
2. It helped to clear my thoughts. I had things bouncing everywhere in my head. I had to outlines running at once. (Yes, it was that bad!) I even stopped for a while and wrote by hand—I didn’t count these words. Every minute of this time was productive because it would have happened eventually.
3. 1,667 words per day is what’s required to win NaNoWriMo. That’s if I write daily. After completing the 10k Challenge I have a realistic idea about what’s expected of me to complete my book in November. I know that I can’t write during the day when my house is hectic. I know that I need healthy snacks around my computer. But most of all, I know that it’s doable.

What I’ll Do Next Time
They are planning another challenge day for October 24th. Here’s the plan:

1. Purchase a timer. I should write for 40 minutes and then break for 20 minutes. I found I tried to sit for long periods of time. The longer periods of time didn’t produce more words. I noticed that I wrote more after taking a break.
2. Healthy snacks. I usually am more prepared but I thought “what the heck…I have all day.” Way wrong answer!!! (As, my drill sergeant once said.) I think having my hard candies and green tea on hand would have made my environment more relaxing.
3. Don’t get so technical. I wanted everything to be just right. That put too much pressure on the day. Thus, I plan to just write. I can always clean it up later.

I’m off. I have a few more books I want to complete before November 1. I will leave you with this. . . .

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.” – Alice Walker

JA’NESE DIXON is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and a closet writer in Texas. Her days are filled with marketing strategy and search engine marketing consulting. In the middle of the night you will find her on her laptop writing her first novel, Black Diamond. To learn more about Ja’Nese, visit her online at www.janesedixon.com.

8 Responses to 6k Short of 10k
  1. Patti Stafford
    Twitter: pattistafford
    October 22, 2009 | 2:03 PM

    You did an excellent job on the 10K. I’m glad you had a good time and are preparing for the next one.

    The timer is a good idea. I was “supposed” to start using that method today, but so far–I haven’t gotten it off the refrigerator yet.

    Best of luck on the next 10K and on NaNo. This will be my first year at NaNo. I’m lucky if I get to write 300 words a week of fiction–and now I’m supposed to weasel in 1,667 per day? Yes, doable, but can we stop time just in case? LOL

    • Lois
      October 22, 2009 | 2:42 PM

      Patti: Would you like a Nanowrimo mentor? 😉

    • Ja'Nese Dixon
      October 22, 2009 | 5:02 PM

      Patti, I understand. I couldn’t wrap my mind about 1667 words per day. With encouragement from Lois, I decided to use the 10k as a test run. I was pleasantly surprised.

      Now, if I could turn off my email sooner. Unplug the phone. Kick my kids to the curb (oops…did I type that).


  2. Lois
    October 22, 2009 | 2:41 PM

    Awesome article, JD! 😀 You made some really excellent points.

    I’ll be shopping the night before and I’ll be able to pick out some healthy snacks to have on hand during the Saturday 10K this week. *g*

    I was happy to see you participate on the October 15th 10K Day. It’s a great experience…one I never get tired of (and, of course, having my hubby fix dinner is a nice bonus)!

    My other Nanowrimo “mentee” is planning on participating soon, too! 🙂

    • Ja'Nese Dixon
      October 22, 2009 | 5:03 PM

      Lois, you’re the best! I actually wrote about NaNo mentors being the best kept secret of the challenge on my blog.

      I plan to write throughout the day, even if that means writing by hand.

  3. Kenn
    October 25, 2009 | 2:53 PM

    Great job! Can’t wait to read Black Diamond and yes I will read it!


  4. John
    February 20, 2012 | 8:27 AM

    Ja’Nese, it was great how you were able to alleviate some of the pressure associated with reaching the 10K goal. Your plan for your next 10K was realistic and had practical application. I received a lot of benefit from reading your article. In just a few words you were able to motivate, while providing the essential skills and practices required for success with the 10K program. From my view point your quote from Alice Walker, could not have been more appropriate. I am looking forward to reading your novel Black Diamond.

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