The Healing Power of the 10K Day

By Milli Thornton

The Healing Power of the 10K Day for Writers


I’VE BEEN RUNNING the monthly 10K days since 2009 but I haven’t blogged about the phenomenon myself in a long time. I’m usually more interested in what our 10K day gang—especially newcomers who are freshly addicted—have to say about their experiences.

But last Saturday I had an experience that reminded me not to be so behind-the-scenes with my own breakthroughs.

Since October, I’ve been working on an intensive new plan for my career. Until I reach a certain point in the plan, it will involve a lot of left-brained computer work, such as building websites, formatting a book (the 3rd edition of Fear of Writing), endlessly proofing that book and making minute adjustments to the cover . . . and much more that I don’t want to put you to sleep with.

It’s worthwhile work and I feel very dedicated to my plan—but I’m also sick of it. Sick of being so left-brained. I committed to these months of hard work where I knew I wouldn’t have much time for fiction writing, and it’s really starting to pay off. But I got bored and restless. Had to force myself to keep working. And I was fighting burn-out.

During the Saturday March 22 10K Day all that changed unexpectedly.

Because I was so burned out, I planned to only participate for a while in the morning. I was going to dabble with my current story for a little bit, and then get two pieces of non-fiction written that I need to finish some websites. But, instead, I got hooked on my story.

I ended up writing 5,998 words and my 10K day didn’t end until 9 p.m. I took several extra-long breaks (so I wouldn’t exacerbate my burn-out) but the writing, and especially the deep fun I had working on my story, sucked my exhaustion into another dimension.

I’ve been in a radically good mood ever since. My problems in life—that only last week felt overwhelming—now seem surmountable. I’m even enjoying doing the bookkeeping for my taxes.

Thank you, writing, and thank you 10K day, and thank you Jenny Turner for healing me.

P.S. My dear friend Jennifer Turner (author J.R. Turner) is the unsung inventor of the 10K Day.

Milli Thornton,

Milli Thornton

Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course and Unleash Your Writing!, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Milliver’s Travels and Screenwriting in the Boonies and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse Coaching Service. She lives in Taos, New Mexico, where she enjoys Wild West pursuits such as eating green chile, target shooting and 4x4ing in the mountains.

8 Responses to The Healing Power of the 10K Day
  1. Charlotte Rains Dixon
    Twitter: wordstrumpet
    March 26, 2014 | 7:12 AM

    I’m so glad you had this breakthrough, Milli! And I totally agree about the healing benefits of the 10K day. It took me a long time to clear my schedule to participate the first time, but once I did, I was hooked! It just feels so good to get a lot of words on the page and allow yourself to be wrapped up in the magic of the story. Thanks for hosting us!

    • Milli Thornton
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      March 26, 2014 | 8:40 AM

      Charlotte, thanks for the support. I cannot imagine the 10K days without you now that you’re here. I’m so glad you’re hooked. 😀

    • Leigh Lauck
      March 27, 2014 | 1:42 PM

      You hit the nail on the head, Charlotte. The 10K Days provide motivation and structure to make time for our writing, among all the other competing demands of daily life. And Milli is the Hostess with the Mostess!

      It’s been fun being a part of it, and writing alongside you, Charlotte!

  2. Carole Jane Treggett (@cjtreggett)
    Twitter: cjtreggett
    March 26, 2014 | 8:20 AM

    Yes! I’m so jazzed to hear about this, Milli. You pour so much energy and attention into encouraging everyone else with their writing progress, it’s good to know you’re getting some back. I have also experienced the healing benefits of participating in the 10k writing days. So very grateful you host these every month. xo

    • Milli Thornton
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      March 26, 2014 | 8:43 AM

      Thank you, Carole. Your heartfelt perceptions are always a balm for the soul. I feel hugged. 🙂

    • Leigh Lauck
      March 27, 2014 | 1:43 PM

      Me too, Carole! They’ve been healing for me as well. I love being a part of the 10K Gang.

  3. Leigh Lauck
    March 27, 2014 | 1:39 PM

    Milli works so tirelessly, and with so much generosity, to help other writers overcome all the obstacles to their creativity.

    Her book, Fear of Writing (so, so excited for the 3rd edition!), Milliver’s Travels, Writer’s Muse coaching service, and many other endeavors, among them the 10K Days, provide tools, encouragement, and opportunities for writers to do their voodoo…to write! And the common element is always FUN.

    I am personally in Milli’s debt for reigniting my passion to write, and the 10K Days have been a big part of that, as well as her insightful and inspiring coaching. Thank you, Milli!

    This was such a great article. Imagine my excitement to know that you had so much fun with your story and that it was so healing for you. You deserve it, lady.

  4. Lois
    April 8, 2014 | 3:18 PM

    I’m so glad you had this breakthrough, Milli! I know that fiction freewriting isn’t quite the same, but when I start getting tired of what I’m working on, I find that just doing some freewriting based around a favorite character does a world of good, and sometimes, it helps with my current story, too. 🙂

    And I may not be able to get 10K like I used to, but I still love participating. I look forward to it every single month! 😀

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL