10K Day: Recommended Prep

YOUR 10K DAY will be more successful if you take the time to do a little prep. Below are some tips I adapted (with permission) from the article 10K in a Day by author J.R. Turner. Jenny has been a wonderful friend to me over the years, and it was she who introduced me to the glories of the 10K Day.

Prepare the Minds of Those Who Claim Your Time

Your 10K Day is for you.

If you’re typically not very good at setting boundaries for your writing, this is a good time to start. Whether you attain the goal of writing 10,000 words that day is not the crux of the matter. Granting yourself that day is.

Let your friends and loved ones know ahead of time that you’ll be unavailable, except for matters of urgency.

Do as much as you can to minimize routine chores. Get the laundry caught up the day before (or catch up on it after your 10K Day). Do important errands the day before. Provide something extremely simple for the family dinner and assign someone to cook it.

E-a-s-y dinner any spouse can cook

E-a-s-y dinner any spouse can cook

My husband always cooks dinner for us on a 10K Day. This is not as heroic as it sounds. I supply him with a bag of Bertolli Complete Skillet Meal for Two (look for this range in the frozen section of your supermarket). All he has to do is dump it in the skillet, cook it for 6-10 minutes, and then serve it up.

They’re actually quite tasty. And I can’t tell you how heavenly it is to sit down to a hot meal—prepared by someone else!—after all those hours of writing.

Now Embrace the Joys of Being Dispensible

You can tell people to leave you alone until you’re blue around the gills but it’s really up to you to police it. The low-stress way of doing this is to let your calls go to voicemail (or turn your cell phone off), log out of your e-mail and do not respond to text messages.

Oh, yes . . . and close the door to your writing area if you have one.

If you need to be available for emergency contact (this is often the case with mothers), decide ahead of time how to deal with this. Ideally, you don’t want to listen to the phone ringing all day—part of you will be distracted, wondering who it is. That’s why it’s best to think it through ahead of time.

Gather Your Materials

You’ve probably already decided what you want to work on that day. Make sure you assemble everything you’ll need the day before.

For instance, if you’re writing an historical novel you’ll probably want to have your research notes by your side. But if there’s something you really need to research before you can write the next section, do this in advance. 10K days are not for doing research.

Remember, This is Fun!

If you’ve started feeling some performance anxiety, chill out. You’re supposed to enjoy yourself. You don’t have to show anyone what you wrote that day. And you have nothing to prove to the world.

So you only wrote 1,999 words that day? Maybe that was precisely the breakthrough you needed.

Be Kind, Unwind!



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2 Responses to Recommended Prep
  1. […] Recommended Prep […]

  2. John
    February 18, 2012 | 6:45 AM

    Great article, filled with suggestions on how to develop a special day for yourself that is dedicated solely for your creative writing. It is effective way to communicate to your friends and family, that your writing is important to you. It would appear that a life changing event such as making a transition from being indispensible to being dispensable in one day could cause anxiety and stress. I would think that is why this advanced preparation to vital to your peace of mind for the 10K Day event. I also enjoyed reading the response to this article 10K A DAY-HOW TO DO A WORDCOUNT ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM. HUNTER’S WRITING. It contained a lot of valuable information and insight.

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