Cracking the Unhabit

For the past 15 days I've been writing approximately 1,000 words of my novel a day.

I was getting tired of it being half-finished and wished I could just splurge out the basic content, taking the time afterwards to finely tune it. Thanks to a tweet from one of my erstwhile colleagues from the two-year creative writing course I took part in from 2007 until 2009, I was introduced to a website called which has enabled me to activate a particularly useful form of addiction.

Daily writing.

It's not intended for the production of novels; the mission statement on the site claims that it's a more up-to-date version of "morning pages" from The Artists Way. I did give them a try but could never quite get to grips with the mechanism although ironically I started this blog as an attempt to unplug my creative juices in a similar way. The main problem I had with The Artists Way was the author's insistence on the morning pages being handwritten.

750 Words makes no such unreasonable demands, although to be fair I'm not using it for this purpose anyway (otherwise you'd be getting daily stream-of-consciousness blog entries). What I am using it for is for managing to write 750+ words of my novel daily by adapting the finely-tuned guilt engine that seems to be built into the whole site. It utilizes the same kind of badges, rewards and stats that other social networks do, but unlike them, this addiction is useful.

Very useful.

I feel that in two weeks I've gone from "somewhere in the middle" to "somewhere within sight of the end". OK so the end result might be a very rough and ready first draft, but it will be a big step, and as an "archaeologist" rather than an "architect" I will be very interested to find out just what does happen at the end of Genie's journey. Even my recent acceleration has revealed some surprising details of the plot about which I previously had no idea - but it's good when it all comes together, even if it's not exactly what you could call a plan.

If I keep this up I may even finish it before the end of the year - this sounds almost inconceivable to me, but it's just cold hard extrapolation.

Of course I'm supposed to be going on holiday, but there's no reason why I can't continue to dedicate 45 minutes per diem to the project whilst I'm away. However, the regularity of the blog may suffer, so please bear with me and I'll get back to it as soon as I can.

There are a number of important topics I want to address.


wllmtnnnt said…
Interesting stuff, will check out the 750words website.
What are you going to do with this novel when finished? Are you hawking it round agents, or do you have another plan? Just wondering. Would be interested to read.
Catmachine said…
Hoping to interest agents with it once finished. I imagine the thing will go through several drafts though but when I finish the first draft it will be time for a big celebration.

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