Let's Write Together, Redux

Firstly, thank you to everyone for such a huge response. Instead of replying in the comments, I thought I should follow up on the original post and clarify an important point being brought up, specifically:

12 hours? Are you !#*$!* kidding me?

I should have realized that talking about a 12 hour writing session needed to be qualified often, and in bold. I should have realized this, because my original reaction was similar to yours.

So, a couple of clarifications that are included in the book which I neglected to mention:

1. There is no requirement for the session to be 12 hours. The only people watching how much time you spend writing is you and the NSA. The idea is to stretch yourself and try to do what you can, and when you start feeling that you can’t eek out another word, take a walk and then get back to it for another 30 minutes. It’s surprising just how much we’re capable of when we break the mental barriers and get our second wind.

Why did the authors suggest 12 hours? I think it’s because after that amount of time, the brain just peters out. It refuses to generate anything. It needs more input. And it’s also likely that by that point, your family is plotting to sneak up on you with a chloroform-soaked rag and pull you away.

2. The 12 hour session does not mean sitting at your desk/coffee shop/toilet for 12 hours straight. You need to eat. You need to take a walk. You need to don your ninja suit and assassinate Kim Jong-Un (okay, maybe that’s only one of us). It’s just plain unhealthy to sit in the same spot for 12 hours and those breaks will help generate more ideas.

In the end, if you wind up spending one hour on writing and get pulled away because you really, really have to take care of something else, it’s okay. You did what you could and hopefully generated more content than you would have with your usual sessions.

I hope this clarified things and encouraged a few more of you to give this a go with me. Maybe it’s a better idea to let everyone choose their own day, and we just set a time and date to share the material?

Let me know your thoughts!


0 thoughts on “Let's Write Together, Redux

  1. I am reading backwards in time. Just imagine my reaction……

    1. Hah! After reading that, my brain started playing “Land of Confusion” by Genesis.

  2. Sorry I can’t take part, Phillip, but I think it’s a great idea!

    1. Stan! Thanks for checking in. Would love to have you involved with this sometime as I know you have some killer ideas.

      1. Yeah, ideas are my blessing and my curse… : )

        I’m still so tempted to abandon my Nick Woods sequel, but I’m 37,000 words in and refusing to repeat my many, many earlier writing follies of abandoning projects!

        1. Don’t give up hope on Nick, Stan! He’s an awesome character. Maybe you just need to set it aside for a week, think about other stuff and come back to it fresh?

          1. I wrote maybe 50 words this morning, but it finally sealed this complicated character scene that’s been kicking my ass for about a week and a half.

            Now, I finally get to kill some people again, and I simply CAN NOT lay this down or start something else. It’s seriously my greatest weakness and I’m like a drunk who can’t take a drink. If I even consider something else, or write ten words about something else, I’m screwed. I’m off and running on the other project, which always appears easier in the beginning.

  3. What a wonderful idea, Phillip! I just took my writing retreat for the year–a blissful six days away, and I wrote for more than 12 hours a day each day, punctuated by wandering around my friend’s house and stationing myself in new perches to write more. I went barefoot all week, and didn’t leave the house unless you include the deck. I don’t recommend that sort of single-mindedness, not to mention the lack of exercise, but I made it through a ton of pages, fixed major story problems, and ended my novel somewhere unexpected. Now onward to draft three! I’ll join in this if the timing works out, but since I just got back, I won’t be able to take a full-day writing break for a while.

    1. Thanks for the great comment Laura! I’m happy to hear that such a marathon session worked out so well for you. We’ll figure out a way to make this work for everyone, maybe make it a quarterly thing…

      1. Sounds like a great plan, Phillip. It really helped during my week to know my friend was in her room doing the same thing, staying focused, keeping the words moving.

  4. The more I think about this idea, the more I like it. Would you know how to set up some type of forum so we could communicate in real time? Maybe a Twitter hashtag?

    1. I love it Gwen. You’re already thinking of things that my impulsive self hadn’t yet. 🙂

      A Twitter hashtag would be perfect for the day of writing. Any ideas on a good one?

      1. I’d think for this, create a unique hashtag (maybe like #12hrwriteslam??). Our swim team coach does this for my kids’ swim meets, so we can tweet photos and encouragements during the meets. Hopefully someone more tech-literate than me would know how to do this? I’m kind of a “twidiot”

        1. #12hrwriteslam! Yes, I think that’s perfect. I think we just need to include that in our Twitter posts to keep track with everyone, but don’t feel alone.. I too am a “twidiot”, and I work on complex computer networks everyday… LOL.

  5. Great. I’ll stay tuned for more info. It’s a great idea. Hopefully you can get a good group to commit. I’ll figure out a way to make it work.

  6. This is a game changer for me…I’m in, Phillip! I know nothing about Twitter, although I have an account. 🙂 I took an online writing class a couple of years ago and all of our work was submitted through some sort of Google forum. I don’t recall the details exactly, but only those in the class could read your work. Is that how this will be?

  7. Yup…Cleared it right up. I ‘ll be watching for more news. By the way Kim is mine.

    1. Now everyone knows you’re the ninja, John! But since you also have the power of mind control, you can convince them otherwise. 🙂

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