Saturday, June 30, 2012

On writing 9,000 words in a day

I know people have done this before, because people have written short length novels over the course of the 3-day novel challenge.

But let me be (probably not) the first to say that it's a lot of work.

Surprisingly, I got done a little over 3,000 words in an hour, so I can see where other people could accomplish a novel in a weekend.  But me?  I'm burned out.

When I get inside my character's head - really inside their head - and I'm writing from a hugely emotional standpoint (this whole novella has been one emotional trigger after another), I get my own gut wrenched.  I just spend the last thousand words sobbing as I brought my character to his emotional conclusions.  His resolve and the decisions that he has made for himself brought me to my own tears, as I know how I would feel if I were in the same situation.

And that's the thing:  It's every emotion at once.

Now that the 9,094 words are out of the way, I feel exhausted.  Not mentally, no, my brain can continue to pump out words for days.  But I'm emotionally hollowed out, my character burrowed a hole into my brain and I no longer have the emotional capacity for even myself.

Does anyone else get this emotionally invested in their characters?  I find that when I do cry, the words flow more genuinely onto the page, with true emotions and feelings.  The negative, well, I already said that.  It takes a lot of work.

I don't ever want to hear anyone say that writing is not a real job.

Oh - and now I have a fancy new Camp NaNoWriMo badge to show off in the corner.  Yay accomplishing goals!


  1. Well done on your impressive word count. I failed quite miserably at Camp NaNoWriMo, I'm just not disciplined enough yet. Hopefully I'll get there though.

  2. I gotta agree with your sentiments, 9k/day is wayyyy too much. Writing needs time to breathe, and there's the burnout factor you mention. I set a daily word count of 2,700-4,000 words/day. At 4k, I always stop, no matter what. I do it because I can't sustain doing more than 4k for very long, and when I get burned out, the downtime wipes out any progress I made.

    Writing is extremely emotional for me, too.

    Thanks for the twitter add!