When Writing Think Small?! What are you NUTS?!? Part 1 of 9

Okay folks today I need to you to pack you bags and come with me on a journey. What we’ll need is backpacks, binoculars, hiking boots, water, tins of food, air packs, oh and never forget the ice picks and compass and helmets and hm, what else? right cooking utensils and an advanced knowledge of camping, and hiking. We’ll be up Everest in no time! Okay, so I have… wait! where are you all going? Come back!

Now, if i was to do the same thing with writing, say tell you that we can get something in a publishable level in 30 days, no real problem correct? All it would take is about 3,000 words or so a day, and editing about 4 or five hours each day afterwards. Well if you take the first reference the “big hike” no one would want to do that sort of thing. We are not all experts and we all have other things in our lives.

So what is there left to do?

Think small. Okay, stop laughing, or giving me an evil look. Really if your a beginning writer, and we all were once, to get even say 400 words down each day is challenging. For more seasoned writers nothing less than 500 words each day will be acceptable. So there really is no right answer to your path.

My humble advice is to write for 15 minutes a day. On the computer, on paper, on scrap pieces, doesn’t matter what is written it’s the art of writing. Not a blog though, they are fun and easy and for the most part very relaxing. It is writing, but not the type that gives you a sense of being finished, akin to housework.

A writer knows that time well spent is finishing that chapter, making that edit to make the chapter shine. That is the fun part. Okay there are other aspects to this, but in a sense it is not those parts that I’m referring to, just the beginning for this series.

This also helps in overcoming writer’s block, and that in and of itself is a challenge, every writer gets it, and for the most part one or two days away is enough to get that old creative flow back. For others it’s like trying to climb Everest, they can’t.

Yes, it’s possible to climb Everest, but if you’ve never done that what about something smaller? a park hill. Anyone can do a park hill, we all know the kind, the ones as children we run up and rolled down. We know we can make those ones. Not a problem. (Okay, maybe knees might not but still.) So, back to writing. Pick up the pen or sit in front of the computer. Breathe and enjoy. Write, about anything, and everything. There wasn’t so bad.

All that you need to do is write. Doesn’t matter if with writer’s block it’s a few lines, and not all of it good. It doesn’t matter, you’re writing. Do this each day. Fun now right? Once in a while you might even go back to that Everest of a story and make some changes, and add a few sentences there and, oh my! the book is now complete.

If you are beginning or just trying to break out of writer’s block don’t worry about anything else. Just the writing. No voices of critics or anything. Just pick up the pen and Write. This is exactly what I’ll be doing today. To those whose blogs I’ve not commented on, my apologies, this has been a hard editing and writing week, but I’m good for the rest of the week.

My Question for you Today is this: Do you think that there are benefits to thinking small? Or do you like the challenge of thinking big?


  • James

    While I feel that there are points to thinking small, there is also a thing to thinking big.

    Thinking big means to think with some realism. If you can't write a large number of words per day, don't, but also don't think yourself so small that you block your goals.

    What I'm trying to tell to everyone is that thinking small doesn't mean tiny, and irrealevant.

  • Al

    I really feel that each will find their own level. For me it changes from day to day. I can have days where I will write thousands of words, and periods where I won't write a word for weeks because I am trying to sort a problem with a character or the plot out in my head.

  • Alissa

    While it's great to be goal oriented, I know that I personally can become overwhelmed when facing a large project. Sometimes I try to ease this feeling by creating an outline or by coming up with some character descriptions, but other times it helps to wade right into the novel. A few pages here, a few pages there, and suddenly I'm at page 50, and the challenge seems much more doable.

  • Lauren

    Hi Rebecca –
    just wanted to send a huge THANK YOU for coming and commenting on my blogs. I'm at that stage where I'm just trying to build confidence in my writing. I want to believe I can do it — and each and every encouraging word helps nudge me down the path that I know I want to be on — but I'm still kind of afraid to walk.

    Anyhow — thanks again — and I am flattered that you would think about including me in one of your posts. Thanks!

  • jenniferneri

    Both are important to me.

    Small is used when I, for whatever reason, cannot get to Everest that day, yet it also used as a way for me to explore and challenge myself in the way I do not with my Big projects. When working on a big project I need to feel some sense of safety, I will after all be with it for months, and sometimes years. I cannot work on something I do not like for that long. The Small allows for that. I can write something I do not like, or is difficult issue for me, or I can play with POvs, ect. You get the idea, I think.

  • Angel

    I think it's a great idea to start small. I have went and tried to do a big project but I never end up finishing it. Now instead of focusing all my time trying to complete a novel, I work on short stories to get me prepared for a novel one day. Some days it can be really hard to write. It's better to get a little done than nothing at all.

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