Short Background: I had the whole week off for Christmas and I decided to create a 7 hour write-a-thon (WAT) for myself on December 26. Before then, the last time I had worked on any of my books was 5 months prior. I came up with this idea after becoming inspired by reading a post by a Redditor who decided to quit gaming and start writing (“The First Tenet”). I’m sorry I can’t remember the username, but if you’re out there, let me know!
Anyways, leading up to the day of my WAT, I was anxious, a bit excited, but extremely scared. I was afraid that I would open my book on the screen and stare at it for 7 hours straight. I believed that this would not clear my writer’s block at all, but deepen it instead. I am not going to lie, I was dreading it because I didn’t want to fail.
The day of the WAT, I woke up early and then stayed in bed until about 9:30am (late for someone who works in Corporate America). I ate breakfast then did other human things until 11am: the proposed start of the WAT. I opened my first book at around noon and began to read it, then I began to edit, then I repeated the cycle.
7 hours later, I added maybe a paragraph or two to my first book and finished a conversation in my second book. I considered the WAT a complete failure. Not only did I not write the entire time, but I took “breaks” to take a shower, play video games for 30 minutes or so, or check Reddit for 5 minutes… I thought I had failed, and I did for that day.
Then December 27th rolled around and I popped out of bed, ate breakfast then rushed back up to my room and began to read, edit, and repeat again. By Saturday, I had written close to 10,000 words across three of my books. I added a new fight scene to my fourth book and a brand-new descriptive conversation to my second book (let’s just act like the 3rd book doesn’t exist atm, ok?). I learned that I was going to have to have some patience with myself. It was almost as if I put the weights down five months ago and decided that on December 26th I was going to squat 100 pounds again like I used to (I can’t squat 100 pounds anymore tbh…). But I was a little rusty, I had to get warmed up again.
It has been over a week since my WAT and while I failed on the actual day, it helped ignite a small flame in my mind that is helping to fuel my motivation. I have since almost finished the second book and I am now getting ready to send my 1st off to an editor. I know a lot of writers suffer with writer’s block and it is usually never because they have run out of ideas. It is usually because their muse or motivation has been sapped from them. I learned that forcing myself to write, like a chore, is just as important as writing out of inspiration. It comes down to discipline in all seriousness. Then with discipline comes the execution of your plans for your piece of work.
And guess what? I am still writing. I just added ~3,000 words yesterday in just a few hours. Patience. Discipline. Execution. I'm proud of myself for sticking to it and you know what? You can do it too!
I highly encourage you, dear writer, to create your own WAT to ignite your own flame if it's gone out or just as a personal challenge. I’m sure it will help.
Thanks for reading.