Monday, April 16, 2012

Tattoo Convention & A Writing Bender

It was a busy, busy weekend.  Saturday kicked off with the National Tattoo Association's convention, which just happened to be in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.  I was lucky enough to stumble over it and popped by to wander their main floor for a couple hours.  I flipped through books filled with tattoo designs they had completed and chatted with tattoo artists from all over the country.  The ballroom was filled with conversation, laughter, and the lovely sound of buzzing as people were being tattooed all afternoon.

Everyone that I spoke to was wonderfully nice and funny.  I think I've found the next tattoo shop that I'd like to try for a piece of ink.  Yes, the need for more ink has settled over me again.  I've got two pieces that I want, but it may still be a little time before I get around to getting either done.

But the important thing was that I had a great time wandering the convention and it has given me a delicious idea if I get the chance to write a third book for my new series.  Fingers crossed.

And then on Sunday, it was all about writing.  Generally, my daily word count averages between 2,000 and 5,000 words.  I know of a couple authors that occasionally attempt 10,000 words in a one-day session in hopes of either catching up to where they need to be or to get through a hump in the manuscript.  I made my first attempt at 10,000 words in one day.  The results: not too bad.  I finished at 7,300 words for the day, which I think is a new high for me.

What did I learn from this attempt?

1. I need to start early in the day.  I started writing around 1pm EST.  As a result, by the time I was hitting around 7,000 words, it was after 10 in the evening.  I was exhausted and didn't have much hope of hitting my goal before midnight.

2.  I need to closely monitor the length of my breaks.  Breaks are necessary.  After writing for an hour-long stint, you need a break to clear your head, get a drink, eat, and just let your brain cool off.  Unfortunately, some of my breaks lasted a little too long and I ran out of time for writing.

3.  Turn off the Internet.  This was one of the first times that I wrote at a computer that wasn't hooked up to the Internet.  As a result, when I was writing, there was no chance of me wasting time looking something up on the Internet or playing with any of the different social media outlets.  When I sat down to write, I wrote.

4.  One-hour blocks are awesome.  I recently picked up a little cooking timer that I set at one hour before writing.  One hour of dedicated writing is perfect.  You get a lot accomplished and it's not so long that your brain gets fried.  I discovered that I can average 1,500 words in a one-hour block, which is an awesome amount.

5. Finishing the day with a high word count gives a great sense of accomplishment.  By the end of Sunday, I had completed two chapters, started a third, wrote more than 20 pages, and hit a total count of approximately 7,300 words.  At the same time, I spent time with the husband, played with the mutt, and finished a chunk of laundry.  That was a great day!  Writing 2,000 words per day can inch you steadily through a book, but hitting 7,300 words feels like a huge leap forward.  I can't do it too often, but it does leave you with a great sense of accomplishment for the day.

If I can adhere to all the lessons learned, I think I will be able to hit my 10,000 word target.  With crappy weather expected for next Saturday, I think I'm going to give it another shot.  I was happy with my 7,300 words for Sunday and it put me in a great place when it came time to start writing this week.


Merrie Destefano said...

Loved your writing tips, Jocelynn! And that tattoo convention sounds like it was too much fun--I just love tattoos. Happy writing!

Jocelynn Drake said...

Thanks! The book deadline is fast approaching and I need to get the last of this book written. Also, lots of fun was had at the convention.

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