Monday, June 18, 2012

Having a 3/30/10 Writing Day

Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), wrote a book called No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days.

In the chapter dealing with the third week of a writing month, he teaches the 3/30/10 technique--- he calls it 'the jet-pack under your seat.

This is how you do it:
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes. Write like mad.
  • Take a ten minute break for stretching, complaining, folding clothes... whatever you can get done in ten minutes.
  • Set the timer for another 30 minutes. Write. Take another ten minute break.
  • Do another 30 minutes, then do something fun.

Baty recommends doing the 3/30/10 3 times on a free day--- morning, noon and evening. This rapidly adds to your word count.

I have not done this 3 times a day--- or even two. But timed writing works for me. The first time, my three 30 minute sessions racked up the following word counts: 579-552-628. And the second time: 465-681-791. Each time I reached my daily word count goal by the end of the three 30 minute sessions.

Don't fail to meet your word count goal!
Before I tried this, I had a hard time meeting the writing goal in one session. This way works for me. It's a bit hard on the wrists, but I think I'm adapting.

I'm thinking of trying for another 3/30/10 session today. If I don't, I at least hope to have a mini-writing session where I dip back in to my session for at least 10 minutes.

I think one reason this works for me is that I have a thing about timers. I use a timer every time I brew a cup of tea. It's silly, but it sure makes the tea come out consistently. And I never wander off and forget the steeping tea until hours later. It may be just a part of my Asperger Syndrome weirdness, but timed writing sessions work for me.

How about you? Have you ever done the 3/30/10? Or have you tried some similar timed writing method? Does it work for you?


Hart Johnson said...

I LOVE writing sprints. I have a group on Facebook and there are... maybe 35 of us signed up--when we want to do a sprint we just give a shout out, invite people, and then we do it together. It works SO WELL--in my opinion because it gives me permission to put LIFE on hold, since it's only for a limited time. If you want a group to do this with, you're welcome to join us! It's called Writing Sprints R Us--just search us and request to join--I'll let you in.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've never tried this before. I write for longer stretches and then take longer breaks for running or watching my favorite tv show.

Nissa Annakindt said...

@Hart--- I didn't really think of it as a 'writing sprint'. Though my wrists sure felt like I was doing some kind of exercise!

@Stina---- Every writer does things a bit different. I like trying new things because sometimes I'll find a new way that works for me.

Leslie Klinger said...

thank you for this...I had to do a 'blog about it' post. I am going to give it a try!

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