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These are the real-life accounts of a chick who tried writing 50,000 words in 5 days, a goal that could only be accomplished by sinking into the dark recesses of one’s mind, often bordering on the edges of: madness, sadness, and occasional maniacal laughter.
Sunday March 4th
6pm: I just washed my hair. Only the writing gods know when the follow-up washing will occur. It’s frightening and exhilarating all at once.
11pm: Since my writing week technically doesn’t start until tomorrow, I’m writing out plot points as I watch the “The Walking Dead” (this is how my writing voice sounds when I’m making excuses for myself out of laziness. Umm.)
Monday March 5th
10am: I just opened my writing document. As Borat would say, “Big success!”
10:45am: Writing the first few pages is always the hardest. I only wrote 400 words in 45 minutes, when I should be writing 1,500 words an hour to meet my goal. I don’t even know where 1,500 words an hour came from, do people even write that much?
I’m going to the gym.
1:30pm: The gym was packed, and silver hair was abundant. My observation: when you go to the gym on weeknights (like me and my demographic usually do), they play hip hop songs about guys jizzing on girls in night clubs and girls finding it amazing (‘cause yes, that’s every girl’s dream). When you go to the gym in the daytime however, they play songs like “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain. My conclusion: older women have more confidence.
PS: yes I showered after the gym, but no I did not wash my hair. Viva la resistance!
6:15pm: I’m at 5,000 words. My daily goal is 10,000 words so I’m halfway there, and it’s not like I have a bedtime. I may even watch an episode of “Smash” tonight AND still hit my goal. Who would’ve thought?!
12:35am: So I totally didn’t have time to watch “Smash.” Instead I distracted myself with doing laundry, then came to the conclusion that 1,000-calorie-meals would make me sleepy and inhibit my writing, so I had to end up eating THIS instead. So lame.
I also reached my goal of 10,000 words in the first day. I guess that’s kind of a big deal, but when you’re alone in a hermit writing-cave, there aren’t a lot of people to share it with.
Tuesday March 6th
3:00pm: I’ve written 3,500 words so far. At this point into the “Year of the Chick” sequel, I’m writing about the excitement and thrill of the discovery of yourself in another. That weird and crazy soul-mate thing. When I’m forced to write about less fun things later, like conflict and impossibilities, I will probably vomit (the price to pay for writing something that’s inspired by real life). But for now it’s fun.
Lyrics from my playlist: “I’m waiting, longing for you. One more, night and then I’m gone…I am your visitor, I’m on the other side of your wall.”—Head First by Goldfrapp
12:01am: Met the goal and surpassed it, with 11,000 words for the day. Things that helped: choosed meals with 30 seconds or less of prep time. Will I actually write 50,000 words this week? That would be a miracle…
Wednesday March 7th
7:30pm: a good friend with the day off work convinced me to brush off the hermit life and try to write in Starbucks. That venue is where I wrote the majority of my screenplay, so it seemed like a good idea, plus it would give me the chance to talk to another human being, since I’ve literally been talking to myself as I write out the dialogue. (Example: “You’re wearing a Snuggie…at two p.m…in the middle of summer?!” Okay that’ll work, then I’ll add “If I ever have a son, I’m gonna make him my monkey-butler. Shirtless with a bow-tie all the way…” Yep, that’ll work great, okay, good job, self, now high-five! (It’s alarming how comfortable I’ve become with talking to myself)).
Why I was productive at Starbucks: an elderly man decided to sit beside me on the couch. He spilled his coffee everywhere, smelled of stale urine, and kept leaning on me after he fell asleep with his sunglasses on. This made me write faster than I’ve ever written in my life so I could get the hell out of there. 3,500 words in 2 hours. A new record. I’m considering kidnapping him…
1:10am: I finished my daily quota, which in total amounts to 31,000 words in 3 days. This would’ve seemed insane to me last week, but if I can do that, maybe I can truly reach my goal, of 50,000 words by Friday.
On the down side, sinking deeper into the plot has made me realize that here I am, dedicating hours and hours of my life to writing about someone (loosely) who probably hasn’t thought of me in ages. His perfect little “society and family approved” life hums along, while I re-hash the past for the sake of creating art. And there’s a ninety-nine percent chance that this art will never make it big. It can be borderline-depressing, but if my only alternative is to be a normally-functioning human who doesn’t dwell on things, then it’s inescapable. I will never be normal.
Also, I cried today. Something tells me it’s not the last I’ll see of “Sad-Bags McGee”…
Lyrics from my playlist: “And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd, ’cause these words are my diary screaming out loud, and I know that you’ll use them, however you want to.”—Breathe by Anna Nalick
Thursday March 8th
5:15pm: 5,000 words in the bag and we’re still on track. It’s amazing that I haven’t run into writer’s block yet, probably because I know how much I’ll hate myself if I waste a paid vacation day. Hooray for the fear of self-loathing!
I can’t go to the gym, I can’t go grocery shopping, I actually can’t be around anyone. I’m all alone and it has to stay that way, because I’m writing about the hardest thing a person can write about (besides child-trafficking or serial-killing ): falling in love. I’ll have to go back later and inject in some humour, because non-stop cheese-ball romance I simply will not do; besides, Nicholas Sparks already has it covered (not that I didn’t love “The Notebook”…*sniff*). For now though, writing in the emotion is hard enough.
Oh, I washed my hair today. I don’t know if it makes me less “legit” as a writer to not stay greasy, but I have pretty long hair and it was getting to be ridiculous.
Lyrics from my playlist: “It must be your skin, I’m sinking in, it must be for real, ’cause now I can feel.”—Glycerine by Bush.
1:24am Another 11,000 words were written today, which means I only have to write 8,000 tomorrow to meet my goal of 50K in 5 days. On Sunday that goal seemed impossible, but now with burning eyeballs and crusted tears on my greasy face I’m almost there.
Lyrics from my playlist: “Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again.”—Lovesong by The Cure
Friday March 9th:
6pm: I only needed 8,000 words to meet the goal, but I was in the zone and wrote 9,000. I hadn’t written 9,000 words by 6pm all week, so I guess this was the most productive day.
51,000 words in 5 days….oh writing gods, I did it! And all I had to temporarily sacrifice was my sanity, my eye-sight, and my finally-repaired heart which is now all shredded once again,…for the glory of stupid art.
I would’ve rather sacrificed a baby at the altar.
Lyrics from my playlist: “Here I am, lost in the ashes of time, but who wants tomorrow? In between, the longing to hold you again, I’m caught in your shadow…I’m losing control.”—Afterglow by INXS
Saturday March 10th
10:45pm: I wrote another 7,000 words today, with the help of my cat on this spinster-like Saturday night. There was no need to write today but I wanted to, I guess that’s how badly I want to share this story with the world.
Lyrics from my playlist: “To find a way, to open up again, and learn to take, all the beauty that’s inside.”—Ring the Bells by Satellite
I need a few more thousand words next week and I’ll reach the end, with more colour to be added in later.
I’m so ahead of the game in fact, that I’m going to bump up the release date of the “Year of the Chick” sequel from September to late June. I just decided this now from the comfort of my bed. That’s the fun part of doing everything yourself: total control.
As a teaser, below are twelve lines from the sequel. I’ll post more teasers along the way at my Facebook Author Page, along with updates about the release, and general awkward thoughts.
From the “Year of the Chick” sequel (due out in June 2012)
“Suddenly he dropped my hair like it was a used up condom from “Motel 6.””
“Apparently it was illegal to open people’s mail…? That was something I never would’ve learned in the plastic bubble of my family, considering all my mail was opened by my parents, read, and summarized by the time I got home.”
“I need a long-distance boyfriend like I need genital warts.”
“I waited for the tears to form in my eyes, followed by a trip to the women’s bathroom where I’d hide in the stall and weep, then pretend I was vomiting if anyone came inside. Been there, done that.”
“At that exact moment, I heard two eager halves of a mouth snap shut on a ginger molasses cookie. “
“My mother was busy calling one relative after the next, convincing them to skip the hotel and stay with us for the wedding. Her hard sell was the enormous number of cots that could fit in the basement. Good god.”
“”Who works out that much? Seriously, his upper body is shaped like a pizza slice.” She pretended not to hear but I pressed on. “So El, did he take off his shirt? And if so, does he have greasy pepperoni nipples?””
“This cow is not for sale so he’s not gonna get any milk. Or something. I mean he already has a cow back home in his barn. Or a girl. Whatever. “
““You think you can waste six more months sitting in your room to write…BOOKS?” She made it sound like a book was a Playboy magazine.”
““Don’t tell me I’m the first person who’s ever used Super Nintendo in a lady-part analogy!””
“”Everybody wants to find love, but nobody wants to get screwed over. Shit’s bound to happen when those two collide.”"
“This was something more. This was the grand gesture I’d been waiting my whole life to make…”
You are amazing. Not only do you manage to crank out 60,000 words but you even found time to write this nice little post. Nice playlist too. I wish Anna Nalick would release some new music.
Thanks for the teasers! I sure hope ‘greasy pepperoni nipples’ doesn’t enter into my dreamscape tonight. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I need my sleep!
Kudos to you and your productive week off from work!
Hope you didn’t have bad dreams about greasy pepperoni nipples, David! It still seems surreal that I wrote that much in six days; it’s been nice to get back to some normalcy, but I want to dive into my editing soon!
You should put the Super Nintendo line in the description when you release the book … I want to read it based on that alone…and having read the first one of course
I will definitely put the SNES quote in the description of the sequel, thanks for the tip Dave!
OMG. Well done you! If you can crank out 10K words in a day, so can I! Gosh darnet.
You can definitely do it, friend; write on!
Very clever preview post, Romi! Then again, I expect nothing less from you!
Congrats on the hair-washing thing!
I washe my hair again this morning….it was fabulous
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