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I am a speedy writer. 

Unfortunately, isn't because I'm talented or have super powers. They might still be coming in though. It's because of these very uninspiring reasons:

a) I have a terrible memory and if I don't write fast enough I forget what I'm talking about and my sentences end with cranberry.
b) I learnt a few sneaky secrets.

Sneaky secrets are fabulous.

Like Gollum, sneaking is is a golden pastime of mine. Yes, I am Slytherin too, if you're curious. I often sneak in shorcuts when I'm writing. WAIT! I know what you're thinking! Shortcuts in writing are really evil, Cait. Well, yes and no.

But I'm going to be super specific here. My post is about first drafts. Not editing. Not rewriting. First ugly drafts.

SO! Let us begin! I will shed light on my secret with my sneaky ways. And therefore, unfortunately, show you peoples that I do not have superpowers. Although you can think I do if you want.

1. You need the whole day to yourself. 

If you have 2 million activities planned for the day, writing 10K ain't gonna happen, my friend. You need a day completely for yourself. (And I don't mean don't talk to people....I mean don't plan a huge activity that involves hours away from writing.) Also: don't worry! You're not going to write for 12 hours straight. Ha, ha, ha! Can you see me doing that? Heck, no. I have the attention span of a small goldfish.

2. Decided on mini-goals. 

I love ticking things off a list. I like to complete things. Saying, "I'm going to write until I can't type another dot" is way too hard. Half the time I feel like that after 100 words. SO. I need small goals.

If I'm aiming for a 10,000-word day, then I mentally map my day. I need to write 3.3K in the morning (for me that's like two chapters). After lunch is another 3.3K. Then after dinner is another 3.4K. Once you complete your goal, you have a mini party! And that's were rewards come in...

3. You need rewards. 

I don't just mean food either! Food is awesome, but if you eat a piece of cake for every 1,000-words you write? Well, it can a) get expensive, and b) your pants might not fit. Lucky for us, there are all sorts of ways to reward yourself.

Some ways I like to reward myself are: 

- Pinterest: very useful. A 5 minute browse does wonders for the inspiration, especially if I search for stuff that relates to my project.
- Go for a walk: Stretches them ol' bones, if you know what I mean. Sitting can be boring. A 30 minute walk does wonders for refilling the creative tank.
- Eat: Well, duh. I'm not an advocate of "a chapter before breakfast", but it IS a fabulous motivator to say "no-lunch-until-you've-got-two-chapters".
- Drink: After you write a chapter, you get a hot chocolate or a tea or swig from the fountain of youth.
- Watch Youtube/TV: All you need to keep in mind is the time. Spend 20minutes. Not 5 hours.

Things I do NOT do in breaks:

- Read: it makes me feel like my own writing is horrible beyond belief (which it is, but I don't need to be reminded right now).
- Play computer games: Anything that's hard to stop, because believe me, you sometimes it's hard to go back and write.
- Blogging/emailing: I'm not saying isolate yourself! I'm saying "guard thine fingers". They'll get tired.

4. Don't think. Just write. 

(Remember: we're talking about 1st drafts!) First drafts don't need huge amounts of thought. (Some is nice, of course, but yeah, don't sprain a brain cell.) I write WILD and I write MESSY. No thinking. Just spew words onto the page and you can fix them up later. If you're fussing over every sentence, you won't be able to write enough.

THIS IS THE KEY RIGHT HERE, OKAY?! Write messy. Throw words around. Just. write.

Technically I can write 100 words a minute. (Go typing tests!) Which means I should knock over 1,000-words in 10 minutes, right?!!


Don't worry. I don't. But I'd like to think I could knock over 2,000-words in 1.5 hours.

5. Enlist humans to keep you accountable/encouraged. 

You can do this so many ways. Like:

a) tell your writing buddy you're doing 10K in a day and keep them updated
b) update twitter. Remember that funny sentence you wrote? Keep it handy and paste on twitter/facebook in your break.
c) are you in a writer group? Update them! (Possibly even recruit them to do a 10K with you.)

The key is telling someone. It makes you feel like you've accomplished something! And bonus if they can give a few words of encouragement too.

(And I know I said "avoid humans" for #1, but this is different. #1 means don't go scuba diving on the same day you plan to write 10K. Duh.)


So how often have you written 10,000-words in a day, Cait?

Well, firstly, I'm so glad you asked. I have done it several times. In my perfect writing world, I would like to average 5,000-words a day. Hey. I said perfect. When I wrote Them Hungry Bones I averaged at 7K. And then, another day, did my BEST WORD COUNT EVER at 13K! But, gosh, was I exhausted after that one.

But, when I was rewriting another of my WIPs, I averaged 2K a day. It's completely different when you're first-drafting to when you're rewriting/editingSo say I. But when am I wrong? Ha...don't answer that.

I have churned out 10K days several times. Pros and cons? It's obviously exhausting, but it really gets you through a manuscript.

And if you're still looking at me blankly thinking, "there is no way I'll ever be able to do this," then give yourself the ulimate motivation: dare yourself.

You were saying, Gollum?

so, have you ever written 10,000 words in one day?! tell me about it?! exhausted or elated or both? just think: if you write 10K every day for 5 days you'd win NaNo! okay, okay, ignore me then. if you haven't, do you plan to try? is my list helpful or maddeningly frustrating?

Cait would like to confess she's been averaging only 2K a day during her round of sci-fi rewrites. It's hard. Her brain hurts. She thinks she belongs in fantasy and away from sci-fi techno terms....but what's life without a challenge, right? In other news, she just finished SPARK and has a delicious surprise coming with her review. It will be glorious. You will be surprised. 

I have a confession: I rarely finish series.

Although I believe I have confessed this I'm just airing my dirty secrets repeatedly. I have what I call the Squirrel Syndrome. I see a book, I read it, I forget about it being in a series, I see a new book...etc. There are SO many books out there to read! HOW DO I FIT THEM ALL IN?

Cloning is a possible option.

But I do like the thought of series (if not the commitment), and I have good intentions to finish them...or start them. One day. Maybe? Ha ha. Probably not.

This week's prompt is: Top 10 New Series I Want To Start

1. Curse Workers by Holly Black

I'm going to specific and say these covers. Aren't they gorgeous? I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE SERIES IS ABOUT! I assume it's about freaky supernatural things because a) have you seen the covers? and b) it's by Holly Black.

I love Holly Black.

She's a genius of all things creepy and unique. I loved The Coldest Girl In Coldtown so much.*

* I also really love Spiderwick, but because I'm, like, a hundred years too old for that series, I have to keep it as my small secret. I really, really love children's books.

2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Despite the last cover reminding me a delicious biscuit, I like the sound of this series. Did someone say "frightening abilities they can't control"?

Professor X understands. Let's groove with these mutants.*

* I actually only assume they're mutants by the use of "frightening abilities". I haven't read the books yet, so I could be wrong. Duh.

3. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

I LOVE CASSANDRA CLARE, TOO. I'm nearly finished The Mortal Instruments series* and therefore need to move onto this one. Lots of people have told me it's even better. I'm 98.3% confident I will enjoy the socks off it.

Also I'm having serious cover-love palpitations here.

* A phrase here which means "Omg, I have just realised how freaking big book #6 is and I may pass out".

4. The Lotus War by Jay Kristoff

If my dragon doesn't come through as a yard-friendly household pet, I also want a griffin. Apart from that I have no idea what these books are about except they're Japanese! Let me cheer! I like when books venture outside of America/Australia/Britain.

I am struggling with the author's name though.
Basically everything relates back to Frozen these days.

5. Dante Walker by Victoria Scott

I've heard it's insanely witty. Plus the blurb starts "Dante Walker knows is flippin' awesome, and he knows it." I feel kinship to him already.* Obviously he has wardrobe issues as he only owns one shirt in the first two books and loses it completely in the third.

* Since I, too, am flippin' awesome.

6. Dust Lands by Moira Young

I keep borrowing book #1 from the library and it just sinks to the bottom of my TBR...and ends up going back unread. It is a huge shame. I need to finish it! Or, well, start it!

I know it's a letter different...but the author's name makes me think of The Mines of Moria every. single. time.

7. The Iron Fey by Julie Kawaga

They're pretty. (Okay! I promise I'll stop making that my first reason of why I want to read a book!) Also, faeries are delightfully horrible little creatures and I enjoy reading them. Maggie Stiefvater's versions are my favourite, but I need to expand my horizons at some point.

And the covers are really pretty.

8. Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente

But seriously? The series is all "The Girl Who..." and then a boy comes along and totally loses the plot. Pfft. Boys.

I've been recommended this a lot, plus I own the first book! Why have I not started it yet?! What is wrong with me?

9. BZRK by Michael Grant 

It's the only series of his I haven't read yet! Considering I blather* about how much I adore Gone and hugged Messenger Of Fear (to name a few) I should really just read this. 

I have the first book on audio from the library, so possibly when I've finished listening to Disruption** I will read BZRK!

* But you love it. You love my recommendations. You love the way I tell you to read books that will rip out your heart and stomp on it. That's why we're friends.
** While we're on topic, Disruption is amazing. I didn't think I'd like it...but then I did.

10. The Wicked Years by Gregory Macguire

My sisters are in a plot to make me read this. One sister bought book #1 for me, and the other insists on belting the Wicked musical songs ALL over the house. I GET IT, GUYS, I GET IT. I will (and do really want to) read it...I just...

I don't know. Why haven't I read it yet?

I obviously need a clone.

so, my funky friends, i will take your recommendations now. any of these I should really really reeeeeally bump up the TBR and devour fast? did I list any of your favourites? and how about you: series finisher or series abandoner? and, yes, i want to read all of this basically based off cover alone. but that's normal, right?

Cait is still rewriting her book. Ha! Actually she's writing this post to procrastinate writing her book because writing is hard. It took her 2 hours to write 2,000-words, which is unokay. SHE IS UNOKAY! SHE NEEDS A BREAK. Her mind is breaking. So she's given herself a moment to read more of THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN which is a sad and miserable book where everyone dies.