Dr. Nicole Basaraba

Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities, TCD

Nicole Basaraba


High speed or choo choo trains? Row80 check in

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I wrote 7,000 words this week. Now before you get crazy and think either A) she’s lying B) how did she do that, I will tell you that its because I did a personal lock-down and cranked out a lot of words in one sitting. I didn’t even write on Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. I did most of my writing on Tuesday and Saturday. This is probably not the best strategy, but it did give me a nice number at the end of the week.

Did some writing sprints this week

I’m still trying to make the end goal of 50,000 words. I’m sitting around 40,000 now so I still have a ways to go in the next week and a half. Hopefully, I can be more consistent this week with say writing a couple hundred words everyday instead of going on writing binges because slow and steady wins the race right???

Choo choo

I think writing 2,000 words in one night and then taking 3 off feels better in one way because for me its easier to keep going once I’m on it. But getting on the same train every night to roll ahead a few stops isn’t so fun. I’ve also found that my writing is better if I can say that, when I go along full steam ahead. More creative writing comes out and I think the story is starting to flow better. And as you can see I get more accomplished. This is where I ask, I know its good to write every day, and I can say even those days that I didn’t work on my WIP, I wrote blog posts. (See my funย Writer Lingo blog postย and feel free to add to it). So I’m still practicing and keep my writing muscles working, but I get on a different train every night. I’ve been told by many people that I do things too fast and I know its true. I work too fast, I clean too fast, I dress fast, cook fast. Slowing down and taking an extra moment is a harder task than it should be. I wonder if its ok to be a “sprinting” writer?

Ok, I’ll stop with the metaphors now and ask how everyone else is doing? Any new self-revelations happening as we are coming to our final destination? Ok, that’s the last one I promise.

P.S. If anyone wants to have a Twitter party because we will ROCK THE ROW, visit Jenny Hansen’s blog and take the poll (but only if you’re answer is yes). ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time,

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42 thoughts on “High speed or choo choo trains? Row80 check in

  1. Even though you may not have written consistently, 7,000 is still an awesome number of words for the week *says she who pretty much hasn’t opened her novel document in the last month O_o* I wrote heaps in the holidays, but since uni started I just haven’t had a chance. I feel sort of guilty about it, but when time is as precious, there’s only so much we can do, I guess.
    Good luck on cranking out those last 10,000 words ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      I really do feel like a slacker for skipping so many days on writing, but I also don’t want to let this project take over. So pumping out the words is working for the moment. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think I would even consider trying to write extras while in uni. That alone is like have 2-3 jobs.

  2. Impressed, very impressed! I think it’s perfectly fine to be a sprinter, especially as you have realized that the blogging (some use morning pages or 750 words) keeps you on track, to use your metaphor. Whatever works for you.

    My speed betrays my medievalist roots–I’m the long and dusty road (trains, what are those?), just me and my mule. But that’s okay–my up-side is that editing is a breeze, because every word has been weighed ten times before it’s put on the page (oh, yeah, screen!).

    1. I like how you look on the bright side. I hope that once I get more practice, I can write such a great first draft that the editing becomes a breeze. For me the first draft isn’t even half the battle.

  3. Nicole, there is nothing wrong with being a sprint writer! (says the sprint writer ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    7,000 words or 28 pages is a FINE accomplishment to be celebrated – if I count my blog posts I got a little more than half that. If we just go with WIP, I got about 5 pages SO BE PROUD, my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the linky love…I’ll let you know what the vote is when it’s done, or you can just click on the link at the bottom yourself.

    1. Hmm, when you mention the page numbers it sounds better. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although, my plot isn’t where it should be at this stage…I should be at least 3-5 chapters ahead. I taking too long pit stops.

      Please do update me on the vote. Thank ya.

  4. This is what we call “writing hot”–not a bad thing, just remember to breathe! I’ve been known to crank out 10k during a weekend without meaning to.Then I look up on Sunday night, blink, and wonder where the time went. Pacing yourself gives you more life/work/writing balance, but the occasional sprint never hurt anyone. Good luck this week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love it when I can produce several thousand words in one sitting, but I try not to get too involved in my speed or output. Joy in the process is what works for me!

    1. The best part was that I didn’t feel like I was writing fast. The scenes were flowing and now that I’ve taken another long break, it might be hard to pick it back up again.

  6. Hi Nicole,
    Fellow campaigner here! I applaud your work. I am the type that won’t write anything down for weeks then get on a writing kick and loose myself in my writing. Everyone says “pacing yourself is better” but if you can get the work done -I believe by any means necasary is the way to go.

  7. Glad to see that I’m not the only sprinter in the bunch! I’ve been trying to train myself to write every day, but I prefer days when I can really dig into a scene and write in long bursts.

    Have a great week, Nicole!

  8. I love doing timed writing spurts. Frankly, I do so much better with those. Do them! What works for you is how you reach your goals. We are all so different. I wish I was disciplined enough to write everyday. Blogging, I don’t consider- that’s having fun, but that’s just me. You are going great – keep it up. My train still has a little gas left.

    1. I don’t know how I would do if I set a timer to ring, but I do like the sound of time pressure. I also don’t count blogging towards my writing goals. But if I did, I would probably feel better about my word counts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Great job, Nicole! Sprinting is a great way to get it done. Maybe you’ll sprint some days and plod along others, that’s okay. Sprinters can’t run the race everyday, they need rest in between.

  10. I reckon if sprinting works for you than sprint you should! Some days I like doing little bits as my attention etc are not in it for the long haul but once you start on something it is nice to be able to dive right in to it. Hope you have a great week and love the new banner!

  11. That is a very good word count. I used to do those during NaNoWriMo. I need to be doing them now. And I think that is what I need to do to reach my goal by the end of this month. I agree that the story flows better with the longer writing times. I get frustrated when I can only sit with my WIP for an hour or two and get a few hundred words. It’s nice to sit with it and let it come. Then it’s easier to stick with it. Either way, which ever works for you. Keep up the good work!

    1. I get frustrated too because if I write less than a page or even two pages a day it feels like I’ve been writing/working FOREVER but nothing comes out. If I take a 3-day break and then write 20 pages, feels much better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Hey there. Sometimes I feel like I’m not even on rails, with my writing – I’m a pedestrian or hiker, plodding from place to place, or maybe I have a car, and can go a long way in a short time, but have to figure out which road will take me where I need to go!

  13. I’m with you… sometimes I need several hours of writing, crank out the words, and then take days off to regroup. I can’t force a groove, but I can go with one. This was my first ROW 80, and I’ve learned so much about myself and how I write best. I started with a 750-word-a-day goal, but I found I’d have a 1500 word day and then nada. So then I tried a set time goal. Still didn’t work. I sat staring at the page for an hour, but I don’t know if it was well-used writing time. I can’t wait for Round 4, to implement the stuff I’ve learned from all of you in Round 3 (and for more support).

    Yeah for the Twitter party round-up. I’m heading over to vote now.

  14. What matters is finding a system that works well for you, which it seems you have. I bet those days off from writing fueled your literary fire some, no?? ๐Ÿ™‚ I find that I’m most productive early in the day, so I write up a storm early on and try to stop novel and article work by evening, when my brain turns to mush and I’m capable of little more than a few Tweets and blog perusals – ha.

    Stay well and best of luck! I look forward to reading your “Hit My Goal!” post soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. First: LOVE your name. Is it real or a pseudonym? And the days off definitely put guilty gas on the fire and then I was blazing through the pages when i did get down to it. I also work well in the morning. And in the evenings I surf the blogs and tweet.

      I better Hit My Goal because I took yet again another night off….hopefully the fires coming tomorrow.

  15. Your post so spoke to me, I included a link to it in my own check-in this month. Thanks for “reading my mind” and glad to be campaigning with you, too!

  16. I like being able to write everyday and some week I manage 1000- 2000 words per day- then life changes, job stuff, or family stuff, or I get sick, or or or… Some day I hope writing will be my only job and then I imagine a perfect routine of daily writing- hey it;s rude to laugh that loud!

  17. Excellent word count! Awesome that you figured out what works for you. (at least for now) at least that’s how it is for me. Sometimes what works for me one week does NOT work the next.
    You’re rocking along.
    Choo choo!

    1. You’re right Elena! ROW80 gave me the opportunity to not only set goals for myself but by blogging about it, I’ve learned some things about myself and what works for me. Hope to see you in Round 4 too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to attempt NaNoWriMo and I also don’t want to start something new before I finish WIP #1. So kudos to you. And thanks so much for the award. I will put it on my sidebar. ๐Ÿ™‚

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