Friday, September 21, 2012

Getting writing fit

In the film business we talk about being "set fit". This is when your body gets used to waking early, then working long hours on a film set where you're expected to work at peak performance for every moment of the day. The body clock adjusts so you can operate at peak for a set number of hours every day.

[Too often in advertising, where we only have a day or two to squash everything in, and where the corporation paying the bills wants us to keep costs down by limiting the number of shooting days, this tends to mean 14-16 hour shoot days].

I'm not 'set fit' because I spend most of my days in an office planning and prepping shoots, or cleaning up afterwards. As a result, after each shoot I usually feel like I've been knocked sideways and need a week of sleep to recover.

I believe that in the same way, we need to be 'writing fit'. We need to build up our tolerance by doing this every day. One long day of nothing but writing after a 2-3 week drought is not going to build up our fitness levels in the same way as regular daily exercise will.

This was brought home to me yesterday when I had a day off work and spent three whole hours writing. Three whole hours is like gold to me, and I should have achieved about 3,000 words. After all, when I last did some regular writing (as opposed to editing as I've been doing lately) I was achieving 1,000 words an hour.

How many words did I manage yesterday? 1,200.

Because I'm out of practice.

Have any of you experienced this? Or do you binge write in available gaps and find it works for you? I'd love to hear how you do it.


  1. Interesting post, Romy. I wish I could be more organised and allocate regular writing levels. I don't even have the excuse of other work now (apart from sometimes helping hubby with his and giving talks/adjudicating) but it's that lack of a definite time-scale that often means doing too much one day and not enough another - of course procrastination plays a huge part!

  2. Romy - I've given you a Sunshine Blogger Award! You can pick it up on my reading and writing blog, if you want to accept it.

  3. So true Romy. I struggle to get going after a break. It seems after editing for a long period of time, you struggle to turn that darn editor off and concentrate on just writing. Great post.