The furious five hundred

Once again I have over-obligated myself and have ended up teaching fourĀ  nights a week–this in addition to my day job. My need to please is another topic for another time, but now I’d like to say how much I’m getting done on novel despite my busy schedule. I’m using the furious five hundred technique.

James Scott Bell recommends this method. The writer obligates himself to write only 500 words for that day. Nailing 500 words in one quick swoop is doable on a busy schedule. As Bell says it: “I have found that I can do 500 words in one, furious stint before my brain yells, like a disgruntled Teamster, for a break. So I stop, even if I’m going good. I get up, walk around, take deep breaths. This break may last only a minute or two, but it definitely recharges my battery. Then I’m set for another 500.”

Every morning at the coffee shop this week, I pounded out 500 words on my novel. Now of course it’s sludge, but I’m creating something that I can come back to and fix up. Getting it down in rough draft form is the first step and if I feel I have to write 3000 words that day, I may feel overwhelmed; however, if I trick myself into writing only 500 words and nothing more, I’ve made progress. If I happen to have time to write another 500, then great. Another 500, even better, and so on.

Here is the article where Bell talks about the Furious 500.