Day 22: Flying Blind

Today’s Word Count Goal: 43,565

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 37,025

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

 

When birds fly forward, they are not at all looking in the same direction they’re moving. Instead, they watch the passing scenery, like a passenger in a car. Birds fly blind.

From now on when I’m writing first drafts in a word processing program, I will set the screen view at 50% or less. I’ve been doing it all month, and I love it as a new technique for writing with abandon. Flying blind.

The idea first came to me in conversation with the my friend and colleague, the astute and talented Ken Stram, author of the brilliant blog, Ken and the Art of Entrepreneurship.

Honing his own writing skills, Ken confessed to me that he had resorted to taping a piece of paper over his laptop screen to keep himself from reading back and self-editing while he journaled or drafted new work.

I thought it a brilliant idea but too fussy for this month’s gonzo, laptop-on-the-street, pigeon-stalking writing adventures. But shrinking the view to an unreadable size? A cinch.

Try it. You’ll have more typos than usual, of course, but you can fix those later. The point is, I can just write, write write without reading back, without judging, without editing, without even putting on my reading glasses. I can keep moving forward.

And like a bird, it’s really okay, that I’m not looking at what I’m doing. In fact, like a bird, I may gather more interesting, imaginative, and scenic information by looking elsewhere.

Watch my next few blog posts for shots of other childrens books about pigeons. I’m doing my market research!

 

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.

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    • Kat
    • November 22nd, 2010

    Cool idea! Congrats on all your words!

    • Eric
    • November 22nd, 2010

    Interesting idea. I guess it all depends on your writing style, personally I like to be able to check up a paragraph or two, but honestly when the words are flowing I don’t need anything to keep my eyes away from what I’ve written. I guess I have it easier though, since I use a desk top pc for most of my writing, I can just put the keyboard on my lap and look out the window. πŸ™‚

    Maybe I’m still flying like a bird, though, since your statement about birds flying does certainly apply to pigeons, other birds have forward placed eyes (think birds of prey) and are looking straight ahead while they fly. πŸ™‚

  1. Oh. I didn’t know that about birds of prey. Nasty, mean, pigeon-eating, forward-facing things!

    Anyway, keyboard on lap looking out window is EXACTLY what I’m talking about!

    I am dancing as fast as I can over here, rounding third with 43k words. I’d really love to be done now. I’m going to try to whip myself into one last writing frenzy this afternoon during my Meet/Tweet session.

    How’s it going in Bloggopotamus land?

    • Melinda
    • February 16th, 2011

    I love this idea! Wow, I never would have thought of that, but now I cannot wait to try it! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • Melinda, thanks for visiting my blog! I can’t wait to read what you write with this idea in mind.

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