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.