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It’s all about getting your butt in the chair, whichever way you cajole, trick, threaten, or bribe your way in, right? The first week and a half of the 1,000-minute goal is overall going well. Here’s what I’m learning so far:

  1. Time adds up. Whether it’s a 40-minute blast or four 10-minute nibbles throughout the evening broken up with dinner, Internet browsing, and writing bridal shower thank-you notes, I’m spending the same time writing. Mostly, it even seems I get about the same amount of writing done no matter how I split, which is key.
  2. Concentrating my efforts is good. So far this month, I’ve spent just over 5 1/2 hours writing, almost all of it focused on one story. I’ve been through the draft twice and there’s barely a paragraph I haven’t changed at least once. The result? When Andrew read the new version, his response was “I finally understand what’s going on with these characters!”
  3. Boredom is a tool. It’s easy to claim lack of inspiration as an excuse not to write. The truth is, every single time I’ve scrolled to a part of the story I disliked, put my hands in my lap, and waited, it was a matter of about 5 minutes before I thought of something I could do to make it better. Your brain wants to be entertained. I bet you a pile of dollars that if you set a timer for just about anything above 10-15 minutes, resolutely ignore the Internet, and stare at the blank page, your brain will have something to put there before the end of that time.

I will confess I’m slightly behind on my minutes goal at the moment, but what I’ve learned from NaNo is that there’s a point near the middle of large goals where the novelty wears off and a bit of sliding happens. The key is not taking a slide as a failure. There are plenty of opportunities to catch up, and given how productive this challenge has been so far, I’m determined to keep at this.

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