Last time I explained the 4 specific factors that keep me writing like a loser and now I’m going to try and correct some of those problems, starting with my inability to write a lot of words.
Most writers would agree that in order to revise a bad piece of writing into something good, you really need a whole lot of writing to begin with. For a multitude of reasons, I just can’t seem to sit down and churn out words. I get so caught up in writing one good sentence at a time that I over-think everything, get frustrated and just stop before I get started.
Today I’m going to introduce you to a new exercise I’ve devised that will force me to write so many words at once that you’d think my life depends on it… and that’s because it will!
Here’s a nifty little writing task I call:
Holding Your Breath and Writing to the Death
Step 1 – Hold your breath and write continuously until you can’t hold it anymore. Time yourself and record how long you held your breath and how many words you were able to write.
Okay, I’m timing this one out on my new iphone 6 plus, that’s right, I’ve got one of those phones now, isn’t it amazing that a guy like me with no job or prospects is walking around with the most prestigious phone in the world, and I hate phones so that makes it even crazier, it’s the first time i’ve had a phone in years and
57 second – 66 words
– that’s some pretty basic freewriting there and it went pretty easily. Sure I didn’t end up with any good writing and that’s definitely not something I should feel the need to share with anyone, but this is just an exercise, so I can relax!
Step 2 – Based on your time, write again while holding your breath but this time you have to write at least 10 more words before you let go.
HOw long is someone really able to safely hold their breath for? actually I just wrote really slowly there and now I’m getting nervous about the time only 28 words now 30 but I’m going slow and I just deleted a word erased the word erased I deleted and I’m typing really slow and its’ 48 second s should I write out 48 as a word oh no I did it again and now I’m at
67 seconds – 76 words
– now that was a bit tougher as I really started to panic there. Holding your breath is one thing but trying to type at the same time is another, and then thinking on top of that… wheee-doggy!
Step 3 – Are you ready to push it one step further? C’mon, you can do it! Keep holding your breath and write another 10 more words this time!
Okayn ice and slow I’m going to relax and just try to write really short words like ant or and and something else, wait, I was topping to thinking too much there and not writing, now I’m back at it against, moving quickly, my stomach or is it chest is kind of squeezing me, 48 seconds I’m mean forty eight seconds and only not that many words, stopped there to look at the words oh gee, stuck at the 70s starting to get really not good here
88 seconds – 87 words
– Gotta admit, I was starting to get a bit dizzy by the time I got to those last few words. Maybe doing all of these in a row isn’t a good thing? But look at that word count! I’m stretching out those muscles like a dude in the gym or something. Time to switch it up a bit, can you keep up?!
Step 4 – Maintaining the previous time, next try to write at least the same amount of words before stopping but now write about an actual topic. Here’s a classic theme, write a fairy tale, I’ll start it for you: Once upon a time…
… there was a princess who lived on an island across an ocean of dinosaur corpses and the only way to get to her was by flying in a super helicopter that ate pickles for fuel and had giant rocks underneath it so big that it would crash constantly, then one prince tries to get to the idalnd and has to fight off a force of demonic centipedes with only his machete iron gun and a team of miniature cranes for punching the steam up out of his face and into the cave.
100 seconds – 92 words
– I couldn’t stop when I got to around 88 seconds because I didn’t have enough words, and then my head felt like it was going to explode! And I don’t know what I was writing there in the end, even though it seems to make sense in a strange way. Most importantly, look at how that word count keeps going up! I gotta think the key is staying calm and writing faster, but that’s easier said than done, for sure!
Step 5 – Hold your breath again and continue your story. This time try to get in 10 more words than before. You can do it, don’t be a baby!
He got to he princesses bald and when he got there is he was chocked to see that she was actually a robot and he came from a line line of robot hunters, people who hated robots after the way they destroyed the first earth and swore to kill them all for their crimes so there was no way he could bring home that robot brider but she was so beatuiulf, despite her metallic ass and face like a shovel, it was a beautiful combination somehow and he knew it was going to be worth it to try and save her despite
99 seconds – 102 words
– not bad, definitely some spelling mistakes and typos along the way but I was calm and was slightly more coherent that time. It’s like I’m reaching a word-crafting zen plateau.
Step 6 – Okay, last try. You’ve built up the word count, you’ve held your breath, you’ve almost passed out numerous times, and now… do it in the dark! This time, hold your breath, close your eyes and finish that damn story! Push it as far as you can and see what happens! Don’t stop until you feel like you’re physically and mentally empty. Go!
So he made a suit for her out of cow guts and tries to mold it so that it looked ike the face of a model on the fashion magazines of his hometown and then he put it on her and she kind of passed as presentable and his parents would know for sure that she wasn’t a robot but he needed to find out if she really loved him, and so he finally asked her as they were crossing the threshold into his castle on his helicopter and she spoke for the first time and just said destroy and then the army of undead robots burrowed out of the ground and started to kill everyone in his kingond, but that’s okay because they were all nazis anyways.
115 seconds – 128 words
– did I really hold my breath for almost 2 minutes there? And wow, look at that output! If I were to drill an exercise like this everyday, there’s no way I’d write like a loser anymore!
And you can NOT write like a loser too! Join in on the fun and show me your results in the comments section below!