On Pacing | What You Can Do To Pace Yourself And Find Your Life – And Writing – Rhythm
Definition of “pacing“
(see The Free Dictionaty)
v. paced, pac·ing, pac·es
- To walk or stride back and forth across: paced the floor nervously.
- To measure by counting the number of steps needed to cover a distance.
- To set or regulate the rate of speed for.
- To advance or develop (something) at a particular rate or tempo: a thriller that was paced at a breathtaking speed.
- To train (a horse) in a particular gait, especially the pace.
- To walk with long deliberate steps.
- To go at the pace. Used of a horse or rider.
- In fact, walking or striding back and forth across the floor releases nervous energy, brings stress relief and helps with sorting one’s mind out. You can accelerate this process by focussing in on walking and deliberately slowing down your steps the more you relax. Allow 5 to 10 minutes.
- Writing: your daily and total word count towards The End of your first draft. — Life: what you have achieved. What, you are depressed because you haven’t saved the world today? In that case, allow youself to scrap your ancient definition of achievement. You may be surprised to find out how “saving the world” really works: One small bit, one second at a time… How many times, today, ♥ have you smiled at yourself – at someone you knew – at a stranger? ♥ have you sent a feeling of peace and kindeness towards those around you or into the ether? ♥ have you looked out for the beauty of a leaf, a pebble, a cloud, the person in front of you, your nasty colleague or neighbour, yourself? ♥ have you enjoyed what you were doing?
- Regulate the speed of your life (which may or may not include writing) according to your energies – don’t skimp, don’t waste, use your energies consciously (for a new perspective you might like to read”#NaNoWriMo 2011 (#disability #spoonie #mentalhealth) – #amwriting” – and the true story hiding behind the Spoonie link there).
- During (but not limited to) the first draft, ignore your author’s ego. Go with the flow of your writing instead, open up for inspiration. Description, dialogue, sentence length and construction, expressions which slow down or speed up the heart rate of your reader – forget about them, at this stage. Tweaking pacing is one of the most fun parts of revision (!) — For non-authors: Right now, which project or life area is in first-draft mode? How is your egoic, imperfect but perfectionist Me-Self interfering with realising your dreams?
- 2. and 3. make great habits 😉
To pace oneself
- By taking life in long, deliberate and confident strides.
- By doing it – act upon your dreams 🙂
Special NaNoWriMo pacing tips:
Last year I knew before I even signed up that during the last week of November I might not have any writing time. To me, NaNoWriMo lasted only 25 days, so I calculated 50k : 25 days = 2,000 words per day. As it turned out, I had more time than I thought – and Newbie-Me desperately needed it, for
- converting my handwritten manuscript into bits and bytes using a Lore Ipsum text generator)
- validating my novel by entering the whole text into the NaNoWriMo validator (Should you think that this is one simple copy-paste operation, think again. There’s a reason why you’ve got 5 days to do so: site capacity overload, and the validator prefers small servings.
- writing two more paragraphs, and another one, to get to the 50k – the NaNoWriMo validator is known for it’s greediness = lower wordcount than what you think you’ve got. I suppose aiming at a total of 51k or 52k will do.
More pacing tips in bullet format (more details in later posts):
- types of breaks – and how to integrate them
- time & sanity savers
- why and how to limit your time
- using opportunities – living and writing in the Flow
- getting the best out of distractions
My word count Day 1: 868 (618 blog post + 1 page – I write by hand and will correct the estimated page word count once I’ve counted them)
Enjoy the Flow – and may you find what you are looking for 🙂