Author Patrick Alan recently introduced me to the quickie.
No, no – there’s no need to warn Pythagoras or tattle to Patrick’s wife.
I’m talking about a writing quickie, otherwise known as 1k1hr. You can read about it here on Patrick’s blog, or if you’re on Twitter, you can skim tweets under the hashtag #1k1hr.
Here’s the basic idea as Patrick spells it out:
The object is simple. Sit down and write until you have one thousand words and one hour has passed. You have to accomplish both. The challenge isn’t to write 1,000 words in an hour. It’s to write for at least an hour and at least 1,000 words.
I learned of it a few weeks ago on Twitter when Patrick tweeted that he was about to start and invited others to join. Several of us did, and the result was a fast flurry of words, tweets of encouragement, and probably a few glasses of wine.
I’ve tried it at least half-a-dozen more times since then, often with different writers who play along and help motivate each other. I can spend most of an afternoon slowly plodding along in my manuscript, but my 1k1hr time is when I really feel my engine rev.
Here’s what I love about it:
Like any quickie, it’s fast & furious and still rewarding. You get the satisfaction of seeing your word count climb without committing a huge block of time to the endeavor.
It forces you to switch off the internal editor. Instead of nitpicking your word choices and tweaking sentences as you go, it allows you to throw words on the page without obsessing. Yes, you’ll probably have some cleanup work to do later, but you’ll also have more words than when you started.
It provides the motivation of a challenge. You can do it by yourself (snicker) and make it a personal challenge, or you can do it with other authors (double snicker) and push each other. It’s important to remember you aren’t racing each other or even the clock. The goal is to get words on the page, and to use a specific time frame and word count goal to stay focused.
It works for writers at all levels. It doesn’t matter if you’re a multi-published author or someone working on your first manuscript. It doesn’t matter if you’re a slower writer or a speedier one. You can pat yourself on the back whether it takes you two hours to hit 1,000 words or if you do double that in the one-hour time frame.
Want to play? You can watch for a #1k1hr challenge on Twitter, or issue your own. If you’re not on Twitter, you can still set a stopwatch by yourself or prearrange a time to write with several others.
Any questions? Want to play? Are you already doing some variation of this on your own? I’m eager to hear your thoughts!
And feel free to join me sometime for a quickie.