Hello lovelies and welcome back to the blog.
Are you a binge writer? There are a lot of bad connotations associated with binging anything. Perhaps you binge watch shows or you binge eat when you’re stressed. Did you know you could also binge write?
The hallmarks of a binge writer are people who get a lot of writing done in a small amount of time. If you write between school sessions, on NaNoWriMo, or participate in 10K days, you might be a binge drafter. Binge drafters generally work hard in short bursts.
So let’s get into the pros and cons, and let’s start with the cons and get them out of the way.
- You may not remember what you were working on when you come back to your project after a long hiatus.
Maybe the hardest thing about being a binge writer is going far stretches between working on your project. That scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf has no memory of that place? Yeah, that could be you if you have a long enough hiatus from your work.
- Starting again is often harder than starting the first time, and if you were already struggling with the draft, this may mean disaster.
Many studies have been done on productivity and specifically about how hard it is to start versus how hard it is to start something again. I’ve talked about this phenomenon on the blog before. To sum it up, starting a task or a habit over again is harder because you are already starting with at least one failure under your belt, and the idea that you couldn’t hack it before becomes a powerful thought in the back of your mind that you may not be able to hack it this time either. Once momentum has been lost, it is always harder to start again.
- Your writing level and ability may have changed.
If you binge write everything, you may experience a disconnect between the writer you were when you first started and the writer you are now when you come back. This change in ability level may not be the end of the world, but it will become necessary to rewrite anything that you have already written in order to tell the best story and keep it consistent.
- You know you can get a lot of work done in a pinch.
If you’re already used to getting a lot of work done in a short amount of time, then you know that even with a tight deadline you can have confidence that you will still get it done.
- For some people, writing a draft is the hard part.
Binge writing the draft may actually help you write it faster then if you were to try a steady pace. This less you virtually skip the parts of the process you don’t like, and cram it all into a very small amount of time, so you can still get the work done.
- Some work is always going to be better than no work at all.
If you work a full-time job, are a teacher or student, or have a crazy schedule, binge drafting can help you get words on the page when you otherwise may not be able to at all. This is an absolutely valid way to work.
Tips for Binge Writing Successfully:
- Be absolutely realistic with your schedule.
In order to make binge drafting a sustainable practice, you need to be clear on your schedule and how much time you realistically have to devote to it. This is not the time to be optimistic or pessimistic. If you only have summers or weekends, that’s fine, but make sure that you are not also scheduling family time, birthday parties, or other activities alongside your writing time.
The bottom line is, if you think you won’t do it, if there’s even a chance, you should not be including that time in your scheduling for drafting. Chances are that you won’t write on Thanksgiving Day when you know you will get distracted by or sucked into the festivities.
- Plan ahead of time in order to maximize the time that you have.
To set yourself up for total success, one of the best things you can do is to plan as much as possible and as far as possible ahead of time.
A writer I know of writes her entire novel in the last 4 days of NaNoWriMo. But I doubt that she has done nothing to prepare for taking on this task before writing her first words. It is very likely that she’s already cleaned her office, done any school work, and set up any social media posts before she goes to write.
This way she can tell anyone who’s living with her, and mark out those four days on her calendar and not be distracted by any other life things that need to get done.
- Keep everything you need for that project in the same place.
The last thing you are going to want when you start writing your project is to be missing something critical that you need. Do yourself a favor and keep all your files in the same place.
If you have documents spread across post-it notes, notebooks, and digital files, I highly suggest keeping digital copies of anything handwritten in the same place that you are keeping your document. Scan these sheets or take high quality pictures of them. If you have a lot of sticky notes, you can easily digitize them and make boards and collections with them by adding them to your post-it note app on your phone. Or consider a Rocketbook or similar notebook if you like handwriting in a notebook.
Do you participate in 10K challenges or NaNoWriMo? Have you binge drafted in the past? Do you binge draft now, and how does that work for you? Let us all know in the comments below!