I recently played a game with a writer friend of mine, Heather Sedlak. Well, I’ll be honest. It was not so much a game as it was a race. The first one of us to reach 500 words won. First time around, I was confident I would win. On a good day, I can write 500 words in twenty minutes without feeling rushed. I always thought that was quite good.

Alas for my confidence, Heather beat me. It was only by eighty words or so,  but beat me she did. Round two, I told myself I’d concentrate more, write faster, do better. And I did. I wrote at a better pace than I had before.

Heather smoked me.

I had 323 words when she called it. I went from impressed to stunned. I couldn’t, however, simply give in to her awesomeness and bow to her winning streak. She’d riled up all the competitiveness in me. I had to beat her at least once in our “best two out of three.”

I wrote like a mad-woman, ignoring typos and spelling errors. I got so into the writing that I missed hitting the 500 mark and got twenty-four words over before I called it. Heather was only forty short (so sixty short when I hit 500?). I barely beat her, but I did it. I got my one out of three.

The best part wasn’t even defeating her in the final race (as sweet as it was). The very best thing was that I got a little over 1,500 word in just over an hour of writing (I was good and finished out my 500’s before starting into the next race), and all the while, I was having a blast.  Since I was conscious of the fact that Heather was writing the whole time I was, I didn’t feel alone even though I was all by myself, hunched over the keyboard.

Having this contest motivated me, upped my productivity, and helped me avoid the aspects of solitude that aren’t actually helpful or healthy for a writer.

I’m also proud to say that I only had three typos in that madly-dashed writing. They were pretty egregious, but they were few.

Next time I’m going to win all three races or blister my fingers trying! Wish me luck!

I’d also like to hear about other fun ways to compete or cooperate in getting the words down like Heather and I did tonight. Dying to hear from you!


~ by lamichaud on July 10, 2012.

2 Responses to “Ac{count}ability”

  1. I always do #1k1hr on twitter. You challenge a couple people and then at the end of the hour, everyone gets back on twitter to post how many words they got. It’s really amazing how much that upped my productivity. I’d do three sessions a day and get close to 3000 words!

  2. Ha! I write best under competition too. Hmm… I think I need to hunt down a similar partner who is game…

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