Sometimes you look at the virtual mountain of work that sits before you and one wonders, what have I done?
How did I get into this mess?
And usually, the next thought that follows is “boy that was kind of dumb.”
The final thought culminates in “Well, I’ll never do that again.”
Spoiler alert, I will do it again at some point.
In order to be a writer, one must write.
And sometimes, one must write a lot.
For the most part, I am an organized professional. My work files are categorized, and arranged in a caring manner. Even though I often have a number of projects going at once, I carefully keep track of what’s going.
This is good as most days I’m writing 4 to 5 thousand words a day, so confusion could wreak havoc.
I used to let my files be saved wherever they wished roaming about like free range cattle, but after spending a whole day looking for a file, I made sure to be organized henceforth.
Except the one time pretty big I made a mistake.
I’m normally a fastidious scheduler. I know what’s due when and to whom it’s being sent.
But one week, I realized that I had grossly overbooked my writing week. Between, ghostwriting, freelance work, and fiction, I had nearly two and half weeks worth of work ahead of me all do by the coming Saturday. I swear I heard a record scratch like I was in a 90’s movie.
All told, it would be easily over a book’s worth of content.
I had to make a decision. I could contact different clients, and see who had more flexible deadlines and perhaps get an extension. I could also put my personal projects on hold. I was being paid to put out stuff under my name for the first time, no ghostwriting, all me. And I really didn’t want to do that.
I could tough it out and write. I had never missed a deadline and that’s a streak I wanted to continue. I had a reputation for getting great work out fast, and I didn’t want it to suffer.
So I looked at my stack of projects and started writing.
I wrote like a madman, as though the spirit of Jack Kerouac possessed me. I wrote late into the night and woke early in the morning. I spent the next seven days glued to my writing chair with only a couple breaks for meals.
I needed to knock the bigger projects out first. There were several science and business articles that needed to be well researched and heavily edited. They would be the most time consuming.
I also spent the first hour or so each work day writing as much personal stuff, mostly humor and fiction, to allow me to start publishing the following week.
I wrote till my hands were sore.
I wrote till I no could longer sit dow, moving from place to place like a very productive, boring ghost.
The last three days I didn’t sleep at all. I was slightly behind schedule, and needed a last ditch effort to get back on track.
Funny things start to happen during your seventy second hour without sleep. My computer looked like it was floating and moving farther and farther away from me. I also couldn’t look away from the screen because the room was spinning.
But I finished it. At the end of the week I had slightly over 100,000 words. The exact count came in around 111,000 thousand give or take a few hundred.
How I did It
First and foremost, realize this is going to suck, but you’ll be done in a week.
Also, I would recommend putting a filter on your computer screen to make it easier to look at. You’re going to be staring at it for 12–15 hours so you don’t want your eyeballs rolling out of your head.
I disconnected my laptop from my wi-fi. And, I hid the TV remote in another room. The risk of a short ESPN break was too great.
Have a youtube playlist. Mine is essentially all Run the Jewels. It sounds insane but I just listened to same ten songs over and over again. It puts you in this strange sen state. Though, I also could have been hallucinating from lack of sleep. I also had a David Goggins video on a loop, essentially yelling at me to keep going.
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s just writing. A lot of writing, but no one’s life is on the line.
Would I recommend writing 100,000 words in one week? No.
Is it possible? Yes.