Burst(s) of Creativity


I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity and how it relates to creativity. I’m part of a loosely formed Facebook group that reports in on their daily word counts. My personal goal is 1000 words a day, with a day off here and there for good behavior (there’s not a lot of that, I can assure you). 1000 words is a totally random number. It’s easy for me to remember and three months at that pace will net a full length, first draft of a novel, but the bottom line is it works for me.

Yesterday, one of my pals, Nell Stark, posted that she was in a writing funk. She started her post by saying that all of her writer friends who post 1000+ daily word counts are rockstars, but she was going to start her own word count club, so to speak, and start with a super manageable goal of 100 words a day. Which gave me something to chew on (see picture for examples of the kind of chewing not to do). IMG_3398

I had to chime in to the discussion on Nell’s post because, while I might wind up with 1000 words a day, I write those words in 200-300 word bursts. I burst over coffee, burst over lunch. I burst at the hairdresser, while I’m waiting for an oil change, or getting a pedicure. I burst while I’m on hold with my cable company.

I digress, but my point is this: I’m much more productive when I allow myself to be creative in little bursts, in contrast to thinking that productivity means I have to sit down and pound out 1000 or more words all at once. The pressure of the higher word count goal has a tendency to stifle my creativity. Plus, when I pause between bursts, I think my subconscious is working in the background, chewing on what I’ve written so far and figuring out what comes next.

So, here’s to the 100 word rockstars of the writing world – you inspire me to keep writing, one word at a time!



  1. I like that. I tend to get distracted a lot…so while I try to write 1,000 words a night it usually ends up in bursts of 100-200 words in-between farting around on FB or other stuff. Right now I’m not even doing my 1,000 words because I’ve got too much editing to do!


  2. Carsen, I love it…bursts. That could free up my thinking because I tend to think that I write best in the morning and that must mean by 10:00 in a morning that starts at 6:00 I’m used up. But actually I just need to take a walk. Walk the dog. Pick up my mail. Let my brain digest the scene I just created and figure out if it is true or if it works. Funny to think I might be able to do it differently and go back to my desk.

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