It’s the age of speed, and now it has become even speedier than ever—call it fast, supersonic, sub-lightening speed but super duper fast.
And in line with our times, imagine that you have just accepted a personal challenge to write that book you’ve been putting off for years and years.
It’s now or never. Write that darn book you’ve been musing over and do it in 48 hours!
How would you do it? Can it be done?
Well, I’ve seen companies set up over a weekend, marriages sealed over speed dating, so why not a writer completing their book over 48 hours? Is writing a book that special or more complicated than setting up a company? Or worse: deciding on committing to a life-long relationship? How would the procrastinating, muse-seeking, self-loving writer do it?
How would any writer do it?
The soft-centered writer that is you is in shock! Yes, you heard right. This has labeled you as a writer. No matter what profession you’ve had throughout your life, whether by choice or by necessity doesn’t matter for now; right now and for the next 48 hours, you are a writer and only that.
If you’re in a relationship or married or a parent, all of that has to freeze in time because all you have right now is yourself. You stare at the wall for minutes on end; tick-tock the time is running; you’ve been stuck on this for half your adult life, but now more than ever, time is of the crucial essence.
No time for existentialist big-picture thoughts. Whatever muse you have over the next few hours has to be good enough right now. No time to think of whether this is fair or not, you’ve accepted the challenge.
You remember in your school days how you had deadlines and sometimes had to work under stress. You remember that great feeling of satisfaction you got when you made it in the nick of time. You’ve got this, you can do this! You are your own best friend, best muse, best editor, and best critic. Your thoughts start to calm down which means you anticipate that very soon, you will be ready to start.
Write, write your heart out, take out all the stop plugs inside your brain, open your brain, and lose your fears and insecurities. You write well; you are good enough! Keep going; this is neither a sprint nor a marathon. There are no rules as to how long your book or story ought to be.
Short rest, recompile your thoughts, and write.
During this hour, you have conquered your own insecurities, are fully convinced that this can be done, and realize just how much “material” you’ve had stored in your mind. Life got in the way; you never had the right muse, mood, and time to just write them down. Now is your chance. This is a wonderful opportunity. You start to enjoy this challenge, reward yourself with a coffee or chocolate or both, and keep going…
By now you have written quite a good chunk of your novel. This is the time to pivot: reread what you have written down and correct any typos or grammar mistakes as you read, but the overall reason for doing this reread is to check if you have gone astray from your focal point, and if so, to redirect your piece toward your original end-goal.
Take a rough, mental note about the size of your piece, but remember that the last part can and will take longer than the first parts. Remind yourself that there are 30 more hours. Now, end your day, set an alarm, and sleep.
Dreams oftentimes inspire writers!
Sleep. Yes, a good seven to eight hours are optimal. You’ve got almost another full day left. Have a coffee, distract yourself or muse, whichever works for you. Eat your snack if that fits your regular routine.
Skim through your piece briefly, continue to write while trying not to focus on the readers’ mind, and keep a thought inside your head that whoever reads your piece will get something positive out of reading it: a lesson, enjoyment, or a moral question that will spark something in them. It will have something relatable, perhaps because we as humans go through very similar circumstance but never really know it. We focus on ourselves mostly, not on unknown and unrelated people, but when we write, we establish links between writer and reader, links that the power and magic of words can create.
Think over whether you were able to get 75 percent of your message through; 100 percent is humanly impossible!
Go for a walk. You need this to recharge, keep your sanity, and get your other muscles moving. If you normally do any other regular exercise, do it. If it takes an extra hour, then so be it. Having less time for actual writing is a good thing. You will come back reenergized, and so, you will be more productive.
By now, you have a clear idea of the message, so you can conclude your writing or piece or novel or story with something of benefit to the reader. You have made your readers think, entertained them, or inspired them. You have accomplished in this extremely focused 48-hour journey what you have been putting off for yourself.
Give yourself a pat on the shoulder.
Final hours 43-48.
Work on getting your book properly segmented and titled. Choose a font, an illustration, or whatever goes well with your piece. Meditate or pray or curse, whatever works for you.
Congratulations! By getting only 48 hours, you have cut out weeks and weeks of agony. What would have taken you years to complete, you have completed in hours.
Your thought of the day was written in a timely and therefore highly relevant manner.
Now go out and celebrate. You’ve done this!
Your college-aged self would have gone out straight to party.