Thursday, July 11, 2013

The POWER of an HOUR

You know those cute questionnaires your kids bring home from school? Where they have to answer normal questions and answers from their sweet childlike perspective? You know, the ones that will occasionally ask questions like, "How old is your Mom?" to which they answer, "138" or something else super sad....

Well, this last year, my daughter brought home one of those for Mother's Day and one of the questions was something like: What is your Mom's favorite song?

Her answer?

"Power in the Blood."


Okay, so there is nothing funny about the song. It really IS an amazing song because there is such AMAZING power in the blood of Jesus, and really, when you sing it with gusto, you can FEEL the power coming out of your lungs, can I get an amen in the blog?!? But... I'm sure the teacher was like, uh, WHAT? Is your Momma part vampire or something?!?

You see, occassionally I will, uh, belt out fav hymns at the top of my lungs (I may or may not jazz it up with some on purpose offkey notes just for the heck of it.) I'm talking some window shaking bad singing, people. It drives my kids nuts. I love it!

So yeah, maybe there's a bit of power in my singing too, ay?

There is something else that has a wee bit of power that I've found lately.


Yes, one measly, little ol' hour. 60 minutes. 3600 seconds.

I've seen other authors do the #1k1h tweet in the past, but have never joined in. I have always believed in writing in the snippets of time I have, but have found it increasingly difficult lately. I LOVE when I have a few hours to just get away from everything and write. I get a TON of word count in, so the little bits I was getting in were depressing. And my story plot had been super frustrating me lately, only compounding my problem.

But then a few weeks ago... desperate for something to infuse some life into my crippled manuscript, I decided to try a #1k1h. (which stands for writing 1000 words in 1 hour.) Really, a local author had posted in my writers group Facebook page that she was going to get an hour in, and I was like... fine. Annabelle's napping, let's do this.

I set the timer on my phone. Threatened my other children within an inch of their life (i.e. cookies all around if they left me alone... I am a fantastic mother, what can I say...) Opened my manuscript on my computer... and wrote. No editing, no stopping to brainstorm or research.

I just wrote, hoping to reach that 1000 words, doubtful that I would.

An hour later, the timer buzzed.

I checked my word count.


That was my reaction.

Because I had written 1,739 words!!!!!!!!!

In just ONE HOUR!

That is more than I've gotten in some of the "several hour" stints I've done at Starbucks in the past year.

I repeated that almost every day for the last two weeks. One day I had only a half hour to devote, so I did a #.5k/.5h and got in 700 words. But in all, I've increased by 15k-20k in the last two weeks... which is more than I've written in the past 6 months prior to that!

So yes, I've known since I was a little girl that there is MIGHTY power in the BLOOD of Jesus... and that there is definitely power in cookies to bribe children... and maybe some power in my singing (yeah, probably not...) but now I know the immense power in one little piddly hour to help jumpstart a book that was getting a bit dusty.

I dare you to try it today.

Just one hour.

Shut out EVERYTHING else.... and shoot for that 1000 words.

Even if you just have a half hour... use that. Remember: No research. No editing. Just writing. Set a timer. And go.

Report back how you did!!!!!


Susan Anne Mason said...

I will have to try this, Krista. When I have an hour that is! LOL.

Krista Phillips said...

Susan, I said that too!!!! I don't HAVE an hour. But I started using my daughter's nap time (which is usually my time to check facebook/blogs/eat/shower/clean...) and you know what? I've magically figured out how to fit those other things in at other times. It's amazing how that works:-)

So find that hour. Scoot everything over just a little bit and PROTECT that hour. It is precious, you know. It has POWER to do amazing things to your manuscript:-)

Anonymous said...

Krista, I work from home and I'm very blessed that I can flex my schedule a bit. I'll usually take my lunch hour later in the afternoon and go someplace where I can write (and eat) for an hour without being disturbed much. It's not as intense as a 1k1hr, but it still gives me solid time to write daily.

This weekend, though, I'm doing Writeapalooza--I'm going to do 3 days of pretty constant 1k1hr challenges to get my book FINISHED. My mom is coming to provide kiddo-watching support. I am ready to roll! :)

Heidi Blankenship said...

I just tried it successfully this morning. I was skeptically but now I'm convinced. Great post.

Ashley Clark said...

Krista, I love this! I tried the #1k1h last year and was AMAZED by how much I got written. I think I may have to try it again today. Thanks for the encouragement!

Krista Phillips said...

Kristen... 3 days of constant 1k1h's... that sounds both glorious and grueling at the same time!!!!

Heidi... WELL DONE!!!!!!!! Congrats! Now... do it again tomorrow:-)

Ashley, I know! Isn't it amazing how much you get done? I'm fixing to start mine for today right now!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Krista, I LOVE #1K1HR too! I've gotten amazing word count in when I do it. :) When I go into the hour with an idea of the scene I want to write, my fingers fly across the keyboard I'm doing it as I fast draft my current sip, and it's been great.

The Facebook group Carol Moncado started is fun because I can connect with other writers and we can encourage each other. Whether we got those 1K words, or not.

So glad it worked for you! I swear (Well, not literally b/c I try not to swear) it can become an addiction. Happy writing!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Wow, that is awesome word count, Krista!

The 1K/1hr have helped me a lot, too.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Krista, I've been amazed at your ability to write a lot fast. Even before your stint with the 1H1K!!! Now you are a machine. ;)

When I start back writing, I will definitely be doing this.