Friday, July 2, 2010


There's a new game on Twitter called #1k1hr. The next time you're there, you should check it out.

The object of the game is to sit down for one hour and write 1,000 words. The catch, however, is that you aren't finished until you've completed both parts of the game. That means that if the timer dings one hour and you've only written 14 words and most of them are the word "just" (purely hypothetical, no reflection whatsoever on my own writing), then you're still stuck there for 986 more words.

And likewise, if you dash off 1,000 words that would make the Dalai Lama weep and it only takes you 22 minutes, you gotta keep churning out that brilliance for another 34 minutes.

The idea comes from Patrick Alan and has been wonderfully promoted by Tawna Fenske and any writer working to get that first draft completed should try it out.

Not only is it fun to be able share the sometimes crushing monotony of getting those 75-100,000 words down for the first draft of a novel, but saying that you're going to give one hour each day to your writing feels a lot more doable than just saying that you're going to "write every day" - whatever that means.

And also - let's face it - there's nothing like a deadline to focus you on getting the job done. As British author Samual Johnson once said:

"When a man knows he is to be hanged, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."


  1. Thanks for the shout-out and the promotion of #1k1hr. I know I probably owe Patrick Alan a cupcake for coming up with it in the first place, since it's been the single biggest motivator pushing me forward as I hustle to finish my third contracted novel.

    Glad you're enjoying it, too!

  2. I just never knew that 22 and 34 equaled 60, but I suppose that accounts for a pee break.

    All I know is that it works for me and I am happy that other people are finding it and getting use out of it.

  3. LOL! Oops, well, that's why I'm a writer - no math!