Mando Method Of Writing #amwriting

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snoopy

Yeah, I know, I know… I surely didn’t invent anything and calling it the Mando Method is egotistical and unnecessary unless… you’re me. 

I find it comforting. Shall we move on?

I am easily distracted by Facebook and e-mail and Twitter and a myriad of other time-sucks during my day when I should be writing. 

I have a modest goal of 2,000 words a day, 5 days a week, for 10k a week, roughly 40k a month, and 520k for a year’s time. People ask me how it is possible to have 150+ releases for sale, and I point out my daily goal. Simple as that.

Except, it ain’t always simple.

Most days it feels like the pressure to write 2,000 words in an hour so I can go play is overwhelming. I just want to relax for a day and watch Netflix documentaries or read until I fall asleep in my chair and take a nap. I’m old and lazy, what can I say?

But then I hit on the winning formula for me, and I have Jonathan Maberry to thank.

On his excellent Three Guys With Beards podcast on Project iRadio with fellow hosts Christopher Golden and James A. Moore (also the home to my two podcasts, but I digress) Mr. Maberry mentioned setting his alarm each hour and writing for 50 minutes, then getting 10 minutes to play with Facebook, e-mails and maybe even rearrange his Hawaiian shirt collection. 

I tried it. It didn’t work. After half an hour I felt like I was ready to never write again. The ideas weren’t flowing and I threw in the towel. I decided to try something else the next day. 

What was it? The Mando Method (patent not coming anytime soon)

I realized I wrote in bursts, and the first few minutes sitting down and tapping away with two fingers usually got me the most words. So I decided to just write for 15 minutes and see what happened. 

493 words. Not bad at all 

So I kept going for eight hours, writing at the top of every hour for 15 minutes and then getting to check e-mails, Facebook, etc. the other 45 minutes. 

My results were great and so easy to get. I’m kinda mad I didn’t think of this sooner, because I could knock off a million words in a year like this… okay, don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s a couple of days. 

Hour 1 – 493 words

Hour 2 – 644 words

Hour 3 – 602 words

Hour 4 – 596 words

Hour 5 – 677 words

Hour 6 – 550 words

Hour 7 – 585 words

Hour 8 – 781 words

Total of 4,924 words. I could’ve easily done a 9th hour and broke 5k but I decided to quit while I was ahead. Besides, I had an episode of Mr. Robot to watch. 

There was no lagging during any of the writing time. I knew I was up against the clock and it actually made what I was writing better when I read back through at the end of the night. Each hour was a fresh start, and the 45 minutes between let me reset and think about what was coming up next, too. I’m a pantser so the thought process was important before I started to write again. 

Can I keep it going? So far so good. On day two so far I’ve hit 589, 767, 569, 580, 637 and 616 words and I still have 2 hours left to write. I’m already at 3,758 words on the day. 

Try it and see if it works for you… 

Armand

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11 responses »

  1. Pingback: Method

  2. I don’t know if this makes sense for sane people but I just cranked out 500 words and here I am goofing off. It’s so counter-intuitive after reading a bunch of books on becoming more productive that it just might be a true productivity booster. Turning bad habits to work for us makes a lot of sense to me. Now for another 500 words and then some guitar work! Good tip. Thanks

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  3. It’s never the cranking out a huge word count that I have trouble finding the time for…it’s the hours and hours of editing. If you have a strategy for that, can you please please share I would love to hear it.

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    • I do not have one. I actually write a pretty clean first draft. I do a quick read-through for spelling mistakes and take notes for plot points to make sure it is tight, but having an excellent group of beta readers and an editor I’ve worked with for years who beats up the story is what helps me. By the time I get beta reader notes and edits back I’m two or three stories past it.

      Armand

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    • Print it. I’d say double space or 1.5 so you can write (with a red ink pen) notes between lines and on margins. I’d also recommend changing your environment so where you normally write is a different place than where you re-read. Something about editing a printed copy makes a HUGE difference for me.

      It also makes a difference if you can edit your story more than a month after you finish a draft. Just enough time to kind of forget what you were thinking when you wrote. If it makes sense to you when it’s less familiar makes a huge difference as opposed to you being able to interpret what you meant because the story’s still fresh in your mind.

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      • Thanks for the advice. Everyone has their own way of doing things and the important thing is to find out what works for you. So far so good with this method. I’m writing over 3,500 words a day (almost double my goal) and really enjoying the stories I’m writing.

        Armand

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Mando Method #amwriting | dianegallagherwritings

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