Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

The Education of Intern Sara: Lessons learned from the Undead Duo

Word Diet

I’ve always prided myself on NOT being “that girl” you know, the one who obsessively goes to the gym, eats only 1200 calories and gets upset over gaining 2 lbs.

Here’s the thing about suffering that kind of pride; sometimes it bites you in the ass. Turns out that your 30’s are not as kind to you physically as say, your 20’s or teenage years where all crimes against nutrition and fitness are forgiven.

Soooo… I realized that I have to do something and anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do things half way and even though I could preach about the virtues of moderation all day the truth is …

I’m all or nothing

Black or White

Go Big or Go Home

So, instead of working out a few days a week and eating a few extra salads I’ve decided

To. Be. That. Girl.

And you know what?

I. Get. It.

It’s not easy but it has been worth it (feel free to take bets on how long this life-long 1200 calorie commitment lasts). All of this talk about 1200 calories a day made me think what approach should I take for my writing? What is my word diet?

Do I write for several hours a day?

Do I write a chapter a day? How long is a chapter?

Do I choose a magic number? What is my magic number?

Not sure how to answer this question, I did what I plan on doing for as long as I can get away with it. I asked Julie and Kristen about their approach.

Here’s how they do it …

Julie’s word diet consists of 1000 words and she edits as she goes along. She sometimes stops in the middle of a thought because she knows that she has to finish that sentence the next day thereby eliminating any chance of writers block. She stops at 1000 words to prevent burnout. It works for her.

 

Kristen works differently. She prefers to write a chapter and is looking to complete a thought or idea. “If it ends up being 700 words, it’s 700 words. If it’s 3000, it’s 3000.” 

Since the theme of the year is “1200” I decided that a number goal would be the way to go. I pondered 1000 a day, did the math to see how long it would take to get me to 80,000 words and decided that I wanted to get there a bit sooner. I decided to change my magic number to 1500. The idea is to get these words downs as well as I can and then spend my “extra time” taking it to the next level. But unlike Julie who stops herself at 1000 words, I allow myself to keep going until I get tired. So my approach seems to be a bit of an Undead Duo Remix. In the almost 2 weeks that I’ve been writing I’m not only making my goal, most days I want to keep writing and get to about 2000 words a day. So the Undead Duo Remix seems to be the way to go. 1200 calories and 1500 words a day will get this girl to her goals.

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