Is There Such a Thing as Power-Writing?

It’s been waaayy too long since I dug myself into one of my WIPs. Life is all good, the busy is all good, but I am reminded once again how simultaneously easy and hard it is to put all your focus onto tasks that have to be done, away from the fiction that doesn’t have the same kind of deadline.

The busy this week was some family travel and putting finishing touches on my workshops for the Pennwriters conference next week. I’m really looking forward to heading out to Pittsburgh, meeting new writers, and just having a little conference fun and adventure.

I’m also really looking forward to coming back and writing.

And I’m thinking about the idea of just throwing myself back into my historical and blasting through some chapters, to get back into Caro’s world and problems. I’ve written fast before, on other projects, and it feels incredibly productive and fulfilling. I suspect, too, that–for me–the difference in these early drafts between what I get when I write fast and what I get when I write more slowly isn’t all that big a gap.

Then again, I felt like I rushed the first draft (even though it took me forEVAH!) and had promised myself I would take my time on this one. It’s that pull of the pressure coming at me, I know. The pressure to accomplish, to complete, to have another big milestone under my belt.

And,  yes, I know this is pressure I need to resist.

So…once again, it’ll probably be a compromise. I’ll try to give myself a day of transition, but then get a file open and start thinking and writing. I’ll let myself clean up the chaos that I’ve created by my focus these last couple of weeks, but I’ll also make sure I put that after my writing time. And I’ll try not to let myself sweat the small stuff in the writing–the word choices, the sentences, the perfect historic details.

So maybe no actual power writing.

Maybe just some nice, long strides uphill that take me over the top and forward along the trail.

What do you do when you’ve been away from a project for a while. Throw yourself in head first, or dip a few toes in to see how cold it is?


  1. Compromise is always good. I say keep a good pace throughout, and then power sprint at the end.

    It’s hard to be away from the books, isn’t it? I’ve had to concentrate on freelance work for the past two weeks, and although it’s good financially speaking, it really does take some time to get back into that fiction mind-set when you return.

    Can’t wait to hear about your upcoming conference. 🙂


    • beckylevine says:

      Sounds good to me. If I sprint at the start, I tend to stumble a lot!

      The freelance-work thing and writing is a juggling act. I want to do more of the former and still keep the latter going. And not drop any big plates on my head!


  2. When I’ve been away for a while I have to go back and read the chapter or two before what I’m working on now. It helps me get back into the story, remember where I left the characters and gets me excited about writing again. Good luck with the juggling!


  3. Julie says:

    I absolutely believe in power writing. I’m a deadline-oriented person, so if I have to have something finished by a certain date, I will leave a charred and smoking trail behind me if I need to. Whatever gets us there, fast or slow, it’s all good.


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