In America, it’s Thanksgiving weekend. Both me and my sweetie have taken off a bit extra as well, so we have not been working since Wednesday, and we’re also both taking Monday off.

For the past few years, my Thanksgiving tradition has included a writing marathon. I have several days off, and all I do is write for those days.

This year is no different. My sweetie and I are both marathoning. He’s been writing on several different projects, whereas I’ve been sticking with the single novel that I started last week.


I’m currently 22,000 words into the novel. If the novel is really 80,000 words long, that means I’m about one-quarter of the way through. Thursday, Friday, and now today, Saturday, I’ve written 5000 words per day. I’ll do another 5000 tomorrow and Monday.

I know very little about this novel, except for the last couple of final scenes. I’m writing completely into the dark, making up each chapter, every scene, as I encounter it.

How do I keep myself inspired? How do I manage to keep coming back to the page and writing the next 1000 words?

Part of it is what I described here in this post, all about deadlines and grit. It’s a huge part of why I’m getting my butt in that chair every day. Having someone here to support me helps, and certainly makes my life so much easier (particularly since he cooks!) But I’d still be writing this many words with him here or not.

Part of it, honestly, comes from judicious use of caffeine and walks where people cross the street to avoid the crazy writer who’s talking to herself.

But part of it comes from this post here that describes how she started writing 10,000 words per day. She uses a triangle of knowledge, time, and enthusiasm.

I have times when I’m more productive, but I don’t pay as much attention to that part as much as knowledge and enthusiasm.

As soon as I get stuck, I flip over to another file or I pull out pen and paper and I write out what comes next. Usually that gets me over the hump.

And anyone who’s ever met me know that at heart, I’m kind of excitable. So once I have a clue about what I’m writing, it’s pretty easy for me to realize that it’s the KEWLEST THING EVAH and just keep going.

Tomorrow I’ll write another 5000, and on Monday, yet another 5000. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep writing on the novel–life may interfere. In the meanwhile, I’m going to continue marathoning, keep putting my butt in the chair for hours everyday, and writing.

So how do you survive a writing marathon? What tricks work for you? Do you use caffeine? Alcohol? Liberal amounts of bribes, like chocolate?