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  • Writer's pictureVendela Ahlström

I experienced my first Writer's High

Photograph by Chris Spiegl

I have officially experience what we call Writer’s High!

As some of you may know I take the WIP course on Faber Academy. Which means I have to submit 5,000 - 7,000 words of my novel every month to be critiqued. It’s a way for our work to get feedback so we can improve as we learn. But the deadlines work as a way for us to keep writing and hopefully finish that draft.

I finished my draft just before the course started so I submit my redrafted (it’s a heavy redraft) version every month. But because of the deadline, which is meant to keep us going, redrafting has felt like such a task. The course has no doubt helped me with the redraft and totally made me think outside the box and brought out the potential of the story. However, I’ve also felt that without the deadlines and the other work on the course I would’ve already finished this draft. I have to pace myself. And I think because of that the writing has felt like a task that needs to be handed in every month.

So I almost got into a writing slump every month until a week before the deadline where I would smash out the 7,000 words, when in fact I should actually write more than 7,000 words if I want to finish this 100,000 word MS by the end of the course.

Thanks to #writingcommunitychallenge on Instagram word sprints have been hosted every Saturday. A few weeks I decided to actually sit down and do one of those writing sprints because I felt like I was missing out otherwise.

And something just clicked. I pushed myself through an hour and then decided to do another thirty minutes in form of another writing sprint. On the Sunday I decided to do the same thing again. And on the Monday I woke up at 5am and just bashed out 4,000 words. My daily goal is 500 words, if any. This was half of my monthly submission in one morning.

I got so excited. I’d tackled two major scenes and I decided to ride the wave. Every morning for two weeks after that I managed to write. Quite a bit. The first three days I got similar word counts down. The Thursday I got less done, but still exceeded 500 words and stayed excited. And then I couldn’t stop. I’m got so motivated and excited. Every morning I rolled out of bed joining that #5amwritersclub and I couldn’t get enough of it!

The word sprint definitely made a difference. That word sprint is what cracked the mould of the writing slump and just got me through. I treated every morning as a writing sprint. Every 30 mins I would stretch my legs and get a drink and update the word count on my IG story, which no-one is probably interested in actually seeing, but seeing the progress every 30 mins motivates me to keep going. And in the end I could see how many words I can got done before anyone else wakes up!

The rest of the day, when I went about other things, I keep thinking about the next time I got to sit down and write. It’s incredible. I’m fell in love with my MS all over again. I was on fire!


I know you’re probably thinking “Ok, and now what. You speak in past tense, so clearly you fell off that writer’s high.” Yeah, I did. I handed in my work after a heavy (and terribly) edit and then had to spend a week critiquing (still doing that) other people’s work, so yes, I fell off the high. But I’m still ahead of my schedule. And after I’m done with my crits I’ll probably have to do another writing sprint and we’ll see if it works again or if it was just beginner’s luck!

I would love to hear your writer’s high stories or how you get out of writing slumps. Or even just how you smash your word counts every day. Drop your stories in the comments!

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