Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Great Book For Writers - The Chunky Method Handbook

by Lynn H Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Any book with the words “Your step-by-step plan to WRITE THAT BOOK even when life gets in the way” in the title was guaranteed to grab my attention.

Because life *always* gets in the way.

Of course as a professional, I know what I’m supposed to do.

Write anyway.

I try to grab a few minutes to write in the middle of the day, but part of my brain says, “Why bother? You’ll barely get started before you have to stop.” So I try to write in the evening, but then my body says, “Are you kidding me? I need some sleep.”

I know I write best when I’m not distracted by the voices of the laundry, the dishes, the dust bunnies, and the bills. Those voices are loud!

So I leave my house once a week and go to a local restaurant or coffee shop to work. I finally have the time and space I need, but even then sometimes I write until the words just—stop. Then I feel guilty because there are so many more words to write and I start thinking I’m a slacker. The voices in my own head can be my worst enemy, telling me I’m lazy or that I just need to work harder.

I know I’m not alone. Writers can get bogged down by so many voices that were never meant to be a burden, but sometimes are. You’ve heard them. The 1000 words a day chant. The write every day or you aren’t a “real” writer mantra. Those voices are loud, too.

But maybe you can’t get 1000 words in. Or you can’t write every day. And you’re wondering if you should even bother.

Can I suggest giving The Chunky Method a whirl? This book won’t take you long to read. When you’re done it will take you a few days of tracking your writing before you can implement all the suggestions, but that will be time well spent on your career.

The basic idea is that every writer has their own set point, their own “chunk” of words that they can comfortably write in one sitting. Some of us are “small chunk” writers, some are “large chunk” writers, and some of us are hybrids. You probably already have an idea of which way you lean, but Allie has some great questions to help you narrow it down.

Then she takes this basic idea of writing personality and puts it to work for you. Yes, there is a little bit of math involved, but it’s not hard. And if math really isn’t your thing, she even offers a free “calculator” that will do all the math for you after you plug in a few key stats.

Now, I’ve been around the writing block a few times and I will tell you right up front that the information in here isn’t rocket science, and some of it you may already be doing without fully realizing why. But just like personality profiles can help you understand why you don’t like to go to parties or why you simultaneously look forward to and dread the holidays, The Chunky Method Handbook can help you understand how you write best and how to make that work for you.

There’s no judgment here. There’s no “best” way. We’re all writers, whether we max out at 350 words or 3500 words in a sitting. The key is knowing where your breaking point is, and then planning for it.

Let’s say you need to write an 85K word novel. You have 4 months to do it. Conventional wisdom would say to take the number of words, divide it by the number of days and voila! You have your word count goal.

The Chunky Method Handbook takes it a step further and incorporates your personal “chunk” into the calculation to help you know not how many words you need to write a day, but how many times you’re going to need to sit down to write. There are some fantastic insights into how to get your word count goals in, how to make your chunk work for you, and even how to increase your chunk over time.

I think it could be a game changer for a lot of people.

If you’ve just launched into NaNoWriMo and are writing every second you can, it would be worth your while to pay attention to how many words you can write before you lose focus. When you realize you’ve hit a wall, don’t panic. Make a note of how many words you’ve written and then give yourself a break. It’s not laziness or procrastination. It’s honoring your own writing rhythm and working with it instead of against it.

Then get that rear back in the chair and go after it again.

I found The Chunky Method Handbook to be an affirming and encouraging read. If you’re committed to this writing gig for the long haul, you need to be working as effectively and efficiently as you can. The Chunky Method Handbook can help you do that.

So, how about you? Do you already know what kind of writer. Or have a strong suspicion? What would be your “ideal” writing schedule?

Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!

A great book for writers - The Chunky Method Handbook - review by @LynnHBlackburn (Click to Tweet)

Lynn Huggins Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, Covert Justice, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. You can follow her real life happily ever after on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram, and at

1 comment:

  1. I love this book and Allie's process. It's been really helpful to my book coaching clients in understanding their writing productivity. Thanks for this great review.