Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally that starts this summer in Cedar City, UT.

let's pretend it's tuesday…

…because who needs Monday anyway?

I’m posting a day early this week because I want to give a report on the writing marathon. It went great. My goal was to write 5,000 words and get over a sticky spot in the manuscript. I am pleased to report that I wrote about 6,700 words and am firmly mired in a new sticky spot in the manuscript. Which is a giant relief. I’m stuck again, but at least it’s not in that same darn place! I ate a lot of cinnamon bears and Fernwood’s mint sandwiches. And drank a lot of water. And part of the time I was writing with Ann Dee Ellis, which helped, because every time I got tempted to sneak onto the internet to mess around I was scared that she would catch me.

This was such a fantastic experience. And I know Sandy and Ali were rockstars and got a lot accomplished–good for you! Did anyone else participate? It was great to give me the push I needed, and also so much more doable for me than NaNoWriMo. I am a slow writer, so it’s nice to be able to set my own goal. Something to push me, but not something completely unachievable.

And now I can buy something to hang on these very, very white walls.

The ladies over at Throwing Up Words (who organized the marathon) are going to do it again, and I will be sure to link to it when they do.

P.S. Also: this may be the best post on writing I’ve ever read, from Maggie Stiefvater.

P.P.S. I have a signing this Saturday (see the Events page for details). πŸ™‚




+ comments (18)
  • Aubrey(AKAStacey)
    March 22, 2010

    Yay! Good job Ally! I don’t think anyone I know is a slower writer than I am! I’m impressed with your determination! You buy that poster for your office wall and enjoy it!



  • Natalie
    March 22, 2010

    I’ve totally been blog-stalking you, and I thought it was about time to say hello. Hello!

    I’m very impressed with 6700 words in a week. My goal is always 1000 words a day everyday but Sunday, but I think I’ve only actually done it once or twice over the past 2 years. You’ve got skills.



  • Julie
    March 22, 2010

    I loved Maggie’s post. It is so true that we have to get out and live in order to have something worth writing about.

    As far as the marathon goes, I stunk it up. I didn’t tell my husband about it ahead of time, so he had my whole day Friday planned out. He was willing to give me as much time as I needed on Saturday, but after staring at a blank screen for two hours and only producing 700 words (yikes!) I gave up. I went home and gathered up the kids and took them out to enjoy the rest of the day.

    I understand now why I couldn’t come up with anything. I find my best–absolute best–brainstorming comes when I’m moving and (ideally) outside. We have a green space in our neighborhood and every time I walk the trails, my ideas just get churning. I always come back full of writing juice. But on Saturday I got up and drove straight to the library and just sat. It was very unproductive.

    I think it’s important as a writer (or any kind of artist) to understand your own methods for creation. You can take advice from others and try it out on yourself, but ultimately you are responsible for discovering how to unlock your own creativity.

    Congratulations on surpassing your goal!



  • Debbie/Cranberryfries
    March 22, 2010

    Congrats on finishing up the marathon!. It’s amazing how much more I get written when I unplug. My galpal told me her secret is to go to the library once a week and use one of their rooms. You can’t access the internet and you have total quite so you are forced to concentrate. Haha. I’m gonna go try it here soon.



  • Sandy Shin
    March 22, 2010

    Yay! Congratulations, Ally, from conquering the marathon! 6700 words is a huge number, and kudos to you for accomplishing it! The only time I wrote so much in such a short time was for NaNoWriMo, but what came out was such a drivel that it wasn’t worth it, in the end. :]

    And that post by Maggie is brilliant!



  • Ali
    March 23, 2010

    Excellent job. It’s nice to know someone as successful as you is a slow writer like me! It gives me hope. I had to laugh about your comment on not getting on the internet because I wasted a lot of me marathon time being on the internet.



  • Tasha
    March 23, 2010

    I was making decent progress and just got an email from my professor that the chapter I submitted was completely wrong. Sigh. I guess at least I’m getting really good at writing stuff I’m not supposed to. Maybe that will work out for me later on πŸ™‚



  • ally
    March 23, 2010

    Thanks, Stacey! Just chipping away at it gets it done, right? πŸ˜‰

    Natalie–hello! That’s my word goal as well. I used to reach it much more often. I don’t know why I’m getting slower instead of faster.

    Julie, I couldn’t agree more. I’m SO much more productive when I’m running regularly (which is one of the reasons I do it).

    Debbie, let me know how the library goes!

    Sandy, congrats again on your great finish and thanks for the kudos. πŸ™‚

    Ali, we not only share the same name, we also have similar internet habits, it sounds like. πŸ˜‰

    Tasha, you are amazing. I don’t know how you do everything you do.



  • Brittany
    March 23, 2010

    Congrats on meeting your goal! That’s wonderful.



  • Kenz
    March 23, 2010

    I just finished reading First Day and pulled out Reunion and I am almost in tears at this very moment! I want to know more about Ethan and Andrea and Joel! They were my favorite characters from the begining and now they are gone. Oh and Micky would be another good one to put back in there. I know you probably get that a lot, the books hit hard at my school last year and if there was another one I think you could sell a copy to ten girls garuteed at my school, hundredsore that I am not sure about, and I know I’m not the only one thinking that. Why did you get us all attached to them and then rip Thames away?



  • ally
    March 24, 2010

    Kenz, keep reading! πŸ™‚ There is a scene with Mikey and Ethan coming right up in Reunion–and you’ll see Andrea and Joel too. Maybe not as much as you would like, but they are all in there, I promise. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for your kind words about the series–and I would love to write another book about all of the characters someday!



  • Kenz
    March 24, 2010

    Ok, I really do like them a lot! You are an amazing author! And sorry I sounded so ignorant before…



  • TADemings
    March 25, 2010

    hey Ally, good to meet you wednesday night. Next, you should come to my creative writing class that Ann Dee teaches. I’m Tiffany, btw. The girl who is twins with Patrice…I’m running the half and full marathons this spring/summer and then doing the red rock relay in sept. (just to remind you who I am).



  • Samantha
    March 25, 2010

    Three things:

    1. That writing marathon thing is brilliant. I’m shamelessly copying by declaring April to be my own personal NaNoWriMo. I’m always indisposed in November. Congratulations on making your goal!

    2. Still waiting impatiently for BEING SIXTEEN. It’s silly what a barrier a few thousand miles can create. Here on the East Coast, we have a delightsome establishment called “Nephi’s Books” across the street from the Columbia temple. Seriously. That’s what it’s called. You should have a signing there. Only a few (thousand) of miles out of your way…perhaps some afternoon when you don’t have anything to do? πŸ™‚

    3. Um…I didn’t think far enough in advance for a third thing. Three is just so much cooler than two. πŸ˜‰



  • ally
    March 26, 2010

    Tiffany! You really came by my blog! You are awesome. I want to know how all the races go. I would love to come to Ann Dee’s class. Did you know she and I go running together? It was really fun to meet you on Wednesday!

    Brittany, thank you!

    Kenz, no worries! I’m so glad you commented.

    Samantha, I remember that from my days living in NY. We had a nice little LDS bookstore up in Palmyra…but it was still an hour and a half away and hard to do with kids. I hope your book gets to you soon–and I’m excited to hear how your April writing goes!



  • An Ordinary Mom
    March 27, 2010

    I am new to your site, but when I saw that Annette Lyon met you I had to come say hello πŸ™‚ !! I have really enjoyed reading your books. Thanks for sharing your talent. I am impressed you find time to write while taking care of 3 little ones πŸ™‚ !! [P.S. Did your dad or a relative of yours used to teach at BYU?]



  • ally
    April 2, 2010

    Thank you so much for the compliment, Ordinary Mom (who I’m sure is anything but ordinary). And no, I’m not related to any of the BYU Braithwaites, that I’m aware of. Mine all teach/taught at SUU. πŸ™‚



  • Jaclyn Olmstead
    May 15, 2013

    i working on a presentation of you… i know weird… which means I’m stalking you and i was wondering what your goals are! my project is due in like 2 days so please answer quick πŸ™‚ thanks!




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