So, what do I mean by binge writing and series writing?
You know how we live in an age where you can watch an entire series of something in a weekend. Blimey, if you wanted, you could watch an entire show over six series in a weekend, amen to boxsets and Netflicks etc. And you know how back in the day you had to wait for the next episode to be broadcast, on TV, live, in real time, before you could watch it? Well, this is the analogy I'm going to use here.
You write until your hands ache, your bum is sore from sitting, your brain feels like it's going to spill out of your head. You get it. You write a load of words, all in one sitting. I've read blogs about people who've written 40,000 words in a weekend. Albeit that's all they did that weekend (a bit like when you watch Breaking Bad from start to finish in a weekend). This guy ate, slept and wrote, and that was it, all weekend. He was behind with his word count, had a weekend with an empty house and made the most of it.
Have I binge written? Does Kylie Minogue have gay male dancers at her concerts? Course I have. It's what I did for Nanowrimo 2013 and 2014 and I loved it. I love the keeping up with the momentum of the story feeling it gives me. The most I've done is 12,600 on the first day of Nanowrimo in 2013 and it was amazing. It was a rush of being in the story, only being able to type just fast enough as I kept up with the story unfolding in front of me, (kept on rough track by some hand written notes to the side of my laptop and some character biogs).
Thinking about it, the stories I wrote in 2014 were all completed (first drafts only) within 1 calendar month, some in 20 days or so.
But you don't have to binge write until you've over binged. I mean, you couldn't sit watching Breaking Bad, then the Sopranos, then Six Feet Under, then Supernatural, then...your eyes would fall out. With binge writing you need to be kind to yourself too, between metaphorically lashing yourself with a whip to write write write while you're sat in the chair.
So thankfully with this method you can legitimately and guilt-free have a few days off from writing every now and then. If you've binge written 5-6000 words a day for four or five days in a row, you're due a few days off. Take them. Enjoy them. Watch Breaking Bad in a darkened room. But make sure you come back to the story and FINISH IT.
This is the slowly slowly catchy tortoise and the hare, or whatever the story was.
This is the bit of writing advice everyone tells you: write every day. You remember that one? I used to feel guilty when I didn't write every day, when things got in the way – my job, my friends, my family, my life basically. But no more. I don't feel guilty. And neither should you.
With this approach you set yourself a modest word number, and you write at the same time. Every. Single. Day. Without fail. This is better suited to people who don't have large expanses of time without interruption (ie people with children/pets/partners who want to talk to them). If you spend 20 – 30 mins a day, writing 500 words a day. - that's about 2 pages of typed words, in 180 days, you'll have a 90,000 word novel written.
If you wanted you could write every single week day and in 36 weeks you'd have the big pile of 90,000 words to be proud of. Pretty cool eh?
This is better suited to people who can make small pockets of time to write, on regular intervals. You might get up an hour before you need to, 5 days a week. You might forego an hour's TV in the evening. You could write in your lunch break from work. Give it a go, see which time works best for you and watch your little words grow and grow on the page until you have a whole story, all of your own.
Which of these do I prefer?
Well, that depends.
I write a diary every single day, so I get my series writing in. When I have a lot of life going on, and don't have entire weekends empty of people, things, places, names and faces, I try to write 500 - 1,000 words every day and over a month or three I'll watch my current work in progress grow, as I move towards The End.
Other times, when I have big blocks of time to write I gorge on writing, I binge write and I welcome it, I disappear into the writing, I write so much during these times it's all I can think about even when I'm going to sleep. And that's wonderful too.
But overall, it doesn't matter which of these two you do, or if you do a mixture of them both, whatever works for you and whatever gets the words onto the page and gets you to THE END.