Very well, actually. I learned a lot about myself as a writer. It’s funny, I always considered myself an advance-plotter, meaning I had to know where the story was headed before putting fingers to keyboard. The Olympics experiment proved me wrong. Several nights I’d sit down to write without any clue where a story might be headed. By the end of the first paragraph I’d know something about the point of view character, and that was enough of a jumping-off point to tell a whole story from it.
There were some lessons learned, though. First, going by word count was a bad idea. A couple of the stories completed during the experiment demanded to be much, much longer than they ended up, but because of the whole “Gold Medal” thing, I rushed the ending. When I do this again I won’t look at word count other than as a gauge of writing velocity.
The other thing was that–and I’m sorry to admit this–I put watching the Olympics ahead of writing a lot of the time. I wouldn’t start to write for the day until after the broadcast from Vancouver ended. Between that and some very long days at work I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep, and that hurt word production, too.
Also, the whole point thing–4 for gold, 2 for silver, 1 for bronze–didn’t pan out as expected. I did that to enhance my chances at staying in the “medal count” as if I were in competition with the countries competing in Vancouver; I was pretty sure of my ability to crank out a story a day.
Toward the end of the two weeks, though, I burned out. Lack of sleep played a big part of that. By the time that last Friday and Saturday of the Olympics rolled around I had a really hard time conjuring up the desire to keep writing. I’d proven my point — that I really could write a story a day– and I’d increased my writing velocity, so… Mission Accomplished.