Word Count

With my new project under way, I’ve commented in previous posts about time. I don’t have much of it and I’m actually OK with that. So when I do have time to write, I try to make it count. I believe I do my best writing in the morning. I’m refreshed, my mind is a lot clearer, and there are no distractions. Actually, there is one distraction, the internet. I’m tempted to check the news, facebook, and email. I try to allow myself  a ten minute max, and I’m usually pretty disciplined. If I were more disciplined, I would sit down and start writing and not get so easily distracted. Baby steps, I guess.

I digress because this post is about my word count in the morning. Before I start writing, I think to myself that if I can at least get 250 words I’ve accomplished something. Interestingly enough I usually surpass that most mornings. I know it’s not a lot. 250 words is a basically a one page Word document. But there have been mornings where’s hit close to 600 words, and on the flip side I’ve hit close to 200 words. I take what I can get and feel good about that. The word count approach keeps me focused and provides a goal for that morning.

I didn’t try this technique on my last novel. I basically pushed myself through the novel and the pace was exhausting. Now, I’m dedicating sometime in the morning and then whatever time I get throughout the day is a bonus.

Anyone have any other good goal writing ideas? I like to hear them.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Chris,

    If you’re looking for some temporary motivation, try checking out 750words.com. It is a sight for writers where you can set a goal of at least 750 per day. It tracks your progress as you go throughout the month. It helped me write 15000 in just a couple days, so maybe it can work for you, at least in small bursts of motivation and creativity!

  2. When I have to write a technical science proposal (or legal) presentation, I do consider word count ONLY because my clients have usually promised a proposal package of so many pages and for every so many words, that means research (my last proposal was 35 pages for a major university proposing to build a biological based immune system for computers…anti-virus/attacks).

    My only goal when writing my fiction is to make every word count. I am not a flowery writer (I don’t over-adjectate…my term but feel free to use it) and I always TRY to remove content that is going nowhere. Quite often, I spend a few hours writing a few pages only to delete them from my document the next day. I always save that cut material in text files as I often find it useful toward the end of the story.

    The key: Pay NO attention to the word count. If you write one meager, twelve-word sentence in an eight-hour day that holds volumes of insight, then you have ensured that those words count!

    I’ve not submitted any of my fictional works yet but hope to do so by the end of 2012. I want to have three novels completed before I turn in my first piece as I would like a three-book-deal.

  3. My only goal is to make some sort of progress every day. It’s not very disciplined, but it works for me.


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