Tuesday, February 10, 2015

One Word At A Time

I have a daily writing goal of 1,000 words. It doesn't sound like much when you're working toward and 80,000 word manuscript, does it?

Today, on Facebook (Yes, I guiltily acknowledge my favorite procrastination tool!) I read a friend's post lamenting that he was averaging about 500 words a day lately.  I commiserated. That doesn't sound like much.

But what those numbers sound like and what they do are two different things.  Word counts are only good to help you track what you have done. They're not meant to make you feel bad about what you have left to do.

My friend's 500 words a day, and my 1,000 words a day, get us that much closer to our respective goals. That's the fact all writers need to keep in mind where word counts are concerned.

A properly formatted, printed manuscript page, ready for submission, will average 250 words every time.  That means that my friend is getting two pages closer to "the end" every time he writes. That means I am four pages closer to "the end" every time I hit my daily goal.

There is no set guideline for how many words must be typed in a day to qualify you for writerlyness. Yes, I made that word up, I'm a fiction writer, I get to do that!

As long as you are moving toward your goal, and a finished manuscript, it doesn't matter if you only write one word a day!  Keep moving, no matter how slowly.

In the words of one of my favorite Disney Characters ever:

"Just keep swimming! 
Just keep swimming! 
Just keep swiii-iii-iiimmming!"

1 comment:

Karen Jones Gowen said...

This is exactly why I like to write my first drafts in longhand, to avoid the dreaded word count obsession.