I’ve read some authors write to achieve a specific word count per writing session. This doesn’t work for me. During the time I allocate for writing, I might write, edit, proof read, research, or read. Setting a word count adds to much stress to the joy of writing. I can write to a deadline, I can write for the fun of it, I can write for creativity, but if I set a word count for a session, I obsess about the number of words and not about the quality of the writing.
While I’m doing other things with my writing time, all related to writing, an idea will often pop into my head. When that happens, I make a note of it. I’ve learned that if I don’t capture an idea, I won’t remember it later. I get right back to whatever activity I’ve been doing.
For me the writing life doesn’t mean writing all the time, but it does mean I shouldn’t get distracted from the task at hand. I believe all these things (editing, proof reading, researching, reading) make me a better writer.
Thanks for reading . . .
7 thoughts on “Writing Targets”
I can write the a specific word count in mind either. Writing is so much more than words on the page, and as long as I’m doing something each day to help further my novel, then I feel okay:-)
I agree. Inch by inch life’s a cinch. I had a boss that used to say that and for me it applies to writing a novel. A little every day, and voila, you create something.
Word count targets seem more practical than creative, but I think they can be useful if you’re going through a dry spell or trying to establish your writing habit.
That’s a good point. Sometimes if the creative juices aren’t flowing it helps to force a few words onto the page. Maybe you’ll be surprised and write more than you word target.
I’m not the most confident writer, so word count goals actually work really well for me. I set the goal really low–500 words is a good place to start–and that way, even if I feel that my words are not of much quality, I get a sense of accomplishment for getting them done.
(Fortunately, the words usually end up being much better than I feel they are at the time I’m writing them!)
As for other writing activities, I rely on a timer to give me that same sense of accomplishment. Even if the editing feels hopeless, knowing that I spent two hours on it helps me feel that I’ve made progress.
I like the timer idea. Then I don’t have to worry about what time it is and get distracted by checking. I’ll bet sometimes if goes off before you’re ready to stop. I’m glad the words end up better than you think. I guess we all are harding on ourselves than we need to be.