Increasing Daily Word Count–Update

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I figure if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing now. That’s why I started the training program to increase my daily word count in November instead of waiting until January 1. You can read all about that training regimen here.

I’m pleased to report it’s progressing very well. I’ve written every day but one since beginning the program. Yes, even Christmas and New Year’s. I’ve had out-of-town guests and traveled out of town, and I’m currently nursing my husband after his knee surgery. I’m feeling a bit like The Little Engine That Could.  Okay, I’m feeling a lot like The Little Engine That Could. Chugging up that hill.

Don’t get me wrong. There were days I didn’t want to write, especially Christmas day. I sooo did not want to separate myself from my family to work. Surprisingly, the part of the program that kept me from skipping those days was my goal calendar—the one I printed so I could physically cross off the day when I accomplished that day’s goal. Yep, it’s been one day at a time. When I thought of not inking that “X” for the day, I experienced such a crushing letdown, such a sense of failure that I went right to the computer and fired up “Write or Die.” In thirty minutes, I had my words because “Write or Die” doesn’t allow me to second guess myself. My fingers must fly. No editing allowed.

Goal Calendar

Those X’s are sooo satisfying!

 All those X’s on the calendar are soooo satisfying.

Yes, yes. X’s are fine you say, but what about real results. Numbers, we want numbers! Okay. Here ya go. In December, a month in which I’m lucky to get any words, I wrote 19,700. This month, I’m on track for 27,400. I’m up to 1100 words a day. Weekends are 500 a day. I’m on track to reach 2000 a day by mid-March.

For many of you that’s small potatoes. For the rest of you, who like me struggle to produce, I hope this provides inspiration for you. If I can do it, anyone can.


Increasing Daily Word Count–Update — 16 Comments

  1. Pingback: Samantha Ann King | Explore Love's Possibilities » Blogs

  2. I think I need some of your motivation, and Jeffe’s burning ambition! I’m feeling lack a real slacker. I started the year with guns blazing. And then a rejection knocked me on my butt. I wallowed in self pity for a couple of days, then went back to work, but not on my WIP. I’ve got a new release happening on Feb. 6 and I’m getting ready for it with numerous guest blogs and interviews. I haven’t yet gone back to the WIP, but I will. Maybe I’ll steal Sam’s calendar.

  3. This is fantastic! I’ve been so off in hitting my goals lately. I may start printing the calendar out and doing the same thing. Do you allow for any days off in a month? How do you work in edits and revisions? Do you include the plus/minus of revision into your count, or are you only tracking new words created?

    I think my biggest challenge is tracking overall productivity. I have no trouble cranking out new words on a daily basis. It’s juggling everything else – revising, promo, etc. that derails me. For example, I’m currently in edits on one book and revising two manuscripts. I’m gaining net word count on most days, but there are cuts and some are deep. This is where I wonder if it would be helpful to keep a true track or more beneficial to my mental well being to only accentuate the positive?

    Perhaps I should just shut up and finish at least one of these damn books, huh?

    Great post, as always. Inspirational!

    • I believe it was Marie Force who said she writes every day, even holidays and even if it’s only 300 words. I’m taking that to heart. My goal for those days is 500 because I now know I can get that in 30 minutes. I’m hoping that spending time with my characters every day brings me closer to them. And I know if I write every day, it’s easier to stay in that groove. I’m tracking new words created. For instance, if I cut 1k words, I don’t have to add that to the word count I need for the day. In other words if my goal for that day is 1k and I cut 1k, I don’t have to get 2k–only the original 1k. If I had to make up that 1k, I know I would be VERY reluctant to cut the fluff. I just wouldn’t do it. If I add back part or all of that 1k later, I don’t count that in the words for the day because I’d be tempted to add something that really shouldn’t go back in. At this point I’m not revising anything but the current manuscript, but I plan to add revisions on another book next month and begin plotting the next.

      • This: ” I’m hoping that spending time with my characters every day brings me closer to them. And I know if I write every day, it’s easier to stay in that groove. ”

        You’ve sold me!

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