As a writer I love to mark my progress. It seems a silly and almost juvenile thing to throw a parade for every thousand words written, but that is how I know I’m getting somewhere. When you hit that first thousand words it’s a magical thing, and every thousand word increase after that represents a step closer to a completed first draft.
Some writers might like to look at smaller goals, and feel a sense of achievement for one hundred words completed. Others might go for really big goals and throw up a cheer for every ten thousand words. Maybe some don’t look at their word count at all and just feel happy whenever they finish a certain chunk of writing. Whatever works for each person we all do it in some way.
As an accountant I’m obsessed with numbers… oooh look I just hit the one hundred word mark on this blog, nice. Anyway, as I was saying I crave the completion of small steps and sometimes I even chart progress on a spreadsheet (I have a spreadsheet fetish – odd I know). It helps to ground the work as well as showing you how and when your peak writing times occur.
If I were able to write full-time, I would be aiming to hit the big numbers on a daily basis, 10k is a good goal so I’ve read. I think the most I’ve ever managed in one day was around 8k, which is phenomenal. It helped that I had a really clear vision of that section of the book on that day. Other days it comes in fits and starts, but every day that the word count goes up represents progress in some measure.
I’m currently on track to complete 3… maybe even 4 novels in one year. Considering I’ve never manage to complete anything of significant length in the past 32 years, I’d say this represents some kind of turn-around. I can only hope my determination holds out indefinitely, and if you’re a writer too then I hope you can achieve the same (if not more!)