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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Joy of Daily Writing

Probably the most difficult thing about writing is the discipline of writing itself.  We BADLY want to write those stories in our head.  Still, fear, multiple commitments and priorities, and a host of other things somehow always manage to get in the way of our writing on a consistent daily basis.

This month, ACFW is once again hosting NovelTrack/Writing--the ACFW equivalent of Nanowrimo.  My goal this month is 30K words.  I'm pretty close to target, maybe 2K shy of where I should be, but going well.

The first week of July I didn't get to write consistently every day.  Most days, but not all.  This week, it has been going great--I've met my daily goal each day.  I can't tell you how much better I feel when I set a daily word count goal and meet it.  Not only that, if I meet my word count goal before I leave for work, I practically feel like leaping over the moon. 

Somehow, getting my word count done in the morning just makes my whole day go better.  And as a reward to myself, if I make my word count goal before I leave for work, I use my breaktimes at work to read some fiction on my Kindle, since I never have time to read it otherwise.

The key to accomplishing the daily writing quota for me has been:
1.  Set a daily goal I have a reasonable shot at achieving.  Not too low, not too high.

2.  Get more efficient at managing my email (ie. I really DON'T need to read that thread on women's dresses in 1898.).  Only read the critical email and either delete the rest or save it for later.

3.  Once I meet my word count goal for the day, do NOT try to exceed it--that way I'm fresh and raring to go the next day.  This has been key for me this month--I do not have my entire plot nailed down and this enables me to ponder my story between writing sessions.

4.  Remind myself that "slow and steady wins the race."  Sure, I may not be able to write 5K words a day like Jane Doe writer does.  But if I write a thousand words a day for a year, I've got three first draft manuscripts plus.

5.  Cut back on my time reading industry blogs.  What good is knowing how to market, publish etc if I don't have completed manuscripts?

Here's hoping for continued consistency for the rest of July.  Next month I'll set a new goal for August.


Gerry said...

Just for the sake of curiosity what was your daily word goal?
And if I may be a little more intrusive, what time of day do you write and what tedious thing do you do for a living that cuts into your writing time?

B.K. Jackson said...


My daily goal this month is 1154 words per day (writing 6 days a week for a 30K month total).

Whenever possible, I try to write first thing in the morning after walking the dog and a few other tasks, which ends up being roughly between 6-7 a.m. give or take. That's my best time. I can do late morning/early afternoon but I have no brain cells for evening writing and very rarely ever do so.

RE: Tedious day job--I'm an administrative assistant with an excessive amount of people contact (by a hermit's standards) so it is extremely draining.