Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Working with Word Counts

Last week we talked a bit about carving out time to write.  Regardless of whether you are setting aside thirty minutes or three hours to write each day, the goal is to make your writing time productive.  The question is how much writing did you actually get accomplished during that time? Anyone can sit at their desk for an hour or more.   As there are dozens of things can that easily distract writers from the task at hand, setting a realistic word count goal can help authors maintain their focus.

A word count goal provides an objective measuring stick that can help writers keep track of their progress.  At the start of a project, the end goal likely looks like a pin prick of light; however, as the work on your book progresses, the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter and larger.  Overall, this might help finishing a novel seem a little less daunting.  Regardless, as your word count total grows, your confidence in the ability to tell your story and finish the book should do likewise.

When setting a word count goal, there are two variables that you'll need to decide: the number of words to be written and the frequency.  Some writers are comfortable with higher word counts, others are unable to commit to a daily goal.  Weekly goals are fine, as you may write more one day than the next.  A good range for daily word count goals would likely be 400 words per day, which comes out to one page a day.  In 30 days, you'll have written 12,000 words; in a year, you'll likely have roughly 361.

This is not a hard and fast number; however, 400 words is a good starting point.  Some days you'll easily reach, or even surpass that amount.  Other times, life may interrupt your word goal count and you only manage 200 or so words.  That's fine.  The point is to keep writing.  Every word brings you one step closer to a finished manuscript.  

How many words are you averaging a day.  

No comments: