Friday, 8 March 2013

Writing Log 130308: Bad Dog

I don't make New Year resolutions, because one tends not to be able to stick to them and therefore what is the point?  Better instead to just identify the changes you want to make, come up with a plan on how do that, and then do it.  However, my partner told me to keep a physical record of my daily writing in a diary, which I have been doing since the beginning of January.  So here I am writing the first of what will probably become weekly diary entries keeping track of the work I've been doing with my time.  Given that this blog is about writing, this will mean I'm keeping a very public record of the number of words I've written in that time. So no pressure then!

Writing down the number of words I've written each day has been a useful tool for me as it allows me to track my progress towards reaching my targets.  When I started writing I just made the target easy, write something each day.  Looking back in my diary I can see that the first day I sat down and started writing Bad Dog I achieved the grand total of 346 words.  This is not bad and is pretty close to the advice Chuck Wendig gives if you want to write a novel then write 350 words everyday.  Of course I didn't manage this everyday, but I made progress, which is the point.  It took me a couple of weeks to get to the place where I had written a thousand words of my novel that day.

A thousand words is a pretty good too, and there are authors who have made their career based on a thousand words a day.  However, a couple of people I know said something along the lines of one really needs to be able to write two thousand words a day, if you want to be able to make a living from writing.  Looking back now I see it took me a month to get to the place where I could write two thousand words a day. Though I didn't always achieve that total everyday I wrote.  Now what I find by looking back through my diary is that by the end of the week I have managed to average two thousand words a day.  To do this require you to treat writing like work, which means letting go of the need to be precious about the words, and seeing them as mere markers on the way to your ultimate goal of a finishing your novel, which is about 100,000 words in today's market place.

So this week my total word count is 13,097 words.  The novel is now running at 77,712 words and the summit is in sight.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ashley,

    This is a very thought provoking post and is a useful point of refernec for any aspiring writer. I will certainly try to apply some of the techniques you describe and for the record my own novel is currently at around the 60,000 words - or roughly half way. I have another 10,000 words in notebooks that has yet to be included.

    All the best,