Monday, June 6, 2011

Counting the Words

When writing a book, one of the most important aspects to keep track of is the word count. For me, I have a goal of about 120,000 words. It sounds like a whole heck of a lot of words and it is, but I believe that’s only about 400 pages.

I have a fear of going over that 120K, and I mean over. Way, way over, because I’ve done it. My first book, which was never published, was about 240K. It was ridiculous (lol). But the complete manuscript isn't what I'm concerned about at the moment. I'm nowhere near finished with my book. (Epic sadface --> :(  ) This time, it's not reaching my goal at all that I’m worried about.

I don't know how you feel about it, but writing can be hard. Sometimes it's very difficult to make yourself sit down at a computer and type out the scenes playing over and over in your head. Maybe it's because your easily distracted, or you have writer’s block, or you feel the writing isn't up to par, or because it's just plain ol' intimidating.  

Or is that just something I go through?

From reading other writer's blogs—even very famous author's blogs—I've learned that I'm not alone. Whew! *Wipes sweat from brow* So, I'm not a writer-freak! But I do need motivation and something to keep me grounded.

And I have it.  A good trick I have learned in the past few months is to make a goal for yourself every day. A lot of famous writers do it: Holly Black, Lauren Oliver, Veronica Roth. The only problem is how much? Every person types at different speeds, and sad to say, I'm on the slow side. And I don't just mean “cruisin' along” slow, I mean "snail trying to stampede through peanut butter" slow.

Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but that's how it feels—not to mention I get distracted easily. (Darn wireless internet with it's cyber-candy of Facebook, Youtube, and Blogspot!) So this is my vow. I will write 1,000 words a day. It's not a lot, but it's a start. If I can focus more, I'll be able to write more, and faster. So, how much did I write today? Drum roll, please?

*Insert drum roll?*

765 words. Well, it’s a start :D I'll let you know how I do.

Tell me, how much would you start out trying to write a day, or how much do you write a day?


  1. Great post. 240K words? Good lord, I'm in awe! well done. I happen to be a huge fan of thick books :)

    I tend to focus less on the word count and more on the time spent. A while back I decided to try and force a habit; I committed myself to writing at least 2 hours a day. Sometimes I get more than that, but I make a point of not doing less. It took a while but I think that habit is established. How that translates into words ranges considerably.

    Good luck with your WIP. Nice blog btw.

  2. Thank you, and thank you for the follow. I like your goal of two hours a day, it's a good goal :)

    I'm a fan of thick books, too. The thicker they are, the better (lol). Congratulations on getting your book published, by the way.