Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesdays, where I post (you guessed it) tips on writing every Wednesday at 5:00 PM ET. This week’s topic:
This week’s post is especially aimed at goal-oriented writers, whether professional or amateur. We’re going to be talking about changing the way we think about how and how much we write in a day. Ready? Let’s dive right in.
I’ve been trying out a new technique to assure that I am using the time put toward working on my novel wisely. I have a goal to meet: having the book out around November-December 2017. Why? Because, as I have briefly mentioned in other posts, I am writing a Norse mythology-based novel, and would love to have it come out around the same time as Thor: Ragnarok, while the hype and interest in Norse mythology is at maximum power levels.
I try to make my writing goals realistic, not lofty, so I don’t lose any steam.
If we set our word count goal unrealistically high, we’re just going to burn out.
And that’s the last thing we want. Remember the old saying, “slow and steady wins the race?” Well, when writing something as big as a novel, this is an important lesson to heed.
This is not to say, however, that we should try to be slow. It means we should analyze our pace, and write at the speed at which we feel pushed, but not overly so.
For example, if you go to the gym, you don’t want to select weights that are too hard or too easy; you want to select the weight that makes you struggle, but you can also do ten reps of.
Translated: work hard, but at a pace at which you can not only keep up throughout the day, but the week, and even the months to come.
HOW DOES THIS WORK FOR YOU, ALYSSA?
I’ve found out that my happy-yet-worked-for pace is 500 words an hour. This number is specifically for when I am working on my novel, and could possibly be more if I were working on a short story or other projects. Sometimes I write more than 500 words when working on my novel, and I consider that a win! BUT I always, at the very least, MUST reach 500 words in an hour.
Something that helps me is to start at the top of the hour (if and when I can). This way, I easily know when an hour has passed, without having to remember that I started writing at 5:37, haha. Find what works for you!
The important thing, as always, is to keep writing. Even on the days when you can’t reach your 500 words an hour, or your equivalent, press on! Remember: no one’s judging you but you, and there’s comfort in that! (And sometimes a bit of terror, haha.)
Alyssa Grace Moore
What are some techniques have you discovered that help you reach your word count goals?
You can also find Alyssa on Twitter: @alyssagracem
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