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Friday, January 2, 2015

First steps

In an effort to start 2015 off right, I have embarked on a project inspired by Mark Finn. Last year he strove to write 1 million words. He didn’t quite make it for reasons he details in his own blog, but he did accomplish a lot. Now, I’m not going to be so bold as to make the same promise. But I am going to make an effort to get as far as I can.

Virtually all writers agree that the most important part of writing is writing. And that you should do it EVERY day. Whether it’s a sentence, a paragraph, a page, or even a whole chapter, every word you commit to paper/file/etc. is a word closer to The End. I’ve tried in the past to hold myself to this standard, and a bit more. I’ve often set myself a daily word count minimum. Sometimes it’s been 1100 words a day (which is what you need to do to get a 50k word novel in a month, according to NaNoWriMo). Sometimes I’ve pared that down to 500 a day, or even less.

Well, I’ve decided to chuck the number minimums out the window. I created a simple spreadsheet with columns for Date, Word Count, and Project. Ideally, the Date column will have an entry for each day of the year, starting with today. And more importantly, the Word Count column will have a number greater than “0” next to each date (and on days when I fail to write anything, I plan to put a big, fat “0” in there). The Project column will be so I can see where my efforts are most often going. At the top of the sheet will be a running tally that will automatically update every time I enter word count.

And that’s it. Not going to hold myself to a standard that, frankly, I’m not prepared for. Instead, I’ll just be happy if I very few zero’s in that Word Count column. And I want those to stand out. To glare at me in admonishment. I think I’m off to a good start. Did 1018 words today, and I may be able to get a few more in by the time I hit the sack tonight.

It should also be noted that these word counts will be fiction only. Blog posts, social media rants, and homework assignments won’t count.

5 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

Best of luck with that Tom. I hope some of that writing includes game writing.

Tom Doolan said...

Now that you mention it, I think I might amend that standard to include game writing.

Keith West said...

Good luck. I'd like to see some more fiction from you this year.

Charles Gramlich said...

I managed just over 100,000 words last year, which is pretty good for me and I'm generally satisfied. My goal this year is to write 300 words a day. So far so good.

Shane O. Burns said...

Wish you the best Tom. I look forward to reading more of your work.