Word Deficit– No Problem!

I didn’t find quite enough time to meet my goal yesterday. Now, I’m 300-some words in the hole, but I take solace in the fact that I had a deficit yesterday too. My writing schedule isn’t strict here, as long as I make up the difference soon.

As a matter of comparison for you readers, I feel its important to let people know how fast I actually write. This is a little number-intensive, but bear with me for a moment.

One of the ways I keep focused on work is by creating related documents. In the past, one of these was always the wordcount document, an excel workbook. Since I switched to writing my whole novel in a single document, rather than in individual chapters, I’ve discontinued the wordcount document. I already have a pretty good idea of how fast I write.

20 words per minute average– That’s about how fast I compose text. When compared with typing speeds I think this is a little slow, but keep in mind, I am not copying this text, I’m thinking it up as I go. The other point I have to make is that this is my sustainable rate. I write up to 40 or 50 words per minute (sounds crazy to me actually), but rarely for more than 1 or 2 minutes at a time. I can keep the 20 words/minutes going for over an hour with minimal outlining.

When I talk this much about numbers in writing people sometimes tell me its about quality, not quantity. I feel like they miss the point, though. I don’t write worse when I write faster, because I did not choose to write 20 words per minute. This is just how fast I write normally. It’s my belief that it doesn’t take longer to produce excellent first-drafts rather than, shall we say, crappy ones.

My writing program is helped immensely by knowing how long it takes to write the target goal. If, for example, I have 1800 words, I know I’d better block out 90 minutes or so to do it. That’s 90 minutes I can slot in wherever, not a usually in one session. Sometimes I finish early, and sometimes I overrun the working-outline and need to do more of that before going back to writing.

I’ve got class today, but tomorrow is Saturday, so I might post again then unless I totally flake on my writing today.

Goal for the book: 10,500 words by midnight!

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