Since it’s November and many writers are doing Nanowrite, there’s been a lot of discussion of daily word count goals. Daily word counts always make me a bit queasy because years ago I was trying to break into Hollywood and burned myself out with such a goal. Admittedly, the goal was too aggressive, and I also didn’t stop to recharge at all — but the goal helped contribute to the burn out.
But some form of goals are a necessary evil so the book actually gets written. Bob Mayer has a great post on the topic:
I see people who do #nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) where they try to write a certain number of words each day, every day and I have two views of that: it’s good they are getting words down. But are they the type of writer who works that way? I know writers who don’t write every day, but work in creative bursts. They might not write for a week, then knock out 20,000 words in three days. #nanowrimo doesn’t work for them. Stephen King says he write 10 pages a day. That’s great for him. Does it work for you?
I honestly don’t know how someone can do ten pages a day. I’d focus on getting ten pages done, instead of getting the scene done right. So I’m thinking of using a time-based goal. I have one on my revision of Miasma, which is to finish it by the end of December.
It’s been better for me than a traditional word count goal. It’s revision, so it’s included a lot of times where I’ve had to take wordage out. It’s a little demoralizing looking at Scrivener’s words for the day and discovering that it’s -1,302! Yet, I did a lot of work, but the word count sure doesn’t show it. How does a writer even meet a word count goal when removing words?
Have you faced these kinds of issues when writing your book? What did you come up with?