Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Not About The Word Count

Water

The above picture I captured while spending the afternoon in the pool and not writing anything. As a response to the articles about a daily word count I tend to constantly post, I'd like to balance out with a contradictory statement, word counts don't matter, not really.

I remember taking a basic English class in college where the professor expressed that the class shouldn't worry about achieving a word count; we should strive for the best quality in our work. This sounds scary and revolutionary, considering our school system is more likely to stifle creativity than encourage it. It actually sounds a little bit like common sense, and it is something we annually forget to take into account.

NaNoWriMo is a great idea and each year I join in on the fun, but I haven't successfully written 50,000 words in a month yet. My aim is not to do it either. I like the added importance of writing, I enjoy the camaraderie when I see fellow authors post about their experiences in November. It's fun. My expectations are if I write 15,000 words in the month, they're some bombdiggity words.

There are a ton of writers out there who can do 2,000+ words a day, every day. We all see a few of them post multiple large books a year, and post on their blog how they're already up to 120,000 words on their next manuscript; and it's only halfway finished! I write 60,000-80,000 words a manuscript and I'm easily distracted.

Take a look at what I post on my Twitter. Some days I want to use my free time to spend with my dogs, or go swimming, hit the beach, maybe go ice skating. I learned early on it's not worth the short term gain to spew a bunch of words on the computer if it's not fun and I feel like life is passing me by. That feeling is called regret and it can build quickly.

Has it slowed down my road to respectable authorship? Maybe. I don't write as much as I should on a self-publishing schedule that I'm on, but I certainly don't feel as tired as I used to be. I'm as dedicated as I've ever been and don't see myself stopping in the foreseeable future.

Learn that it's important to unplug every one in awhile.