500 Words a Day?

500 words a day shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ve written as much as 3,000 a day during NaNoWriMo, but I’ve also gone for weeks without writing a single word. Problem is, I get bored easily, and have so many WIPs that it’s way too easy to jump from one to another when I hit a tough spot that I don’t want to deal with. The net result is that I wind up frustrated with having too many things to work on, and end up unable to write at all.

Scrivener has been largely responsible for my becoming a writer at all, so now I’m hoping that one of its features will keep me from giving up altogether. I’ve never been one to set a daily word count goal, except during NaNo. Even then, it took being motivated to get to that 50,000 word pot of gold to keep me at it. And a big part of that was the stats page, which gave me a visual picture of how I was doing.

Scrivener’s stats aren’t as extensive as NaNo’s, but it does have a “target” feature that sets a daily count and shows a progress bar that gradually shifts from red to deep green. With the negative-count feature set, it keeps the count up to date even when I delete material. Leaving that little box on-screen is a nice motivator. I just hope that it’s a sufficient one. I started with a goal of 250 words Tuesday. Pretty pathetic, but a big step after a long dry spell. I ended the day with a little over 500 words, so Wednesday, I pulled up my writer pants, set the goal at 500 words and pushed a little beyond. Today’s goal is still 500 words, and I’m going to stick with that for a while, and try to get into a solid writing groove before upping the count any further.

The WIP that I’m dealing with right now is a short story that I’m expanding into a novella. Revision is just as mind-straining as editing, so I’m hoping that the color bar will be enough to keep me from jumping to another project to relieve the pressure. I’m also thinking about serializing it, either here or on my website, to add an extra bit of motivational push. Self-discipline isn’t one of my top characteristics, so I need all the help I can get.

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2 thoughts on “500 Words a Day?

  1. I’m the dead opposite of you, Catana; I actually enjoy the buzz that obsessing on one work can give me. For this reason, the last 15 months where I’ve learnt formatting and put up ten or whatever different short stories has been for me like wading through a bog, with a constant sense of distraction. I can’t wait to get back to my one-large-work-to concentrate-on situation – which is coming up soon, I hope. I take my hat off to you for being able to spread yourself over a number of WIPs without going crazy. If I had to do that for too long, I think the men in white would be taking me away :-).

    1. Actually, I really do prefer to stick with one WIP, but my motivation for what’s highest priority at the moment is all over the place. When I reach the point where I can’t write at all, that’s my equivalent of being ready for the men in white to take me away. I managed 600 words today, so the rewrite is coming along. I’m determined to stick it out this time. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard that before.

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