Living Life by the Word Count

photo-1434030216411-0b793f4b4173It is with great shame that I confess that I have been working on the same novel for seven years.

It’s not that it’s really taken seven years to write, I’ve just taken my own sweet time with it. And granted, within those seven years, I’ve completed high school, began and completed an undergrad, started a business, gave up on said business, joined forces with a friend’s business, got a practically full-time job to supplement my work with the business, moved a couple times…

I really can go on with my excuses.

But I got sick of the excuses and really have figured it’s almost time for a year of jubilee. I am ready to be freed from this project.

I still love what I’m working on, but it’s just time for these characters to have their story in total and for me to move on.

So this is the year. This novel will be written.

But how?

By keeping a word count.

I’ve blogged a couple times about writing in community and I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for those I get to do my work beside. and I’m so grateful for the small team helping me complete this novel. Because it does take a village some times.

At the start of this year, I decided I needed to have some skin in the game and get this book done. I have two close writing partners who will be holding me accountable this year. My goal is to have the draft completed by November 23, 2016. If it’s not done by then, I owe them each $25.

MyNovel timeline-Should I need an extension, I will be taking them both out to dinner in which I’ll need to spend the complete $50.

So that’s my “punishment” but how do I avoid having to pay it?

By sticking to a word count. I have committed to writing 1,500 words a week until June, when the word count will grow. I have three times in my week designated for writing. I am not allowed to leave the manuscript until my 500 words are written in each session.

It’s hard. Sometimes that 1,500 mark is a struggle. Sometimes I get only shit writing out of it. Sometimes there are plot holes, but I need to just keep moving and save them for the editing process. Sometimes I don’t make the goal.

But the goal stands none the less. And I’m encouraged week in and week out whether I make it our not.

The word count rules the day right now and there is fruit coming from the labor.

Have you set a word count for yourself? How do you motivate yourself to stick to it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s