Thursday, June 8, 2017

Keeping Count - #MFRWauthor


Another week. Another #MFRWauthor blog post. This week we're talking about something every writer knows a lot about. Word count.

Now I admit to being a little stumped when I first saw the topic for this week. I wasn't entirely sure what was we were supposed to discuss. And if I'm perfectly honest I'm still not 100% sure, but here goes.

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Every writer has their ideal word count I'm sure. It's that magic number that makes the difference between the day being a successful writing day and a total loss. Every writer but me that is.

I've never been one to count daily words, I usually focused more on getting chapters completed. Those can range in word count from 1800 words to nearly 3000 (before editing of course). When I write I'm more focused on the scene at hand, getting it completed so that it makes sense for the story and to move along to the next part. That will take as many words as it takes.

I'm not keeping track, I don't set daily goals. I simply write for the moment. Some days I wouldn't write anything for various reasons, but I am changing that. Starting in January of this year, I joined a sub group within one of the Facebook groups I'm a part of, it's called the 365 Club. It's goal is to build a writing habit everyday so there is a minimum word count required of 100 words a day. Luckily they don't all have to be on your current WIP if a writer has one going. A lot of days, like today possibly, my 100 words comes from doing a blog post. Because I know I have a goal for this group, I do check my word count on whatever I've written so that I can know if I've made my 100 or not. Plus we have a spreadsheet we have to input our daily numbers into. I'm happy to say I've not logged a zero yet, hope I can keep it up for the remainder of the year.

Later this year I plan to attempt NaNo. That will be another time where keeping track of my word count will be necessary. Still it will be an overall thing on counting down from the 50k required to 'win' at NaNo more than anything else. Not sure if I'll make it, but we'll see.

So there you have it. I'm not a 'slave' to the word count as it were. I don't have the ideal number I want to hit before my novel is complete and I don't have a goal in mind at the start of each day (other than the 100 now). I'm a pantser through and through I guess. No planning of anything, just winging it as the mood hits.

How about you? Do you have strict daily word count goals in mind or a loose idea of where you hope to be each day? Let me know and check out what the others in the hop have to say on this topic.

Thanks for stopping by
~Meka


19 comments:

  1. As I hop from blog to blog, reading everyone's take on the subject, I'm just so grateful that I do what I do There aren't many jobs in this world where a person the freedom to do just what works for them and to change it when necessary. I love being a writer ;)

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    1. I've found that to be true for a lot of these topics. While some of us may have a similar theme, the approach still varies. Being a writer does give you the freedom to find the way that works best for you and not have to conform.

      thanks for stopping by

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  2. The first time I attempted NaNo, I grew so stressed by week #3, since LIFE and a creative block was hindering my ability to attain the daily 1600 word count, that I turned into someone I NEVER want to be again. The family was even plotting about possibly having me committed, since I was a raving bitch to everyone. I learned from that experience not to put so much damn pressure on myself, lol!

    That's also the reason I'm now 2 years overdue on a book deadline....ugh. Not proud of it, but at least everyone involved is VERY understanding.

    Kenzie Michaels

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    1. I feel like that might be me come November. I know they do mini camps throughout the year but my hope is to finally be done with my WIP so that I can focus solely on getting through NaNo. We'll see how that goes. LOL Hopefully it won't turn me into She Hulk as I try to get through it.

      I feel you on the 'deadline' while mine isn't concrete (no publisher/agent) my personal one is super long over due. I did book 1 in 2014 this one should have been finished a while ago.

      thanks for stopping by

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  3. I love how you phrased it as a 'slave' to the word count. As a panster- it can feel like that sometimes. Enjoyed your post!

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    1. :) Thanks. Yep I'm a pantser as well so I don't go into a writing session with any clear direction (most times). It's freeing but stressful all at the same time.

      thanks for stopping by

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  4. The topic confused me, too. I don't have a daily word count to write to, either, Meka. I'm conditioned now to sit and write for as many hours a day as I can since I do write full-time. I hope you get to do NaNo. My advice is to write as many words a day as you can in the beginning or whenever the mood strikes to write. Later, it will catch up to you and life will get in the way. There will be days you can't write toward the 50K, especially around the half way mark when it gets grueling. Good luck. Oh, and make a story plan and research before November 1st. NaNo has regional groups, and check Twitter for word sprints, etc. I enjoyed reading your post.

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    1. Yeah I had to think about what to say this week. I only have that 100 words in mind currently because of the 365 club, but other than that I don't have a set idea in mind. Less pressure that way. When school is in I have more time to sit for blocks at a time and write. Now that it's summer and my boys are home, I'm grabbing pockets of time here and there. Thank you for the advice for NaNo. I'll try to remember that when I start. I'm hoping to plan out my story for once to see if that aides in me getting the word count done. I'll be sure to look into groups when the time comes for the added support.

      thanks for stopping by

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  5. This is a great helpful post. I wish I had a 365 group LOL I am trying my best to write daily now but life and illness kinda makes that hard.

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    1. Thanks. Glad you found it helpful. The 365 group is a sub group of the 10 Minute Novelist on Facebook. It's been nice to get me to get words down each day since I don't want to log in a zero. LOL Sorry your illness makes it hard to write each day. Health is more important and make the most of your good days.

      thanks for stopping by

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  6. I never thought about counting my blog post words! That makes me feel better about how few words I've been putting out.

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    1. I never did either until I started the 365 thing. It does make it nice to be able to count those words.

      thanks for stopping by

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  7. This post goes to show that each writer is different. If I relied on simply writing for the moment, I'd have finished a grand total of two short stories in my entire life. Good luck with NaNoWriMo. I've found that it inspires me to produce and it's also taught me that I'm not as slow a writer as I always thought.

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    1. LOL yeah this way doesn't work well for every one. Well I've so far only written 1 book that way and have been super slowly working on the second. LOL I may need to revise my method, but we'll see. Thanks for the well wishes. Maybe NaNo will find some hidden speed and focus I didn't think I have.

      thanks for stopping by

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  8. I'm glad you pointed out that word counts on blog posts also count. I haven't worked on my WIP in awhile, but I've kept up with this blog hop, so I feel better. :) I've thought about doing NaNo, I may join you this year...

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    1. I second that. These posts and visiting the others in the hop takes time, dedication...and word count. :)

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    2. Robin, yes knowing I can count my blog post words helps a lot. On days I can't get words on my WIP doing a blog post helps whether it's for this hop or for the sims stories I still do on occasion. I'm going to see how to start a cabin for NaNo. There's this hashtag I'm a part of on Twitter called turtlewriters so want to make a cabin for that.

      @Helen yes, writing these post does take dedication as well as spending the time to read and comment on them. Although I don't log my comments as part of the 100 I'm after daily.

      thanks for stopping by

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  9. I know what you mean about writing for scenes rather than word counts, but I do like to get a certain amount of words down per day; it helps me know how much longer I might be spending on a first draft. Breaking off in the middle of a scene can be good, as you have something to pick up on the next day. Sounds like you're very productive in any case!

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    1. Yes, that's how I look at it. I need to get the scene done to move on to the next one. Since I don't have a clue how long my first draft will be keeping track of the daily words wouldn't help me. :( I do try to get an overall sense to see how long it is so I know if I need to stop wandering so much and bring things to a close. Then on to editing. Some days I'm more productive than others, but I'm trying to get better

      thanks for stopping by

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