Words and Numbers

Met up with LJ, a friend of mine today. She is a commercial writer of erotica and romance. I say commercial because she successfully writes for money.

I told her about Writing Faster by LA Witt (see my last blog) and LJ and I both already do a lot of the things suggested by LA Witt. LJ has read loads of books of that type.

For my part, I am a very random, spiderweb worker – I don’t think I can think straight or write linear – So discovering this was part of LA’s secret was reassuring.

Like LA Witt, my friend LJ has been monitoring her output in terms of good words produced per day. LJ has a simple but elaborate system that starts with a timer and dots and lines in her diary and ends with reward stickers on her calendar. LA has spreadsheets.

Me, I can tell you that I was approx averaging 1k words of fiction per day until April. Ill health wiped out April and it was a slow start getting back on track. I’m sure I can do 1k a day, but I’ve not monitored it to the last detail. And I think I can do more. I am now convinced I should really monitor daily words in more detail and keeping such a record could help me become more focused and productive.

One of the many things I learned from Writing Faster was that 1k per day is not bad for someone with young children and other work to do, but I’m also sure I could do more than that. I also know from LA and other writers that I know, a FT professional writer could be aiming for 2-5k words per day. And from what I can ascertain 5-10k per day are possible a few days but not sustainable every day.

LJ is one of many who also points out that the many thousands of words on my hard drive are doing nothing if not published. So the other part of my goal must be to finish rather than just start and work on many, many stories.

Here are my immediate writing goals for September, based on finishing what I already have (note title is file on my drive not necessarily final title):

Let’s say there are 21 days left in September, because there are, and 31 in October. I only have to average a little over 1,000 words a day (+ editing)  over these 52 days to complete 4 of my half-started projects before Nano month (November).

These are what I think I will focus on:

  1. At Last words done 10,000 target 20,000 ish. To do: 10

2. BOAS2 done 4k target 10k To do:6

3. Landing Sation done 7k target 20 ish To do: 13

4. The Arrival done 30k target 60k To do: 30

Total to do: 59k

Also, final edits to The Beach (52k novel)

And over this time I am going to record my actual output.

So I’m going to start monitoring from tomorrow with 1k as my minimum goal and aiming for 2k.

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