Writing Production Comes with Ebbs and Flows

So, happy Tuesday to you!

We’re just shy of three weeks into the new year and I’ve been trying to maintain my word count goal for the year of 1,500 words a day. I am slightly ahead of target (33,830 for the first 19 days),  but I’ve found that it’s tougher  for me to hit the specific word count goal on a daily basis, depending on what’s on my plate for the day.

Last year, with the thousand words a day, it was an easier target, and I tracked it very loosely. The one thing that’s  helped this year was creating a spreadsheet to keep track of how many words I wrote on each day. The nice thing is it gives me a running total for the day as well as the year. I’ve got columns set up for up to three projects (p1, p2, & p3) and a notes column,where I indicate which projects I worked on on a given day. I’ve not done 4 different projects in a day, though I could see how I could conceivably work on four different writing items in one day. Still, that would be rare. So far, p1-p3 has worked just fine. In my notes column (following the day total), I use the notes column to indicate which projects I worked on.

word count chart

My word count chart has helped improve my accountability.

The good thing is I can look at the chart on any given day and feel accountable for my writing. On days when I am super busy with other things and I feel like just going to bed, I look at the chart and feel a swell of guilt. Usually, I’ll try to write just a few words on something. And that helps to keep the word count going.

On most days, I’ve done a pretty decent job of hitting my goal, but I have hit some days of ebb. Those days have mostly been days when I’m editing. Recently, I’ve been rushing to finish a project in time for a deadline tonight, and I’ve just not had a chance to get to the writing. On those days, in the notes section, I write, “edited project NAME; no time to write.”  The good news is, on days when I sit down with writing in mind, I’m able to hit or exceed the word count, which has put me in the position that I’m on pace, even though I had a day with “zero” words as the final word count.

It’s still early in the year, but how is your year going?


About RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist who now writes fiction. She's reported for the Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, as well as the smaller publications Education Technology News and Campus Crime. She has two published novels, Life First and Second Life and blogs for Indies Unlimited and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. For exclusive content and first looks at her new work, sign up for the newsletter at http://rjcrayton.com/subscribe.
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2 Responses to Writing Production Comes with Ebbs and Flows

  1. I’m in a huge ebb right now. 🙁

    • RJ Crayton says:

      I feel you, Yvonne. The ebbs are no fun, if you want to be writing. I’m probably going to have a zero to 100 day today because I’ve got to finish editing something and the only writing I’ll be doing will be a product description. 🙁 The good news is, if you can get into a few good flow days, you can often make up for the ebb.

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