February 22, 2008

Word Count Works

Posted in Reading, Writing tagged , , , , , , at 12:00 pm by lifelessonsfromwriting

So, for the past few days I’ve been setting myself a challenge here by putting how many words I’d like to have written by the end of the day. I wasn’t really expecting it to work, but much earlier this morning I really put it to the test. Basically, due to a number of issues (none of which were all-encompassing laziness, I swear), I ended up with nothing written at 1.1oam. I was tired and really, really wanted to go to bed, but I had promised myself that I’d write about 500 words first. What to do?

If I hadn’t set myself a target for the day, I can guarantee you that I wouldn’t have written anything at all. Instead, I ended up writing well over what I had intended. (We’ll not say anything about the actual quality of that writing…)

As the title of this post suggests, the ‘word count’ method seems to work for me. With that in mind, scroll to the bottom of this post and gaze upon the truly epic target that I’ve set myself today. Or alternatively, read my little rant first:

This is probably the dumbest book I’ve seen for a long time, and I once tried to read ‘A Million Little Pieces’. The title, the subject matter, the fact that Russel Brand is on the cover…it really hasn’t got anything going for it. The original manuscript should have been ejected into space as soon as Brand finished it.

Predictably enough, it’s a best seller in Ireland. I suppose the picture on the cover helped potential buyers identify with the author. Either that or they thought they were looking at a mirror and decided they could do with a new one. It’s a sad day when people are entertained by the self-indulgent rantings of some jackass who got famous despite looking and acting as if both sides of his brain melted together from drug overdose.

In other news, Why People Believe Weird Things is a very interesting read, although I’m a bit too framiliar with some of the topics to learn anything new from several of the chapters. Since Ireland seems to be enjoying a bumper crop of what could charitably be called ‘weird things’, I might pull a Shermer and cover one or two of them here.

Current word count for [untitled]: 14, 423

Target word count for the end of the day: 17,000

Current word count: 17, 038 (Success! And now, I’m going to sleep!)

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2 Comments »

  1. scgreen said,

    Your end of the day word count displays high aspirations. I myself stick to “no less than 500 words a day.” That quote was signed in the front of a book for me written by Brent Ghelfi. We were both in a writing class together. He’s now contracted for four books. I took his advice soundly.
    If you reach your goal, good for you. If you don’t, please don’t beat yourself up over it. I think that would be self defeating.
    Good luck to you.

  2. lifelessonsfromwriting said,

    I’ve heard other writers mention the ‘no less than 500 words a day’ limit (and one interesting case where someone had a system where they didn’t write any more than 500 words a day).

    At the moment I have nothing to do but write, though, so I figure I might as well set the bar as high as possible. I’m not one to beat myself up over anything, so it won’t be a problem if I don’t make it 😉


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