Yesterday, I managed to write only 112 words on the story that I am currently working on. It is the lowest word count I’ve had since April 11, 2014. I thought I should mention it here since I often talk about my writing streak and my daily averages, to show that sometimes, even the best laid plan of mice and keyboards make it hard to fit in the day’s writing. Yesterday was one of those days.
112 words does not sound like much at all. Even so, I spent 20 minutes coming up with those 112 words, and they represent a complete scene in the story. I knew that yesterday was going to be a long day. I had a lot of work to focus on at the day job. In the evening, we went out to dinner with friends. So there wasn’t going to be much time to write. I squeezed in the 112 words early in the day, thinking I might have a chance to come back to add more later, but that didn’t happen.
I’m okay with that. Even though it was only a few short paragraphs, I felt good about what I’d written, and I was relieved that I’d gotten it done early in the day, rather than stress it about not having it done yet through the latter part of the day. For me, the goal is to write every day. It doesn’t matter how much or how little.
But it did make me curious about how often I have these particularly low word counts. Since one full manuscript page is about 250 words, give or take, I’ll use 250 words as a threshold, and ask: how often have I written less than a page a day?
In the last 724 days, I have written less than a page 57 times. That’s about 7.8% of the time, or about 1 out of every 13 days. Looking at it as a timeline, my low word count days look as follows:
I’ve learned not to be discouraged about low word count days. Some writing is better than no writing, even if it’s a page or less on a given day.
But mostly, I wanted to show that despite my growing consecutive day writing streak, not every day is an 800 or 1,000-word day. There are plenty of days (57 day of them!) when I can barely get a page.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Only 71 words, but what words! Quantity isn’t everything. These 71 words launched the greatest political experiment in the history of the world.
I really enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work!
Thanks again, Jamie.
I really appreciate you sharing the down days, too.
I was feeling down about my January word counts not being anywhere close to 500 a day. I averaged slightly over 200. Then I realized I’ve been rewriting/editing a novella all of that time [in addition to doing the day job and not taking time away from my family].
Yesterday I compared my words this year to last. I hit 10,000 early this week and it took me until June 6th to get there last year! And I still hit 127K. Last year I was releasing my first novel. This year I’ll have a novella, the second novel and 6-10 kindle singles.