Now that all the craziness of the past few weeks is starting to settle down, I actually have time to write. It's awesome. Monday, I managed 1200 words, and yesterday 1400. I would definitely like to keep the pattern going and get 1600 today, but we'll see. Some scenes are harder to write than others, therefore taking more time. I probably could have written a lot more yesterday had I not had such trouble with a certain scene; a dialogue exchange that may have been six lines long took me nearly an hour to write.
I have noticed that when I write with a word count goal in mind, my writing follows a certain pattern. Usually my goal is 1000 words. I know I can easily write 1000 words in a day. I know I can write even more because I have done it before. My highest daily word count to date is over 6000 words. That was one day, and I'm not sure that will ever happen again. I can consistently hit 1000 words if I force myself.
The first two to three hundred words come fairly easily. I'm in the groove of writing, excited to put words on the page.
I get to four hundred words, and my steam slows down. It takes me a while to get the next hundred words on the page. Not sure why. My attention span may wane. I may get a message on Facebook, or a mention on Twitter, or I may find a blog post about some odd writing related topic. I may need a snack, or I may need to take a quick stretch break.
After an hour or more wasted feeding my distracted mind, I come back to the keyboard. Oh, I still only have about 450 words. This really sucks. So, I drudge through the next fifty words, taking Twitter breaks every fifty words thereafter. I somehow manage to make it to seven hundred words.
Woo! Seven hundred words! I'm only three hundred words away from my goal! So I start typing fervently again, like when I first started for the day. I get maybe another hundred or two. Almost there!
I slow down again. Check Twitter, Facebook, my blog... etc. Anything to keep me from my writing just a bit longer. I may get another sentence or two in the meantime. My hand is trained to wander to the Firefox button on my desktop when I slow down for just a second. I need to move the button everyday so it won't be so easy to find it.
Then, I realize I've wasted a good few hours today on not writing. I commit to plug through the last thirty, fifty, or ninety words.
I easily pass the 1000 word mark, and before I know it, I'm writing like a fiend until about six o'clock. My husband comes in the office, demands dinner, and my writing day is over.
It's weird that once I hit that 1000 word mark, all writing inhibitions leave. It doesn't work for any other word count goal I set for myself. I've had 500 word writing goals, 1300 word writing goals, and even 2500 word writing goals. I easily pass the 500 and then recommit to 1000. I write to 1300 words and stop. I look at the 2500 word goal and just cry, knowing I can't make it that far. 1000 words is my sweet spot. Everything after 1000 words each day is just icing on the cake.
When my goal is 500, I feel like I'm cheating myself. When it's 1300, I know that's a reasonable request of myself, and I accomplish it without any good or bad feelings. When it's 2500, see crying; it usually becomes a drudge of boring work. But when the writing goal is 1000 words, I feel like I'm cheating myself if I refuse to make it, so I do. I force myself to reach the 1000 words, and then I feel like Queen Writer of the Universe! I am Writer Awesome! I can do anything. So, in my happy mood, I keep writing.
Do you have patterns in your writing? Do you commit to a daily or weekly goal, and how do you reach it?