When I first started writing seriously towards publication (back in 2008) I used Inkygirl’s Wordcount Challenge. My goal, every single day, was to write 1000 words.
If I didn’t meet my daily goal, I would simply pick it up again the next day. This is how I got through every first draft I’ve ever written.
As life changed, as I shelved novels, slugged through revisions, and juggled multiple manuscripts, I made lists, instead, concentrated on chapters or scenes, switched my mind on and off from one project to another, and the daily word goal disappeared.
Now that I’m a few thousand words into a current rough draft, I think of the Wordcount Challenge. I think of its simplicity, its malleability, its guilt-free calories.
So, I’m pledging 500 words a day for this rough draft because that is what I can handle from 9-10PM each night after the little one falls asleep. And if I don’t meet the goal one day, I’ll pick up again the next, and if the weekend is full of sun and family and friends, I’ll pick it up again on Monday. And so it goes.
Sometimes, novels feel daunting, bridgeless and river-wide. But if I think of it in 500 word sips, it feels manageable. It feels more like joy.
If anyone wants to play along with me, let me know (you can challenge yourself to get anywhere from 50-1000 words, whatever works for you.) It’s always more fun to do it together.