Leave a message after the beep
Two years ago or so, in conjunction with the marvelous Jami Attenberg's #1000words of summer, I started 1000 words a day which was hard but then...not that hard (in the early stages of writing something, when the words come fast & maybe don't matter that much, just trying to get the architecture sorted), and saved each days work with the word count. Looking in the computer file and seeing the steady accumulation was super heartening, somehow, particularly on those days when the voices of "you're a slacker, you can't do this," etc etc rang loudly. I could look at the word count and think: yes, I did that. And now I do it with every project. That's my magic, I guess.... (and have a lovely writing time)
Congrats on your residency!
So funny. That's EXACTLY how I track my word count and I'm always convinced there's some better way, but then I just come back to writing it in my bullet journal without any frills whatsoever. Glad to know I'm not alone.
Thank you for sharing! Best wishes for your residency! ❤️
Bravo!!! Wish I was going with you!
Scrivener has been great for keeping word count! Truly works as a motivator when you see how many words your crushed in one day
I DO need something while you're away at Spruceton! I need you to fan-kid on Steven Weinberg for me! Please and Thank you!
Thanks for giving folks a peek at your process, Kate. I love the simplicity of your accountability chart!! Wishing you productivity and clarity for the work ahead!
Good luck on the retreat! Nothing better for really getting your head into a book.
Can I come?
Have a great retreat! Oh how I wish word count goals worked for me. As soon as I set myself a goal, resistance rises up inside me and more likely than not, I write nothing. And yet, I do find ways to keep at it.
Accountability is where it's AT! I couldn't have gotten through all my books without the tools you talk about here. I have a writing partner, writer's group, the Scrivener word count, even a calendar to use when I'm accumulating the SFD (shitty first draft). Calendar idea from Jerry Sienfeld, of all people, and very effective for those who love external accountability like crossing off goals. Two of my students set up a yearlong accountability partnership where they emailed once a week with their word count and activities. Both finished their books. (One is published, and I'm sure the other will be.)
Thanks for this interesting post about your writing process. Word count is very interesting. I bet most writers pay attention to it, even though we can't really know precisely how long our books will be.
Just started a log just like this, thanks for sharing it! I love how rudimentary it is. So simple you can't NOT do it.
Great article!!! Thank you!!!
A writing residency sounds amazing. I've just started out on my first book - I look forward to reading more of your tips, tricks and stories.
Good luck with your edits, Kate! How smart to hole yourself up in a hotel and just get it done. I had a few questions: Once a manuscript is accepted by a publisher, how long does one usually get to turn around the edits? How common is it to get an extension if the author needs it? Just how binding is the a contractual obligation in terms of delivery milestones? I wonder about all of this as I finalize a manuscript for querying and start to dream of being in the position of having the kind of deadline you have, and then the fear of getting writer's block or a severe case of procrastination just when it really matters!