In these days before deadline (when one book gets behind it’s hard to keep up with others down the line) I can barely face sitting down at the computer. I have a goal of 10 pages a night – 4 hours after work and that’s bad. The goal is too large. When a goal is too large we will do almost anything to avoid it because meeting it is nearly impossible.
So put goals within your reach – my standard is about 3 ½ pages an evening. I feel comfortable with that (10 on my off days).
OTOH, when you MUST, you can do it. A couple of the past weeks, I sat down, telling myself I couldn’t make the 10, but I could surely do 5 (when I didn’t want to do any at all), or at least 3…
Both times I made over my 2500 words. If you start writing, the muse will come and if the muse comes, she graces you with words.
I also check my word count far too often (I have a button on my toolbar), 500, 610, 763, 1067, 1201…not good. Hey, I’m telling you my faults so you can AVOID them.
One Tuesday night last month I didn’t want to write, put my butt in the chair late, was interrupted to go and get my galleys from my friend who line edits for me, and came back and sat down again. Finally, finally, I got into the groove and the scene went well. A touchy scene I didn’t think I knew how to write – Winterberry getting information from someone without being obvious. Still don’t know if I pulled it off, will have to wait for my mentor to read it to find out. The scene, and a bit I added to an earlier chapter, made my word count 2273. Well, 2273 is NOT 2500. Surely I could do less than 200 more words?
I glanced at the scene. Tidied it up, which meant cutting.. IN NO WAY ARE YOU ALLOWED TO PAD YOUR SCENES TO MAKE AN ARBITRARY WORD COUNT. NOT ACCEPTABLE.
So what to do? I let the muse help me. I started another scene (which is THE best time to end a writing session) and got caught up. It was short, and I even finished it. Final total 2637.
And it didn’t take 4 hours. It was 3 ¾ INCLUDING the time I went to my friend’s (she’s close) talked with her about Sorceress, and picked up the pages, went and got gas. Writing daily also means (usually) writing faster…or maybe I’m just far enough into the book to know my characters and how they’d react and the bits of the plot line I should be working on. Yup, worked in sequence, too.