Friday 7 May 2021

Writing Tips: Daily Word Counts & Total Tallies

Writing Tips: Daily Word Counts & Total Tallies

It feels great when you have a brilliant idea for a book and the words are flying onto the page.
But what happens when the motivation slips?

This always seems to happen at some point in any book I'm writing. No matter how enthusiastic I am in the beginning, no matter how much I love the story and the characters, I always seem to hit a brick wall. I not-so-affectionately refer to this as The Slump, and I've blogged about the horrible ickiness of wanting to write but not being able to over the years and offered some tips that I've found that worked to get me on the right track again, such as 15-minute bursts.

Another trick I use to keep me motivated is to jot down my daily word counts and the total word count after each writing session. Writing a whole book can feel daunting (I've published 11 books and I still find that blank page at the beginning terrifying, and I wonder how on earth I'm going to write 80,000+ words). Jotting the word counts down helps me to see that, no matter how badly I think I'm doing, even during The Slump, I am moving forward, bit by bit.


I make a note of my daily word count and total tallies in my week to view diary, next to my daily to-do lists, so I can see how much my book is growing by the end of each week. But you could make a checklist, or write your numbers on post-it notes (because who doesn't like a post-it note?) You could make a note on your phone or share it on social media... whatever works for you.

I use this method when I'm writing a first draft and then tweak it when it comes to editing by jotting down completed chapters each day and then the total number of chapters instead of the word count. And there's nothing more motivating than seeing that '1 completed chapter' edging its way up to '40 completed chapters' and then up to 'The End'.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment. I appreciate them all. Apart from spam, obviously.