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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

They Say Confession is Good for the Soul

I've been told that confession is good for the soul. We'll see about that...

My goal for March was simple survival. March is always a crazy month, but things usually level out in April. Not so this year. Someone asked me why I haven't updated my word count in several weeks. The answer is simple, I haven't written that much.

Although my daily word count goal is 1k, I'm not reaching it.


The list of excuses is endless: sick baby, broken window, to busy milking a goat, ran off with shinier story but still didn't write, to hot, to cold, to busy trying to take over the world... take your pick. None of the excuses are good.

There is no such thing as a good excuse. Writing 1k a day is approximately thirty minutes of my day. I spend more than that flipping through comics on the computer when my in-box is empty. So what's with the pathos?

Better yet, what's the cure?

I'm having trouble working with only a self-imposed deadline. While I play catch up today, tell me, what do you do when you're off stride?


  1. I eat cookies then beat myself up with guilt. Not recommended. :\

  2. I lower the bar. As a matter of fact, I was just thinking yesterday that I need to do that again.

    Whenever I have trouble meeting a specific daily word count (my "normal" drafting wc is 800 wds per day), I go back to 250. That's my magic "there is absolutely no reason not to sit down for 15 minutes and knock this out" number for word count.

    For some reason, lowering it down to such a ridiculously low number works for me. It's like my brain goes "I'm way too lazy to do 800 words today...but 250? Pshaw...no problem."

    I don't know why it works, but it does, for me. Pretty soon, I'm back at 800 wds per day again.

    Something to consider, anyways. :-)

  3. Amy - No, beating yourself up is no good.

    Jamie - I'll have to try that.

    Actually, just after I set this up to post DH came home from the store with dark chocolate caramels. Suddenly I had the ability to write again. I'll have to remember that all I really need to write, is chocolate.

  4. When I get off-stride, I shrug and accept that I need to start over again. Chocolate does help a lot too.

    Right now, I've got few days when I feel like writing so I'm being reasonable about my goals. Although, I do feel guilty about not keeping up with my writing since I'm supposed to be writing about how I currently feel and am dealing with my situation.

    Good thing I have a good recall for the days when I feel too sick to write and can later write about how sick I was feeling. :P

  5. Do you have a particular writing time? Last night I decided to set up a schedule of some sort: 4:30 - 6:30 (Homework). Once homework is complete or I reach 6:30, it's writing time. Only once I have reached my 200+ words may I do anything else. That's TV, video game, shower, internet, playing music (pretty much all I do, so there's no reason I can't do my homework and write and get to bed on time). I'm aiming to get to bed before or at 12:00am.

    Anyway, I'm using my video game to motivate me to write. I can't turn it on until I've written 200+ words. If you have chocolate, you could use that as motivation. You don't get the chocolate until you've written your daily goal. This technique is called "The Carrot".

    Don't be too afraid to lower the count for a while. As long as you're moving forward, that's what matters. You're stuffed if you don't write anything at all. (Basically, because our lives are based on habits, and if you don't write one day it breaks the habit.)

  6. Ilnara - I'm trying to get back to writing. Promise.

    Ryan- I usually write in the mornings, but if I have errands to run, or appointments I wind up off schedule. Between 2pm and 9pm I'm at work (or the local unpaid equivalent). By the time I'm home and the kids are in bed, I can't think straight let alone type.

    I made need to force myself out of bed an hour earlier on the days I know my mornings will be crazy. *sigh*