Working the Writing Muscles

As I look at another disappointing word count for the week–1338 where it should be 2000–I have to remind myself of a few things. One, I have to acknowledge that while things are improving, I’m still in the middle of a family health crisis.  Playing caretaker takes a toll.  Second, there was a holiday last week, and I tend to be busy on holidays and weekends. (That’s all part of having a family and a child). And last, I didn’t do a lot of writing last month because I was busy with final edits and formatting for my book which was published.

Writing exercises a particular part of the brain, and that part has to be trained to sort of “create on demand.” I like to call it the writing muscle, and when you have a period of time when you aren’t writing, it may take a bit to get that flabby muscle back into shape. So when I create a daily writing goal for myself and don’t quite meet it, you can’t look at it as a failure. I’m building back up to speed. 1300 words is a lot better than no words.

Just as with exercise for the body, the key is to keep with it. So you missed a day. Make sure you write the next day. Don’t worry about trying to make up for lost time. If if happens, great!  You’ve exceeded your day’s goal. But just as you might not want to run fifty laps if you missed the last week, you might find it hard to write seven pages in one day when you’ve been writing only a page.

Remember, these are new words only. No editing, revising, etc. is included in this word count. I currently have three short stories completed that are currently in the editing phase. I’ve also started having other people read the first chapters of my second novel even though I’m not quite done writing it. (Some people may have a problem with this process. I don’t–I work from beginning to end, and at this point I know my beginning is pretty much cemented in.)

Also remember that you don’t need huge blocks of time for your writing. I could only WISH that I had that luxury!  Instead, I usually have to fit my writing into little fifteen minute breaks at work or on lunch, or in little snatches of time at home. I’ve become good at writing in little pieces while keeping the whole intact in my head. In my bed at night is where I do a lot of my plotting–the writing inside my head, visualizing the action.

So get on that computer and exercise your writing muscle! Every word is a word closer to finishing your next project.



4718 / 100000 words. 5% done!

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