I like having a word count goal. For me it works much better than just writing when I feel inspired or when the words come easily. Because if I did it that way… I would never finish anything.
Personally, I use the project targets option within scrivener. I like watching the bar/word count total go up as I write.
Even with a word count goal, sometimes I struggle. Anytime my routine is off even a little I fight to get the time in to write. It’s usually the last thing I pencil in so its also the first to go.
It’s just been within the last week that I feel like things are coming together with consistently (so far) meeting my goals. It might be that I am coming towards the end of a self-imposed deadline for this draft, but I’ve also changed up a few things and so far they seem like they are working.
Here is what I’m doing or have done differently.
- Not working. Not exactly sure how related this is. I am hopeful that once I go back to work that my word counts will stay semi steady (I’m sure they will drop I am just hoping they won’t drop a ton). But time will tell. It’s definitely different though, at least for me. So I figured it was worth mentioning.
- Recording myself. The original goal was to dictate using a software program (dragon). That didn’t work out as planned, at least not for me. I still love the software I just think it has a sharper learning curve than I was willing to stay with for the time being. So I started using the plain ole voice memo app on my phone with the stock headphone mic (not sure what the technical term is here) on my daily walks. Or when I am cooking dinner, or when I am folding laundry. Or pretty much whenever I can’t sit down and type. It’s healthier, more productive, and I get quite a bit “written” in a decently short period of time. Win-win.
- I created an outline. I originally thought that I would do this more over time but I actually sat down and just hammered one out in a couple of hours. For me, I am starting to learn. I have to do the hard things first. The things that I don’t want to do or I put off doing (hello, outlines). Once those things are done everything else starts falling into place. Some of my outline even had sections that I just put as “unknown” for a bit while I filled in the pieces around it.
- Skip around. You would have thought that I had learned this lesson the first time. I went through the exact same thing with my first book. It’s the reason scrivener works so well for me. Because I can skip around. Sometimes I get stuck. Like really stuck on one single word kind of stuck. For weeks. And for whatever reason I keep trying to push through. To get past that point and it doesn’t work. I have to move to a different section. Whatever section I can visualize at the time. Somehow the process writing a section I can visualize helps me figure out what to do with the section that I am stuck on.
Yesterday, I clocked in a word count of just over 3,000 words. About 1,000 I straight wrote, and the other 2,000 were words that I had recorded earlier in the day and just transcribed. I was exhausted at the end of it all since it took me past my normal bedtime to get it done… but I did it. And now I just need to continue to do it every day for the next 15 days. No big deal right?