The 300 Word Day

I read an interview with a favorite author recently wherein she described her writing goal per diem was not a quantity of words, but a quantity of hours. Four to five was best, she said, for her to really feel like she'd made progress. Ye gods. The jealousy that welled up inside me.

I've also stumbled across some writers who scoff at the 2,000 word goal of NaNoWriMo writers, flaunting that they write 2k as a warm up to a regular day.

I work two jobs, and that's before I put in the time it would take to call writing my third occupation. I think the most productive day I've ever had, word-count wise, was a 6k day on a day off I had last month, and that was editing a piece from present tense to past tense and working 95% from a previous draft. The most I've spontaneously generated in a day was around 5,000 done sitting in a coffee shop last summer mainlining iced lattes and letting my butt go numb.

In college, I had a novelling teacher tell me (the class) that to really get into the swing of writing our novels, we had to turn off the internet for two hours (two hours!) and work without distractions. I was like, bitch, I got other homework I could be doing, and don't none of it take two hours.

That was ridiculous, of course, because I was in the middle of writing my BA thesis and I probably spent 3 or 4 hours a day on that alone, not counting the time per week I spent going on site visits and doing interviews.

My creativity is split these days. Job #1 takes place at a yarn store, and my crafting drive is through the roof. I want to make everything. I'm working on my second sweater in 6 months (unusual for me), and already this year I have four projects complete and three more being actively worked on. Often, after a day at work, I want to sit in front of the TV, watch Ripper Street, and knit until my fingers are sore. I love it. I've also taken up Roller Derby, which is a whole 'nother timesuck.

But I've got writing to do. And that's where the 300-word days come in. It's not a big, sexy, impressive number, and more often than not I notice that 300 words barely scratches the surface of the flow of the scene I'm trying to write. I've got half a dozen works in progress that need attention, and every day I give one of them fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes is a horrible short-shrift. My writing deserves four of five hours daily. I'm sure I could find those hours if I was determined.

But I'm not going to beat myself up about it, because every little bit counts.

Liberty State Fiction Writers - Create Something Magical Con

Daily Dose contract