When I wrote my first book, I enforced a strict writing regimen: 1,000 words a day, Monday through Friday. While this tactic worked, and I finished the book, I felt it took too long to complete the first draft (4 months). And because it took so long, I got tired of the story and my work suffered. Those around me constantly said, “You should be more like a real writer, one who writes whenever he/she feels like it.”
By the end of my first book, I agreed. Maybe if I approached writing as an art versus a business, I’d finish faster and end with a better product. So for my newest WIP, I decided to try out this new tactic. I’d write whenever I felt like it, and because I wasn’t forcing myself to write, the story would fly from fingertips and be better for it. Right?
My writing slowed even further. Feeling like it, turned into two or three times a week. The story lagged, the characters became flat, and my life began to spin wildly out of control and I thought seriously about what heroin would feel like.
I backed away from the needle, slapped myself out of it, and decided writing when I felt like it was my excuse to not write. Instead, I gave myself bigger goals: 2,000 words a day, Monday through Friday. The book started rolling, my critique partners celebrated, and the story improved.
Turns out my first book didn’t work because the plot was convoluted, not because I wrote it like a Marine. For me, setting daily goals is the only option. Like Coco Puffs and coffee, I need them every day.
What about you? Do you set daily/weekly writing goals, or are you a go-with-the-flow kinda’ writer? Hit me back!