Friday, August 19, 2011

Word Count

I haven't posted anything lately for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is that I'm concentrating on revising my novel. I've never counted words before as a method of tracking or motivating myself. But I feel that at this point it's beneficial.

I'm working hard now on the final draft of a novel I estimate to be 110,000 words. I started reading the book aloud as the final draft a couple of months ago. Earlier in the year I had hoped to finish the final draft by the end of August, but that became unrealistic. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I estimated I had about 90,000 words to go. I calculated that if I could finish 692 words a day six days a week (I don't work on my writing on Sundays), I'd finish the book around December 31. Then I figured that, if I could finish about 1,153 words a day, I could finish it in three months or around the end of October. So I decided to keep track of the words each day and week that I finish. Thus far, the results look like this:

August 1-August 6- 2,621 words
August 8-August 13- 3,766 words
August 15-August 18- 7,036 words.

It looks like I'm accomplishing more and more as the weeks go by. Part of the reason for that is that the remainder of the book is already highly polished. I added quite a bit of new material to the beginning of the book when I started the final draft, so I needed to do more work to polish it than on the rest of the book. I'd certainly like to continue at the 6,000 to 7,000 word mark each week. If I can finish the chapter I'm revising now, which is over 1,000 words long, by tomorrow, I'll have finished over 8,000 words for this week. That's probably about the best I'll do on a weekly basis. But that should finish the book sometime in October.

Another reason I'm accomplishing more each week appears to relate to the fact that I am keeping work count. I feel motivated during the day to work on my book rather than do other things. Yes, I appear to have a goal.

Another reason for accomplishing more is that the modem on my computer died and I had no internet for over a week. At first, I was totally lost. But then it became easier to find time for writing. It's only common sense that eliminating as many distractions as possible frees up more time for writing. It reinforces everything you read about controling your time. And, putting writing ahead of all the voluntary distractions we indulge in is a huge benefit.

So, at least for the next two or three months, I'm buckling down to writing. I'll try to blog every so often, and I'm still reading a lot of blogs I follow, but in this case less is more.
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