Are you ashamed of your word count? Do you feel like you just don’t write enough each day?
Well, you’re not alone. I’d say most writers struggle with word count. It’s a hurdle. Like most targets or quotas.
I mean, hell, the first novel I tried to write–when I was fourteen–was somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000 words, and back then I thought that was a huge feat.
But it doesn’t have to be all that brutal. Or rather, it can be a lot more manageable.
Because here’s the thing, and I’m not sure if anyone told you about this. But just like practice makes you a better storyteller, it also makes you a faster one.
After a while, you might even find yourself going “oh, wow, that was 500 right there. Whoops.”
I’ve certainly done that.
But the point of this article — if a little schmaltzy — is to tell you not to worry about your word count so much. Give yourself real targets that you know you can do. Not some inflated stressful crap.
In fact, here’s what I did to get to where I am–just for my non-professional work. I started off writing one article every two weeks. And they were short. Like 200-300 words. Then I upped to one a week plus some occasional short stories.
Followed by two articles a week. Upped average article length to 350-500 words.
And once I had that comfortable, I went ahead and started writing 500 fiction words for myself on top of everything. But, of course, even that had to go up. 1k, then 1.5k. And that’s current, but I expect to get even faster and more willing to do even more.
It’s the nature of the beast.
But here’s the important part. It took 3 years of practice to be able to do that, and maybe that’s slow — but still, it’s progression.
If the number of words a week, a month, a year, is going up, you are improving as a writer.
Don’t forget that. Never forget that. Being a writer—professionally, as a hobby — is a long game. Perhaps one of the longest. If you push yourself too hard you will break.
So: set a target, however small. Make that target many times. Master it. And go higher.
If you’re doing it right, you will raise your word count almost automatically.
Good luck out there.
Great advice – you’re totally right! I have a lot of ideas for stories but I fall into the trap of ‘I don’t have enough time to write a whole story’ and then I don’t write at all!
I need to start small – I think 200-300 is a good point to aim for. Thanks for the boost of inspiration!
You’re so welcome! That’s exactly why I wrote the article! To inspire.
Just don’t give up, and be willing to forgive yourself if you slip.
Also, if you end up posting any of those stories online, be sure to tell me. I’d love to see a few!
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Aw thanks, will do! 🙂