Time to Write and Word Count
No matter your mood, you need to keep those creative juices flowing. Like exercise is good for the body, writing every day is an exercise for your mind. This means you need to sit at the keyboard or pick up a pen and put something down.
Set a goal for yourself each day. It doesn’t have to be five thousand words or ten thousand words. Start off small with five hundred words. What you write doesn’t have to be related to your story. It can be disconnected thoughts, snatches of dialogue, or a description of something you saw that day. The only thing that matters is getting the words down.
I bet you are now thinking where will I find the time to write? I have a job, a family, and friends to hang out with. Many writers have the same problems, yet they manage to knock out a couple thousand words a day on their book. Sit down and figure out what you do during the day, and evening, then ask yourself ‘How much time do I spend on Facebook, using the gaming console, or watching stuff on YouTube? How much time do I spend sending text messages that aren’t very important? That’s where your time to write comes from. Like I said before, it doesn’t take long to write a couple of hundred words each day. You need to decide what is more important to you; playing games or your writing. It’s that simple.
I know someone who has written a thousand words a day for the past thirty years. He had surgery on Monday and afterwards still managed to write his daily 1k words. It was a bit disjointed to be sure and funny, since he was on pain meds, but he still managed to write. If he can do that every day, you can write a mere two hundred and fifty words without a problem.
So what do I write about? What you write doesn’t matter, unless you have set yourself a deadline for finishing the first draft of your book. Then you write for that. To keep your creative juices flowing, you can write about what you had for dinner the night before, or write about something that happened at school or work. If you remember what you dreamt the night before, write that down. Experiment, write something you never wrote before. A poem, a short love story.
What you are trying to do is get your mindset in a certain pattern when it comes to writing. Try and write at the same time each day. Set your phone to vibrate or whatever, close all the browsers you currently have open and start writing. If there are people in the house or apartment with you, let them know they shouldn’t disturb you unless it’s a true emergency. If you have a spouse or a significant other, explain to them how important your writing time is to you. If they really care about you, they will give you the space and time you need for your writing. If possible, write in a room where you can close the door on the rest of the world while you write.
If you have a self-determined deadline for the first draft of your book, that’s a slightly different matter. The following list will give you an idea of how long your work should be.
Micro Fiction up to 100 words
Flash Fiction 100 to 1000 words
Short Story 1000 to 7500 words
Novelette 7500 to 20000 words
Novella 20,0000 to 50,000 words
Middle grade fiction: 25 to 40k words
YA fiction: 45 to 80k words
Paranormal: 85 to 100k words
Horror: 80 to 100k words
SF: 90 to 120k words
Space Opera: 90 to 120k words
Western: 80 to 100k words
Romance 85 to 95k words
Mystery: 65 to 85k words
Fantasy: 90 to 100k words
Most everything else: 80 to 100k words
Set yourself a reasonable daily goal for how much you want to write. If you go over the goal you set for yourself, that’s great. You’ll finish your first draft that much faster. You can make a simple spreadsheet to keep track of how much you write each day.
Before too long writing each day will become a habit. A good habit. One you will be proud to have.
May the words ever flow!