Saturday, January 13, 2007

750 words a day

Yeah, I'm raising the bar, slackers. ;) So I made a blogpost not too long ago about "100 words a day"

100 words is literally nothing. It's so easy that anyone who even THINKS about calling themselves a writer, can do it.

Now that we're over that hurdle I'm proposing 750. Now before you start digging in your claws and freaking out like I'm taking you to the vet to get you neutered...hang with me a second. 100 is like a "trick" to get yourself going.

It's the "well, just do it until then and see how you feel." It's the thing that "gets you started." And that's all fine and good. However, once you get to the place where it's easy for you to "get started," the 100 words isn't very motivating anymore. You write the 100, you're going, but now where do you go? What goal is a worthy goal?

Enter 750. Let's do the math here. If you write 260 days a year, (that's 2 days off a week, like most people with regular jobs), you've written 195,000 words. That's 2 novels (though you still have to edit/revise.) If you write every day, because really, what's 750 words in the grand scheme of things...that's 273,750. Damn!

I had to redo that on my calculator just to make sure the number was right. That's 3 decent sized novels. Consistency is so much better than writing in fits and starts.

So why 750? Maybe it's some kind of psychological trick, but 750 still feels like almost nothing. It's not the daunting, scary "official" 1000. But it's still a respectable amount of words that slowly builds over time. Also, it doesn't take forever to do.

I type pretty fast, and when I write a rough draft I don't sit and second guess myself, I just write it, so I can generally write 1,000 words in about 45 minutes or so. A lot of people can probably write 750 words (on the computer) in 30 minutes to an hour. This isn't a huge time involvement and it's something you can do successfully over the long term without burning out.

Most professional writers don't do actual "writing" 8 hours a day. You burn out too quick. ACTUAL writing, most I've talked to, we're talking 2-3 hours. (and if it was longer, a lot of that was spent staring at the screen or something, not actually typing. I'm talking actual typing here.)

Anyway...enough rambling. I think 750 is my magic number. What about you?

* The 750 words a day idea comes from the LJ novel in 90 community.

2 comments:

Liz Kreger said...

750 words? That's enough to freak me out. LOL. There are some days that I consider myself lucky to get a paragraph or two done. And then there are days when I can do a good ten pages ... which comes to 2,500 words. It all depends on mood, time table, the little darlin' and my general health. I'd love to do 750 words a day but I'm realistic enough to know that it isn't always gonna happen. One day I'll be able to set my goals ... now just isn't the time.

Zoe Winters said...

heh. everybody works at a different pace. For me 750 feels like nothing.