Bit disappointed in last week, which was about 4,500 words in total and I’ve fallen behind the pace I was trying to set. I could try to catch up, but I’ve learned a few things since (kind of) properly committing to #200WordsADay and one of those is… well, here’s the process I seemed to have created for getting my novel finished.

  1. Plan out the week in advance. At the moment my target is 500 words on a day when I’ve got to go to the office, 1000 words when I’m working from home and at the weekend. That should be 6,000 words per week, most weeks.
  2. If I skip a day due to unforeseen circumstances, don’t try to catch up. Sometimes 500 will become 600 or 1000 will actually be 1200 and so there is, naturally, some catch up that happens to compensate for missed days, but forcing it just ends up with me setting unrealistic targets which I then miss.
  3. However, if I’m sat at my laptop and I’m not hitting the target then it’s fine to force that. Many of my best writing days come from throwing something in to push me past 150, or 800 etc. and running with it.
  4. Pre-planned breaks of longer than a day are OK. If I skip a day because I got unexpectedly busy then I have to write the next day. I guess if I was very ill I might have to be a bit lenient but so far I’ve been very strict with this and it seems to be working.
  5. If I can’t see it in the daily stats in Scrivener then it (usually) doesn’t count. That’s just me, I like my stats to be accurate and consistent.
  6. That does mean that editing doesn’t count, and that all word count targets are net totals. If I take something out I need to be adding something new. (This rule will need revising once I’ve finished my current draft)
  7. I always post the word count on Twitter, and search the relevant hashtags (especially #200WordsADay) so that I can like other writers’ tweets too. It’s very rewarding to get a notification to say that someone liked the fact that I wrote something. It genuinely does make me happy and keeps me going, and I’m going to miss Twitter if it dies/becomes unbearable. Thank you to everyone who does that for me – you’ll all get an acknowledgement if I ever get it published.

I think I’ve got about 18,000 words to write in the next two weeks to complete this draft – which won’t work because according to the rules above it will take at least three. But we’ll see how it goes…