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Monday, June 18, 2012

Daily Word Count Goals

One piece of advice for writers that is often given is to set a goal each day for the amount of words you want to write. After a couple months where my writing became even more sporadic than usual, I decided to give this advice a try.

It's working out incredibly well. I've found that it really helps me to push through writers' block and get the words on the page. Over the past two weeks, using a goal of 500 words per day, I've written anywhere from 565 words to 3,389 words in a single day. Initially, I gave myself weekends off my word count goals and I found that I barely wrote at all.

If you're planning to set a daily goal, start small. Around 250 or 500 words is a good start-off point. You may hear that some writers have goals of 3,000 or more words per day. While that may sound fantastic, I don't recommend starting there. You may get burnt out incredibly quickly, especially if you find it impossible to hit that goal each and every day. A small word count goal allows you to write far beyond it, but also gives you the confidence to know that you can hit that goal. It also lessens the possibility of you having a "bad" writing day and missing your goal.

If you don't hit your goal for a day, don't beat yourself up about it. Don't promise to "make up for it tomorrow." These are two more risks of high goals.

If you still think 500 words is too small of a goal, remember you can always increase the number later. Start out with a small goal and then, after a couple of weeks, if you're easily beating that goal day-after-day you can go up to 1,000 words or more. 

Daily goals are great for writers' block. They encourage you to push through the block until you reach a point things get rolling again. I also find that, once I beat my 500-word goal, it's hard for me to stop writing when things are going so well.

What do you think about word count goals? Do you set one each day?

2 comments:

E.Maree said...

I'm needing a push to get me involved in my new project, so I'm thinking of setting a word count goal. 500 words sounds like a nice, achievable figure. :)

VikLit said...

This all sounds like really great advice, I am going to have to follow it. A small amount sounds achievable! Thanks for this post!