Numbers are a funny thing. They’re utterly irrelevant to the process of getting a good book, but they do act as an incentive to get your ass in the chair each morning and write.
However, toward the end of a project, it’s easy for small numbers to be too easily disrupted by a couple days where you missed a deadline, and then the pressure to ‘catch up’ — even to an utterly arbitrary deadline you set yourself that has no Real-World Relevance whatsoever, starts nagging at you. Repeated days of seeing that you missed what the software thinks is your “should have hit” number, larger than your REAL number, starts to wear.
My daily objective is 1250 words. And, as a nice example, today I got 1255 words. But because I had a couple days last week where other things had to take priority, and because I’m very close to my actual deadline, a couple of “nearly hit the count” days (and one day when I couldn’t work on the novel at all) translated in an exceedingly large daily “catch-up” word count as figured by the software.
So, just so that I can count my words (I need to see my daily number) and so that I won’t see a blue “failed to hit your objective” bar at the bottom instead of a green ‘success’ bar, I bumped my ‘deadline’ back to mid-November.
I’ll finish before then, because the 1250 number is what I’m actually working towards.
Today was a really good Monday. I hit my objective, and I came up with a lovely unexpected conflict that includes things happening that I KNOW are terrible for my MC — but this is stuff that will look totally benign to readers.
It’s really fun to put things like that into the story, to know that the instant the reader realizes the truth, there’s going to be this moment of shock at what’s being going on right in plain sight.
1255 words for the day that I had a lot of fun with… and 56,286 total on the book. And I’ll still probably have this first draft done in October. I just don’t feel like having the software pressuring me to do more than my objective.
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