Is A Word Count Goal Necessary?

When I first started writing seriously, the concept of a daily word count goal was beyond me. I was one of those people that believed, if I feel inspired enough I’ll write. I wasn’t striving for anything in particular, but I noticed I wasn’t writing a lot. Later I noticed I stopped writing altogether and it was harder for me to start up again. It was making me think that I couldn’t be a writer after all. I mean, how could I expect to get published if I never wrote anything or just waited around as if I was expecting it to happen on its own?

Thick skull remember?

I’ve attempted daily word count goals before, when I was in college, and it never worked for me. My word count goal was 1000 words a day for the novel I was working on at the time. (The one that was eventually thrown out the window.) I even had a consequence for it! It was if I didn’t get the word count done in that day I would run laps around my house….. Okay maybe that consequence was stupid. You have no idea how many days I couldn’t reach that goal and end up having to run laps around my house the next day. I ended up losing a couple pounds from it but my writing didn’t get done. Eventually, I stopped running laps and stopped writing. Until I was finished with college I hadn’t written anything of my own. The novel got deleted. I gained the 5 pounds back. The blog died multiple deaths, getting cancled left and right.

But I’m not in college anymore.

Looking back I know where I went wrong with it. I was expecting to get 1000 words a day, on top of, a 14 credit hour semester, one relationship that was ending, then a new relationship starting later, helping my family get by, dealing with my parents divorce, and getting used to my mom have a boyfriend that wasn’t my dad. It was a lot to take in at once. I could never get anything done. Heck, I dropped out of college for two semesters because I couldn’t handle everything.

Once things in my life started getting settled, I started to write again. The blog was revived. I had a new novel idea coming up. I was writing again, and I was happier when I wrote. The thing was that I still wasn’t writing as much as I wanted to. So I’m trying to do the word count goal again. This time it’s attainable. 500 words seemed to be the right amount for now. It have a lot of give for when work is really busy, or I’m working two shifts in a day. At first it was difficult to get to but it’s getting easier, especially after that first post that reached over 500 words. I’m now getting to 600 words daily so I think it’s time to amp it up a little and try the next goal of 750 words a day…..

My daily word count before this post.

My daily word count before this post.

Word Count after..... I had to make a new bar for it.

Word Count after….. I had to make a new bar for it.

Or maybe more.

Do you try to have word count goals? If so, what’s your number?

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2 thoughts on “Is A Word Count Goal Necessary?

  1. I’m glad that you’re back to writing!

    I’ve tried setting myself word goals – is a great way to track it – but like you, I’m super busy: fulltime job, fulltime grad school, thesis, family…. I’ve found it easier to set myself works goals instead. This year, it’s a story a month. Being part of groups on Scrib that focus on that helps too.

    Good luck meeting your goal!

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