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?

Want to keep up with the blog but don’t want to deal with daily emails? Click here to sign up for the weekly newsletter for everything you need to know.

Advertisements

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 – 750words.com 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!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s