Monday, February 3, 2014
Topic of the Week: Crossing the Finish Line
7 Tricks to Meeting Word Count Goals
But notice, he is crossing the finish line.
And you can too.
1. Set a reasonable but challenging word count for each day. (None of this will work if you don't start here.)
2. Pay someone to call you every day to ask if you've reached your word count for the day. Short on cash? Some will do this for chocolate. I would.
3. Learn to write in noisy places. Take your laptop or your pad of paper to a coffee shop, bingo parlor, or bowling alley (advanced writers only) to develop your focus. Ear buds with soothing music work like a silencer. Use them as you would training wheels.
4. Avoid your email, FaceBook, or any other online time-sucking site until you've reached your word count. Try a week-long break from social media. You'll be shocked by your productivity.
5. Think of your writing space as a bunker. Keep an emergency first aid kit and seven days of nonperishable food items stocked by your desk. Hurricanes are not considered a grace period. Sorry. Don't forget duct tape and a generator. No phone reception, sorry again. Turn off and unplug, people.
6. For the gambler in you: Set up a partnership with someone who is dead serious about reaching their word count each day. Agree on a goal. Let's say you spent too much time oohing and ahhing over friend's pictures on FaceBook, and you missed your word count. That means you owe your partner, who bypassed all social media, a certain amount of money. I know two writers who pay $125 for each missed day. It doesn't have to be that much, maybe $10. But it has to hurt a little. Ouch!
7. Celebrate each day's accomplishments. Meeting a word count takes brain power, and you did it! Self-care is very important for writers. Be deliberate about meeting with real-life people, the kind you can hug. You'll be renewed for the next day's challenge.
How do you get those words on the page? Anything to add?