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When Making Your Daily Word Count Drives You Crazy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ever have trouble keeping yourself focused on your writing? Life got in the way you say? Me too. But then an awesome opportunity showed up in my e-mail. ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) decided to introduce us to NovelTrack this July. And it made a huge difference in my ability to write and reach my goal of 25,000 words. Hey, I even went a little over that. It felt great!


So what did  I learn from NovelTrack?

Preparation - I knew a couple weeks ahead of time that I was going to do this. I thought about it and prepared for it mentally, told my family I was going to write every spare moment I had in July, and looked at what I had already accomplished with my WIP. I did a lot of mental preparation.

Methodology - I wrote in different places. I wrote in the library, coffee shops, on the deck, in my office, in the living room, and on my lunch break after I had to return to my day job in the middle of the month.

Tools - I wrote on my laptop, my desktop, my Neo, and yellow legal pads.

Math - I learned how to figure out how many words I wanted to write every day and became friends with my calculator. Each day I would log in to the NovelTrack account and record my total for the day and got to see what the entire group of us achieved each day.

Accountability - telling others on the NovelTrack Loop how I was doing, seeking encouragement, giving encouragement, being honest on the three days I had when I my totals were zero.

Accomplishment - Each day I met my goal or even moved in the right direction made such a difference to me. I was writing every day and I was developing a great habit.

Staying In The Story - I  thought of new ideas each day I sat down to write. I struggled a few times but when I just decided to write and not think too much I was able to consciously and subconsciously remain in my story.

Discovery - I wrote in scenes and I didn't try to write in a linear fashion. I wrote whatever I thought might make a good scene somewhere in the book.

Giving Up The Internal Editor - I wrote fast and left my internal editor in the dust. I used my Neo by Alphasmart almost always after the first week because the small screen only allows me to see about four lines at a time. This allowed me to write faster and not worry about having perfect sentences or the right word. I could do that in revision.

Success - I loved making my goal, but developing the ability, the habit, of writing every day is what really made me feel like a success.

    So if any of you would like to try and develop a healthy new habit, write every day, and get lots of encouragement while you're writing lots of words, I'd suggest you sign up for NovelTrack in October when the challenge is offered again.



    1. I failed miserably at Noveltrack, though I succeeded at Nanowrimo. Strange.

    2. Hi Niki,
      So what do you think was different for you with NovelTrack this time compared to Nanowrimo? I've never done Nano.

    3. I love the phrase "leave my internal editor in the dust."
      For some reason the stubborn in me won't join in these things. Praise God that you took the challenge!

    4. I like that phrase too, Patti! It makes a difference!

    5. I am going to have to give Noveltrack a try. I need to conquer some serious chunks of chapters! Thanks for the info.

    6. Hi Susanne,
      I guess you can tell I loved my NovelTrack experience. I'm looking forward to doing it again in October.

      I try to remind writers that it takes about 30 days to form a new habit. So once you do something like this you're developing a new skill that will do wonders for a career in writing.:)