Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pounding Out the Word Count

So doing this ghostwriting has really opened my eyes to pounding out the word count.

I've always looked for tricks and tips to help motivate me to write constantly, instead of just when the inspiration strikes. (Bradbury likens it to leaning out of a belltower gripping a lightning rod and screaming for the storms to come.)

Now let me just point out that there is a difference between having goals and being motivated.

One trick on the goal side is to set a word count goal. Every day you must hit 2000 words at the very least.
That's a pretty good goal, IMO. It's helped me churn through.

But, we can set goals for ourselves all day long and still get nothing done.

So what actually MOTIVATES you to write?

Well, I learned an interesting thing that may very well be a no-brainer: Money was a pretty darn good motivator.

When cold hard cash was dangled in front of my eyes, I wrote. And I wrote fast. And I wrote pretty darn good. (Did I mention I'm the humblest guy I know?)

How motivated was I?

I wrote 51K words in 52 hours spread out over one month.

Looking back it doesn't seem like that really was possible... but there it is, when i tally my hours (which i had to log) I spent 52 hours (stolen in 1-4 hour increments--sometimes several writing spots a day) and in effect wrote a thousand words per hour.

My keyboard is a little raggen now.

I won't lie. Sometimes I stared blankly at the screen. But the proof is in the pudding and the delivered manuscript stands currently at 51,357 words.

So folks, what motivates you? Figure that out, and make it happen.

Is it chocolate? Because i can come to your house and withhold chocolate from you (and eat is slowly in front of you) until you hit your daily word goal. I can do that. No really, I'd like to do that.

Is it money? Well, if you're a writer that dream will be nice and crushed soon enough...

Is it the burning need to say something into the void?

Well? Go find out and get back to writing!


  1. I'm pretty sure if you tried to withhold chocolate from me I would bite it right out of your hand (more than likely taking a few fingers with it). Other than that, lovely post. Thanks for the inspiration....must go write now.

  2. That's a helluva lot of writing, sir. I'm, um, impressed.

    I'd comment more, but I have a burning need to say something into the void. Or possibly just a burning need to void. I'm undecided as to which it is right now.

  3. Krista - I shall let you keep your chocolate... for now. bwahahahaahahaaa

    Simon - if you have a burning need to void, you might consider antibiotics for that.

  4. My motivation? Hmmmm. Definitely not money. Or voiding ; ) Or chocolate.

    Because I freaking love writing. Every single messy, glorious part of it.

    And holy crap, 51K in 52 hours? That's wicked.

  5. You're such an inspiration. And I shall now keep you to your promise... come visit and withhold chocolate from me so I write :P