One of the most common questions I am ever asked is: What motivates your writing?
My answer: Deadlines.
The second most common question is: How many words do you write each day?
My answer: ????
I’m never quite sure how to answer this one, because my writing process can be very wonky. In fact, it’s downright terrifying. How many words I can write in a day depends on how far into the book I am. Let me break it down for the interested reader…
- Word count 0: Yee hah! A brand new book! I have so many ideas I can’t wait to get them all down on paper! I’ll have the draft done in a month! Life is awesome!
- Word count 10K: Uh oh. I’m already tired and I have a lot of book left to write.
- Word count 20K: I’ve been at this for two months and this is all I’ve written? Every other author on the planet is a faster writer than I am.
- Word count 30K: Seriously, I’m never going to make my deadline at this rate. I think I’ll wander into the kitchen and see what’s interesting in the refrigerator.
- Word count 40K: How did I ever think I could write 80-100K words on any topic? Maybe I should take a day off and go shopping. I’ll feel so much better after a day off, and it will re-energize me to take a break.
- Word count 50K: Not. Going. To. Make. It.
- Word count 60K: Hey, would you look at that? I’m more than halfway. How did that happen? Time to start praying for a miracle.
- Word count 70K: I do believe it’s possible that I will make my deadline. Maybe more coffee will help. Who needs sleep?
- Word count 80K: Whee! It’s coming fast and furious now, kids! I’m getting close to writing the big finale!
- Word count 90K: Almost done. I can’t wait to sit down with the entire manuscript for a read-through.
- Word count 100K: Done! Snoopy dance! Eat a Klondike bar! Pump fist in the air for being a literary marathon runner! Fifteen minutes later, go to bed for a long nap.
It happens like this Every. Single. Time. If you have the solution for what goes on between words 0 and 50,000, I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Maybe I need to get this writer’s clock…