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!