advice recieved

Once I wrote a book in 20 page per day increments. I wrote in the kitchen so I was central to my kids, one a baby who was into the pots and pans at the time, and the laundry room. That was my rule: 20 pages a day.

Twenty. Pages.

Of. Crap.

Lately I'm all flushed with success when I get 1000 words in a day.

Best advice I ever got re: writing.

Think more. Write less.

Funny thing happens when I really think. I write a lot less.

But what I write comes out more...right.
Still, I worry. I mean, dude. Kevin Anderson fucking rocks it. Sam Stone is always posting on FB about her 5k words she got in that day. A friend of mine just met a deadline by writing 50K words in TEN DAYS.   #lesigh #Sex'swordcountfail

 Then I heard Carrie Vaughn talk about her process. She said 1000 words a day is a stellar day for her.

I was so freaking relieved. I just can't tell you... But it was short-lived.

I was just asked a lot last Saturday about my process. I find that embarrassing because my process is pretty much anti-process. I spend too much time online. I read a lot. I stare out the window. I blather here at Sex Scenes. I put off walking my dog. I write a story with a friend that'll never see the light of day as a hobby. (Yes. I write stories as a hobby. Shuddup.) I read the stuff I wrote the day before, hoping it'll spark inspiration to put new words down. My whole day is pretty much mostly about avoiding writing and guilting myself into it by fucking around. Or sometime I just screw around on Facebook and Twitter until I'm so bored I have to go entertain myself by telling myself a story.

 I had a really hard time not adding the addendum: "I'll only tell you if you promise NOT to do as I do." 

So even though I'm doing kind of what NYT Bestseller Carrie (and all around cool person, btw) is doing, writing usually in the afternoon and not getting very many words in, I still feel like a total poser.

Then Saturday, another seasoned writer gave me (well, not me, but I overheard it) advice which made me feel marginally better.

Carol Berg (also all around awesome person and a lovely friend) says her goal is to make Forward Progress Every Day. Even if it means taking words out, which she called negative word count, I think. (I just did that today, actually. Woot. I'm a writer! Who is obliterating words... sigh.)

And then someone posed That Question directly after lunch. "What's your word count goal per day?"

I mean, I write full time. It should be thousands of words, right?
 No. I write to the scene. I just try to finish a scene. Srsly, most days I'm lucky to get in 500 freaking words. Lately I'm at the goal of "new words please, universe, cuz starting books is really difficult for me. Plus I'm in sophomore hell, or will be soon, and worried as fuck I can't repeat or improve upon what meager success I've had.

So. Yeah. No big secret. I just write it word by word, scene by scene. And I guess that's just it, right? Forward progress. Ignore word count if you can. And put some new words down.


Anonymous said...

Here from Steve's.

Just wanted to say thanks for saying this. It is very timely.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

:) Good!

I wish I could pump out words like crazy. I might be able to again at some point. But right now I'm too busy thinkin'

Donna Hole said...

I write however many words I can get down before the muse gets too drunk :)

Seriously though, I don't worry about word counts and pages. Like you, if I get through one scene, or a chapter, or even finish an entire short story, then I feel pleased with myself.

Whatever works for you.


sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Definitely whatever works!

Christine Hardy said...
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