I was writing myself a rambling note in OneNote and I had this realization: Word count quotas don’t hurt the way time quotas do. One is a challenge, the other is work.
Anytime I make a schedule, I’m setting myself time quotas. I could try to look at it differently, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t matter. I have an inherent dislike of schedules and I’m tired of trying to force myself into that box.
So here’s the thing. I deleted all references to a writing schedule from my calendar. Time blocking, fixed schedule productivity, etc., they’re all just ways to tie my brain into knots. I get the most joy (and do the most work) when I’m pushing myself to write, but not when I’m pushing myself to write at a certain time of the day, for a certain length of time.
Word count quotas have a purpose in my world. They provide the kind of structure I work best in.
It does mean my life is a little messier. No set start and end times for my days. But you know what? I really like it better this way.
I’ve been struggling with this schedule again over the last few weeks and I’ve gained nothing from it, except stress I really don’t need at this time of year while I’m already stressed about a looming deadline (or two). If I keep to my goal of writing about 2000 words a day on average, I’ll get this book written and I’ll be able to make an educated guess about how many books I’ll be able to write every year, and I’ll reach my overriding goal to become a prolific writer.
So here’s an early New Year’s Resolution for 2017: I’m done with schedules. It’s back to word count quotas for me.
I’m adding a 250 words a day minimum, and I don’t have to count deleted words in this. (So my actual daily word count log entry might be -1,112 words, but if I wrote 250, it’s good.) Every day, because I fall off and I take a nap before I get back up. ;)
After that, it doesn’t really matter where I end up for the day. My scale remains the same.
1,000 = low word count day
2,000 = average word count day
3,000 = moderate word count day
4,000 = high word count day
5,000 = record breaking word count day (always, because 5k is huge!)
I want more average to moderate days and fewer low word count days and every so often, I’d like to have some high and record breaking days just for fun.
Every day my goal will be to evaluate where I’m at, then do my best to reach or maintain a 2,000 word a day average, and if I can get a bit ahead… that would be fantastic, because I still dream of writing ALL the books. ;)