A few weeks ago I asked what was the definition of productivity? For me, if I’m writing a dirty draft, it’s usually 1,000-2,000 words a day. Partly that’s because when I’m writing the first draft, I don’t stop to edit anything except massive typos that I might not recognize the mangled word later. I don’t fix plots, I don’t correct formatting, I don’t rethink characters. It comes out how it comes out, and I touch up and layer in the second or third draft. The other part is my inherited fast typing. My mother was a 90 WAM kind of woman, and she passed on her dexterity to me. Luckily. I don’t even want to think what having to fingerpick the words to a 100,000 word novel would feel like…
If you do those calculations, that’s about 7,000 – 14,000 words a week. Now this doesn’t happen all the time, of course. Life gets in the way. But it’s always a good goal. Usually 10,000 words is my average.
Last week I realized I needed to make serious headway on my Marine story, currently titled Standard Issue Marriage. I told my goals group on Monday that I would be aiming to write 12,000 words. One of my CPs said “That sounds like a good goal, I’ll join you.” Somehow “we’ll both write 12,000 words” turned into “race ya!” And it was on.
She pulled ahead after 3 days and finished 12,000 words before me. Being the good sport that I am (read: sore loser) I immediately challenged her to see who wrote the most words before the week was over. We would announce our final tallies at our goals group the following Monday.
It was a tough battle. And knowing that Keri was always neck and neck with me kept me going when my wrists burned and my fingers wanted to fall off. I didn’t allow myself to fall into that blank “writers block” space. I kept going.
In the end, I edged out the victory…barely. With 25,368 words. I mean, in one week. That’s insane. So I now know there’s no real reason I can’t write 10,000 words in one week.
Competition can do amazing things for you.