Hitting the Blyton Target

Enid Blyton 10000 WordsContinuing my ramblings about deadlines (and strange references to Enid Blyton), I decided to try something new today – setting a daily target. This radical idea was also prompted by a couple of points I saw in a list of writers’ tips on Book Baby’s Blog. Two of them got me thinking:

  1. Don’t edit as you go
  2. Set achievable goals

First of all, setting daily targets is something I generally never do, since I don’t want to give myself any more stuff to worry about apart from actually finishing the damn book, but I thought I’d take a leaf out of Enid’s regime and set a daily target. Just for today. No strings attached. Simply to see it I could do it.

So how many words did I set for this once-in-a-lifetime thing? 2,500? 5,000? 7,000?

Nope, I went for the biggie – the Enid Blyton Eat-Your-Heart-Out target – 10,000 words.

In relation to the Book Baby pointers and setting achievable goals, I did think this was (maybe) achievable. The reason being, I’m quite a fast writer. On the other hand, I tend to stop every two or three sentences and re-write what I’ve just written. Which obviously slows things up a bit.

The challenge, then, was to write in as continuous a way as I could without looking back, making corrections or any other type of editing, and see if I could hit the target before dawn.

On the plus side, I had the whole day to do it. I mean, come on – there’s no way I’d lumber myself with such a ridiculous word-count if I had to do my normal day at work, get home, have dinner, wash-up etc and then start writing at maybe 7.30pm. Not a chance.

Secondly, I’ve been trying for a while to write continuously, ie without stopping every two minutes, because I’m aware that it interrupts my flow, so is somewhat counterproductive.

So how far did I get? More than half way, but considerably short of the Big Ten: 5,186. In other words, quite a bit more than I usually achieve. In fact, on a good day I rarely hit more than 2,500, so I’m fairly happy with my new daily total. And maybe I can do better. Maybe that magic 10,000 isn’t that far away?

Then again, it does mean I have a lot of re-writing to do tomorrow. Hmm.

4 thoughts on “Hitting the Blyton Target

  1. 5,000 words a day is the best I’ve ever achieved but I was on a particularly enjoyable roll that day. I aim for roughly 2,000 a day but lately marketing has thwarted me reaching my vague target. I might as well have written all day instead of marketing for the amount of good my marketing attempts did.

    In other news, I weakened and returned to editing my WIP at chapter 24 before finishing writing the end of the book. It was too stressful to wait until the end. I felt much better as soon as I started editing the first few chapters, ha!

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    • I don’t think it matters when you edit, so long as you’re happy with what you’re doing. Must admit, my average daily word count is about 2,500, though I always have 5,000 in mind. It’s good to have a target, but doesn’t mean you have to hit it!

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