Continuing 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:
- Don’t edit as you go
- 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.