When I was writing Catalyst my daily minimum word count was 5000 words. I finished the first draft in a month. It was awesome. I thought I was the master writer and made 5000 words my new minimum.
Except that I was single back then and only worked one day a week at my day job. Now I’m married, have a car payment, more responsibilities at church, and simply don’t have the time or energy (some days I don’t have the mental health either) to write 5000 words a day.
For a while this was getting me down. I’ve been writing for years now. Shouldn’t I be getting better at it? Now I don’t worry about these things. It doesn’t serve a purpose to compare two totally different life situations and blame myself for not getting enough work done.
Instead I set a new deadline for the projects I’m working on. Then I estimated how many words my projects were going to be (The Ronos books have always been between 90-100k and I don’t want my general fiction book to be more than 70k), subtracted what I’ve already written, and divided it by how many days I have until my deadline.
That gave me 650 words a day.
Now if I’m having a bad writing day or feeling like I’m not doing enough I can always remind myself that I don’t have to write a book today. I simply have to get it done before June 21. As long as I’ve met my word count—650 words—I have done what I need to do for the day. Of course some days will be better than others and I’ll go way over my word count which means my projects will be done even sooner than my deadline which just makes me look like a superstar to my boss…who is me…or possibly my wife.