Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Word Count VS Time

I promise this will be a short post, and I won't ask anyone for free critiques. :) However, that was fun and informative-so thanks to those of you that left me a comment about the excerpts. I appreciate it, possibly more than you know.

My husband asked me today why I was keeping a word count log instead of a time spent writing log. Honestly-he's clueless. I rolled my eyes and thought that if he were a writer, he would understand. Then, I wondered...does anyone else track their time more than word count or vice versa? Hence...bloggy time!

Personally-I am tracking word count this month for two different reasons.
1) Even with two of my royal court in school during the week, I still have the young prince to contend with each day. I love him dearly-but he is a typical youngest child. DEMANDING OF TIME. I do mean, demanding. I can't walk past him without him screaming and reaching for me. Once I sit at the computer, I have to stay there-if I move, he remembers I'm not holding him. Of course-I end up moving, interrupted and don't sit at the computer all day. When I did try to track my time, I found myself very discouraged. First of all-it was hard to remember to write the time, especially when a two hour session is usually interrupted a minimum of ten times. So, did I really spend two hours writing? Probably not-maybe an hour of writing and an hour of interruptions for a cup, snack, lunch, diaper change, playtime, etc.. So, when I would look at my time list-it appeared that most days, I didn't spend more than two hours TOTAL to write. OMG!! I went into an instant panic attack. Once the hyperventilation passed, I realized that I can't track my time very accurately and there is no sense in beating myself up because I'm being a mother and wife in addition to author.

2) NaNoWriMo preparation. 50,000 words seems like..well, impossible! I know it is not and after tracking my word count, I've seen that even if I didn't make the goal of the day-I'm writing quite a bit. I look much more productive on paper, which makes me feel a lot better about myself and then I write more.

How do you decide if you are being productive enough?


  1. I look at word count as well for new projects. When I'm editing I look at how many chapters I've gone through and how I feel about them.

  2. Good idea for editing, Patti. I'm chomping at the bit to go back over my novel-but trying to remain in PRODUCE NEW WORDS mode. :) This is a true test in my own self discipline

  3. When I had two little ones at home, I'd aim for three writing sessions a week, no word count, no time requirement. If I wrote beyond those three times, it was a bonus.

    For a while, I'd have a sitter for two hours every week. I'd hustle to the local coffee shop and write as much as I could in that time.

    If I hadn't been forgiving of my progress at that time, I might not have continued. It's hard with little ones, you know?

  4. Hi Kristi! I just popped over from Megan's blog.

    I have three little kids (ages 2,4, and 5) so I totally know where you are coming from. It is hard to write with kids. I usually only get a paragraph or two between interruptions, and despite my best efforts I almost never reach my daily word count goals. But somehow books get written anyway :)

  5. Kristi, I was gone yesterday so I missed visiting with you. First off, n-e-v-e-r think that it's wrong to ask for critiques of your work on your blog. Writers love helping writers.:) Just don't post A LOT of your work on your blog. One day an agent will come-a-callin' and you don't want him/her to see that you've posted your story for FREE for all to read. BIG TURN OFF to him/her. Delete those posts when you're ready to submit to an agent/editor.

    And hey, email me or any writer for help on certain things in your story. That's what we do. :)

    I count my words. It motivates me and I know if I miss the word count that day, or if I don't get anything written that day, that another day is coming. :)

  6. I do both, actually. I track my time because I discovered that was the only way to get myself sitting down and writing - my daily writing goal is to write for half an hour a day. I normally do more than that, so it's kind of like fooling myself. I figure, whatever works! But at the end of the day, it's my word count that I keep track of, rather than the actual time spent.


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