Reaping the rewards

I am writing like a demon. Smug as a skunk. I should point out that my reaping of rewards lies in the satisfaction of a story coming together…a novel forming. Monetary rewards, not so much but right now I couldn’t give a hoot. I #amwriting – and loving every minute of it.

I accept that this nirvana may be temporary. I recently latched on to an interesting forum discussion based on the question ‘How many words should you write each day?’ Various frightening word counts littered said forum outrageously. I selected the lowest target (500 words) and set to with evangelist gusto. It almost worked, for a day or so, then I had a weekend away and wrote not a single word. Panic at falling behind my target perversely blocked me from getting back to the writing at all. With every day that I failed to write I mentally upped the daily word count which I would achieve when I started writing again. The days stretched on, to a point where the daily word count I was planning to achieve became, well, unachievable. I finally acknowledged my frailty and gave up altogether. The mysteries of the human mind are anathema to me (or maybe only my mind functions this way) but within an instant of concluding that I couldn’t write any more, I was off like the proverbial steamy-train (note: deliberate typo).

Contrary, but I’m not knocking it. Not this week anyway, while I’m writing like a demon. My *k words are climbing. It is easy to get caught up in the numbers (stroke-impossible-not-to). When I wrote the first book I am embarrassed to admit that I reached my final word count without a clue how long the book was. No idea if my number was paltry, sufficient or awesome (it was somewhere in the middle). That lack of number pressure was a guilt-free blessing. I just kept writing until the story was written.

In the smugness of my current flow (and the block which preceded it) I have arrived at my own answer to the conundrum ‘how many words should you write in a day?’ That answer is simply ‘as many as you bloody well can’. That might be two (I have experienced this, the words were ‘Chapter Twelve’) it might be 20k (I haven’t experienced this yet). When the fug strikes, hammer out five. When the floodgates are open – CLEAR THE DECKS AND DO NOTHING ELSE (as best you are able, this may prove counter-productive if you expire at your desktop from starvation. Take that as a health warning.)

Facebook won’t miss me, tweets are an endangered species, blog posts will be scant. Marketing is tedious anyway (as are ironing and housework). No escaping the day job which is growing my daily bread. If I keep this up maybe harvest and the manuscript will collide in a glorious eruption of reaping.

Uh-oh, that sounds like a target, and you know what targets bring. I really hope I haven’t jinxed my fortune, by writing about my writing here (if you get what I mean). Thank heavens I am not traditionally published, imagine the pressure of advance payment!

*Shudders dramatically* like the tortured indie she is.

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