Friday, July 8, 2011

In which I admit to being a Very Bad Girl

Bless me, readers, for I have sinned.

Yes, it's true. Yesterday, I fell off the writing wagon. I did not write on my novel at all. Not a single word. I feel slightly soiled, as though I'd directed a sneeze into my shirtsleeve that really should have been sent into a strong, name-brand tissue.

So, I failed to meet my word count. I feel incomplete. Plus, I need a clean shirt.

It's not like I didn't think about the novel yesterday. I spent quite a few hours mulling over the re-plotting I now have to do, since the completion of Scenezilla deposited the story in a place somewhat to one side of where I had originally intended to go from here. What's more, this replotting required me to think in somewhat deeper detail about the circumstances surrounding the story's climax, which I had been putting off until later.

Unfortunately for me, later is now. So I called up my friend and writing buddy to help me brainstorm some of this re-plottage. It helped a lot, but by then, I had some reading to do (I have to keep researching this building a writer's platform business every evening), and then my son came home and talked to me (and you don't refuse communication from a 16-year-old son, you just don't), and then, and then, and then, on into the night.

Bottom line: I let it happen. I allowed myself to not merely miss my quota, but to not even try to reach it. This is simply unacceptable. I will solicit suggestions of appropriate punishments in comments. In the meantime, I'm drafting a sternly worded letter to myself indicating my intense disapproval in the strongest possible terms. (Do not bother to point out that this is effort that could be more productively spent on meeting today's word count, because I am Extremely Outraged. The expression of outrage trumps anything and everything practical. At least, that's what I've learned from watching politics in the past couple of years.)

So, talk to me. Do you have a daily word count goal? If not, why not? If so, how do you feel when you don't reach the goal? What sort of self-talk do you use in response to not making the goal?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to finish that sternly worded letter.

P.S. I have finally added a feature allowing readers to subscribe to my feed via email at the top of the sidebar, so please feel free to use it!


Emerald Barnes said...

Finally! I can subscribe to your blog by email!

I have a daily word count. As Jo and I have discussed, we're both doing the 100 words for 100 days challenge. I haven't missed a day yet in the challenge, but before the challenge, I wrote less than I should. I felt guilty, but I decided I needed a challenge to make sure I wrote. I have forgotten until the last minute to write my 100 words, so I spilled something out. I felt guilty for not putting in much effort though.

Leanne D. Baldwin said...

Yes! Now you can get my daily nonsense delivered right to your inbox!

I wouldn't feel guilty for just "spilling something out" in order to meet your goal. The point of a daily word quota is to develop a habit of producing writing every day. I think the idea is to prime your creative pump, so that you eventually don't have to just spill out whatever to make the word count.

So keep it up! You'll eventually find yourself writing more than your 100 words a day, I'm sure of it.

Emerald Barnes said...

That's very true. I'm trying to see it as a positive. I'm a 100 words closer to finishing this second draft every time I write. On good days I manage to write more. I almost had 1500 the other day. Today, I haven't written anything. I'm hoping to get around to it before bedtime, but I don't know. It's been one of those days...

I hope all is going well with your quota.

Leanne D. Baldwin said...

Hey, any progress is positive. Don't beat yourself up for not getting more written--be glad that you at least moved your work forward beyond where it was when you sat down to write.

I managed to do about 1100 words yesterday so I felt better. I'm without an internet connection currently or I would make a celebratory post. :(