Well, we’re just about to the halfway mark for the December Writing Marathon, and I have a “new” confession to make…
I stopped counting the number of words I’m revising and wading through, and am going to wait until the end to tally up my goals.
Why? Because the number of words doesn’t matter to me as much right now. As a professional, I know I can comfortably write and edit between 20,000 and 30,000 words of original content in a month with a day job, provided there are no other roadblocks to get in my way and I know the project and setting “cold.” I know that for newer ventures, like a novel, putting demands on myself and my time creates more stress. I’ve written novellas, gaming books and short stories, but as I’ve mentioned before, a novel is much different — especially when it’s “my” work and not for a tie-in project.
Maybe, the word count doesn’t matter for you, either. Maybe for you, just getting those words out is more important than counting how far you’ve come.
It amazes me how many people I run into that look at writing like a competition or get really insecure about what they’re doing. This “marathon” isn’t about any of those things. It’s about establishing the habit of writing for yourself a little bit every day. It’s about understanding that learning how to write is a lot like learning how to play an instrument. The more you do it, the better you can become, even though you’ll sometimes need some guidance along the way.
So today, dear reader, I ask you to take a good, long look at what you are doing. Ask yourself, “What doesn’t matter to me?” Is it the quality? Your progress? Do you hate what you’ve written and need to toss all of it out the window? Or do you want to write something brand new?
Once you’ve figured out what doesn’t matter to you, you’ll be left with what does. For me, that means sitting down and simply telling a good story.