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Here’s a simple answer, in numbers, for those you out there that a) like math, and II] wonder why should write every day.
Let’s say you have a quite reasonable plan to write a 100,000 word novel in a year. Sounds very doable, right? It is, and the math proves it.
100k words/365 days = a mere 273 words a day, give or take a few, to reach your goal to have a first draft done in a year.
You decide you want to have weekends off, so that eliminates 104 writing days out of your year.
100k words/264 days = now you’re average word count per day is up to about 379 words per day. Still very reasonable, most people, including me, find under 400 words in a daily session to be as easy as pie.
We can add in a few days here and there for being sick, having to go to stuff you can’t get out of, or waiting in line for the next Hobbit movie, Star Wars VII, the long awaited Beatles’s reunion, whatever. Say two a month. Life happens.
We’ve got 240 days left to write in. 416 words per day now.
Thanksgiving’s pretty much shot, with the house full of family, so those four days are lost. Christmas, too, with more family, and going out to visiting friends, and parties, and what not. You could easily write the entire two weeks off.
222 days. 450 words.
You can see where this is going. Every day you don’t write, that day’s words need to be spread out among what’s remaining. It gets even worse the closer you get to the deadline.
In the middle of September, I had 36,000 words to knock out to hit my target of 200k by the 13th of November. 638 words per day. Still not too bad.
As of 25 October (the last day I’ve transcribed and have a word count for), I missed 12 days of writing for one reason or another – parties, not feeling good, not feeling like it, whatever – and got my total up to about 178,500 words.
Guess what those 11 days cost me, not to mention the days that I wrote less than my words per day goal? I now have to write 1,126 words every day between now and Nov. 13th. Read that again. The number nearly doubled.
Still not insurmountable. Not difficult if you really think about it. I know of writers that put that much into their personal journals on a daily basis, writing that I don’t even count for score when I do it myself.
The point of this exercise is this: If you write every day, even a little bit, that goal of finishing your novel/script/short story/non-fiction work remains firmly in reach. Daily chiseling away at it keeps the Stress Monster small, manageable, and out on the porch where it belongs.
Neglect him, and he grows ever larger, worrying away at you and your peace of mind, until you don’t want to work on The Project but instead talk about it and bitch about it and complain of your Writer’s Block and how you want to do nothing more than drown yourself in the nearest open container of your favorite Adult Beverage.
So just write. Every day. Even if it’s crap, just write. Everyday. Just write. If you stick with it, it will happen. If you don’t, it won’t ever happen.
So quit reading this, and go write. 😉