Word count goals: Do they work?

Is it Monday already? Wait. It’s February? And my Christmas decorations are still up? Well, shit…

1. Superkeek does Facebook.

For a good time call Jenny at 867-5309. For an even better time like Superkeek on the Facebooks.

2. I set some word count goals, yo.

I’ve always had a running list of things to-do. In fact, I usually have two: A to-do now (as in today, asshole) and a to-do later (within the next week or else the world will implode). Those of us who use lists know that dragging that pen across an item is like eating ice cream sandwiches while binge watching your shows on Hulu during a foot massage… Heaven. Crossing more than five things off either list in one day? Indescribable.

In order to finish the first draft of my book by April, I can’t let daily life stuff get in the way. So, since to-do lists have always worked for me, I decided to apply the same concept to word count goals.

I set a goal of 1,138 words a day for 10 days. This will get me to 37,500 words written, which is, if you’re basing the numbers off of a 50,000 book (which I am), three quarters of the way done.

Now to answer the question that got you here in the first place: Do setting word count goals actually work? I am of the opinion that they do. Here’s the thing, though: You’ve got to make yourself accountable or else they won’t.

Some people do the reward system for reaching goals. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for me. I don’t know why it doesn’t, and I wish it did, but apparently my brain needs to think I am letting all my adoring fans (yes, all the ones that are only in my head) down if I don’t reach my goal. I’ve tried setting goals before, but flopped. This time around, to make sure I stay accountable, I decided to share my progress on Twitter to see what happened. So far it’s working. I’ve written over 4,000 words in four days.

Hmm, so why was NaNoWriMo such an epic fail for me then? Here’s why, I think… 50,000 words in one month is just too big of a goal for some people. Personally, it overwhelms me. I find smaller, more manageable goals to work more effectively with my quit when I get frustrated personality. Know thy self… then set yourself up to succeed, not fail.

My PSA for the day? Just try it. Set some word goals you’re comfortable with then add a little accountability into the mix and see what happens. I’m telling you, if it worked for me, someone with the attention span of a drunk gnat (why do you think I make so many lists?), there is a 1,000% chance it will work for you.

3. Freelance got me in a chokehold.

Technically, this is nothing new. I do freelance in between writing my book. Or, I guess it would be more accurate to say working on my book goes on hold when I get a bunch of freelance and it makes me incredibly irritable. Hence the word count goals. Please see above for more detail.

And that’s all I got. Until next time…

? Kerri

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