10 June 2009

1,000 words

I recently spotted the post on Inkygirl about the 1,000 words a day movement. I guess I'm feeling optimistic after my little break from the day job, because I signed up for it.


The idea is to get 1,000 words a day completed, six days a week. If you don't make your word count one day, you just don't — there aren't any makeups.

I already have a spreadsheet where I track my word counts, and I pay myself a dollar every time I make quota for the day. I'm not very good about it — the muse is more important than the accountant — but it helps. I got the idea from Carolyn See's Making a Literary Life, and it's helped make the writing normal again. (Once upon a time this was axiomatic, but some very heavy negativity has made a bit of artifice necessary.)

The only quibble I have with challenges like these is that they often don't take revisions into account. If I'm going to spend a couple of hours with a printout and a pen using all the markup symbols I learned in university, I think that should count towards work too. Often it's implied, but not talked about directly as an act of creation.

I follow See's idea that two hours of revision is equal to a thousand words. The truth is, I can knock off more than a thousand words in two hours if I know what I want to say and I'm on a comfy keyboard, but since it's revision, I think that's fair.

Today I'm only going to get to about 700 words. It's a start.


  1. I didn't start the challenge for the same reason - I was revising a draft.

    I don't have the book you referred to but it's an interesting idea to equate 2 hours revision to 1,000 words. Like you it takes me less than 2 hours to write 1,000 words (assuming the writing flows or I make sure it flows).

    But I like the idea of anything that gets one writing, or revising. I've fallen out of the habit a bit recently and need something to kick start it.

  2. I just started this challenge as well. I'm finding it extremely helpful to get words out- since I'm not in the process of revising. I'm in the middle of a 1st draft. I have to say, it helps me stop revising WHILE I write, which has been a major challenge and setback in terms of being able to complete a project.
    I'm not sure how you count revisions but I like your 2 hour equation. That sounds about right :-)


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