The Pressure of the Word Count

This is the first year I’ve stayed on top of NaNoWriMo. The first week I’ve consistently been either ahead or within sight of the daily goals. But I know not everyone participating is keeping up.

While it can be motivating to check in with your writing buddies. See that their 2,000 word ahead of you, and get spurred on to write to catch up. For some people they don’t see a goal, they see failure. They see that they are falling behind or not “as good” at writing as their fellow wrimos.

If you’re that kind of person, don’t check your buddy list. Focus on what you need for writing.

I spend most of my work day writing, I get plenty of practice when it comes to sitting down in front of a blank page and knowing I need to knock out 2 solid pages in the next hour.

Writing is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it will probably come.

Now there are people who it will just come naturally. The person who can sit down, write their first novel and have it become a best seller. We all secretly hate that person.

But for most of us, our first attempts aren’t going to be that great. We might only be able to knock out a few hundred words in a day if we’re lucky instead of 1,667. As long as you keep at it, you’ll get better. The words will come easier and faster. Sure you’ll still stumble from time to time and find yourself staring at a blinking curser for half an hour before giving up and closing your laptop. Even professionals stumble.

So if you’re someone whose stressing about not making at 50,000 and considering quitting. Don’t. Set a smaller goal for yourself. Something that will still be a challenge, but not so big that it seems hopeless.

Just keep writing. We all have a story to tell.

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