If there's any story that encourages me, it is the old Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare. I am not a hare, that's for sure. At least not where writing is concerned.
Oh sure, I write my blog pretty quickly. It's a blog, and I have set myself 3 weekly deadlines that demand I move fast to be done. But each entry is short and separate. A one-off piece. So I can do it fast and move on.
With my ongoing novel, this is definitely not the case. I feel like the tortoise. While other writers around me are getting 1,500 words done at a time, or 2,000, or 3,000, or even 6,000, I'm getting 600-1,000 a day right now, at best. I won't even get started talking about Nathan Lowell, founder of Nanowrimo, who gets, oh I don't know, a gajillion words done in a day. Compared to these power writers, I feel like a 90-pound weakling on the beach, in desperate need of a Jack Lalane program for increasing my word counts.
That's why comparing myself to others is a destructive behavior that I have to jettison. I don't mind hearing about other writers' successes, of course. Just the opposite. I cheer them on. But I'm not running their race; I'm running mine. And that means if I get 600-1,000 words down on a daily basis, then I'm accomplishing something that is within the realm of reality for me right now.
And I did the math, just to see... A 75,000-word novel (300 pages) will take me four months to draft at the rate I'm going. You know what? That's not so bad. In fact, it's great as long as I finish. Because that's my goal: to finish the race. So I'll be a tortoise if I have to, plodding along slowly but surely, until I cross the finish line. That's the way you win the race, hare or turtle.
Are you like me...a slow but sure plodder with your writing? Or are you a hare, racing along? And how to you keep yourself motivated with your writing goals? Does it help you or hurt you to hear how other writers are doing with their own word count?
Weigh in here. And keep running!
Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.