How Useful Is A Daily Word Count Target?

So, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, but it’s been a hard couple of weeks of being struck down with the flu and whatnot. Barely managed to up my word count on my first draft… I wasn’t hitting my targets and I’m now miserably behind by about 10,000 words!

Aaargh!

Anyway, this had me wondering just how important having a daily word count target is. Using myself as an example, I set myself a realistic target of 1,000 words a day. Most of the time that’s what I manage after dealing with the kids all day, or rushing off to appointments, dealing with household chores or whatever else comes up during the day. Sometimes, I even manage to exceed it and happily find myself ahead of schedule.

But then what happens when I don’t reach the target one day? And then the next day… and the day after… and the day after that, and so on, until almost ten days have passed without having a written a single word down?

Well, for me, when I finally have the chance to sit back down at my laptop, I continue from where I left off. But it’s all a bit of a haze and I have to read through everything I’ve done to get back into the flow of the story. I find that I’ve lost touch with it a little and have to fight with the keyboard to get it back.

If I were to write a little, even if it was just 10 words a day, during all that time I stayed away from my story, I would no way near struggle as much to get back into it. Yeah, I would probably have to rewrite a lot of what I’ve written, but I would still be in tune with the writing and the characters and the plot.

So, I think having a daily word count target is useful on days where you’re not forced out of routine, but on days that you are, even if you can’t hit the target, write something (anything!) to keep it going.

Lesson learned! *cries hysterically*

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