M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest

Writing goals and word counts are fun, but not when comes the time to edit that beautiful messy first draft

When I decided to take writing seriously, I started to research and read and watch videos.
Word count is a big thing.

For various reasons.

Will I willingly jump in the burning volcano and talk about why it’s a big thing?

No. No indeed.

Writing goals and keeping a word count really helped me.

But it also kinda backfired on me in 2019.

Sooo… word counts: yes? no?

As always, my answer is: in between!

Long story short

Getting over-obsessed with the number of words I wrote in an hour, a day, a week RUINED the joy of writing for me.

It was all about getting words on the page. More words, fast.

Because…

… everything in the book industry is moving so fast.

As if, little me, the girl who worked in bookstores for ten years, at many book fairs and for an actual publisher, didn’t know that.

Thing is, no sense is trying to run faster than the book industry. Nor try to catch up, unless one’s wants to look straight in the eyes of failure.

Word counts are very useful. I like keeping a word count early in the first draft process. It keeps me writing, it’s motivating to the word count go up… as long as I’m working on the first draft.

Writing draft two means time for a big clean-up for me. I look at all the problems, all the weak spots (that I can find 😉 ), making things clearer, sometimes scraping 80% of a chapter, etc…
Keeping a word count then is simply depressing, because even though I’m working hard, there’s hardly any progression word count wise.

When working on the next drafts, I now set completely different writing goals.
Revising and Editing also have their own writing goals.

I’m editing and revising the MG novel project right now with a clear goal: « one chapter a day » when I can devote enough time to accomplish the task.

That being said, in the past two days, I was only able to get through one chapter.

I did start to edit the next chapter.

I’m 5 sentences in.

Yeah.

Better get back to it.

Thanks for reading, dear writers friends !

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