At the beginning of January, I set myself an ambitious goal – to write 25k this month. It’s not as ambitious as NaNoWriMo’s 50k but that’s a different, more intense experience, this is a goal that I can reasonably expect to sustain even amongst my deadlines and daily life. Or so I thought. The first 12 days passed without any great effort made towards the goal, but that was ok, I had coursework to hand in and that takes precedence right now. On the 12th I made an effort and then promptly got distracted for a few days after. I repeated this pattern a few days later and by the 18th I found myself woefully behind schedule.
So I’ve changed tactic. Up until now, I’ve only counted words in chapters progressing the story as part of the word count. However, that isn’t truly reflective of what I’ve been doing this month, of the progress I have actually been making. You see, although I may not always have been moving my characters down the road they are currently on (which is very muddy if you wanted to know) but I have been planting seeds for who they will meet on their way and filling in details of their lives before they got to where they are now. Those notes I’m making now are every bit as important as the place they are at right this moment in the story and because of that, I’m adding them into my word count.
On some level it feels like cheating, but what I’m experiencing is a change in my expectations and how I approach this project. As long as I am making notes, problem solving and filling in the blanks in their world, I’m creating and gradually through that process, it will all come together. By counting my notes, I give myself, not only an incentive to keep making them, and an incentive to type them up so that they are backed up, but I give myself a boost as well. I feel like I’m making progress and that is everything.