300 Words

My arm is doing a little better, but still pretty sore. I can bend it without too much pain, but it looks pretty bad in the area of bruising. My children are still loud and in my writing space more often than not, but there isn’t much that can be done for that. One of the largest problems I have suffered since moving to Ohio again has been the loss of word count.

For whatever problems I was suffering from in Texas, I could at least say one thing for it; my word count was great. I’ve gone from around 2000 words per day average to around 300 words per day (if that). It feels like a huge loss, especially when my productivity has been spread out between critiquing work, three days a week of blogging and other aspects of my writing. Work on the fiction novel is at a crawl and it feels terribly like I am not doing anything at all.

Still, as a writer, you have to step back and consider the reality. Let’s say you and I are both writing only 300 words per day. Let’s further assume that we are both taking the weekends off to spend with family. I, of course, continue with my standard activities. You on the other hand focus all of your efforts into a single novel.

In the span of one year like this, we’ll both have managed 78,000 words. I’ll have a year’s worth of steady blogging, a good number of critiques under my belt, several stories and at least some progress on the novel. You, by contrast, will have written an entire novel (or most of one if it is a sprawling epic) and have a draft ready for editing.

You could have a dozen or more high quality stories written. You might have dedicated yourself to flash fiction and now have between 78 to 156 of those ready for publication in magazines and anthologies. All because you did 300 words every weekday and spent your weekends relaxing.

It’s hard to see the power of so few words while we are in the thick of things. It’s even harder when we spread ourselves in more than one endeavor. Still, when you start to doubt it is worth it doing just a page or so a day, remember this. Writing is like water breaking against stones. It doesn’t seem like any single wave does much, but over time the stones are worn away. Over time, those 300 words are going to make all the difference in the world.

What are your thoughts?

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