Thursday, February 16, 2012

Missing the Mark

I'm sure a number of you are wondering how my 50,000 word challenge is going this week, so I'll let you in on a secret:

Not so well.

And yet, extremely well.

I knew I was in deep trouble when I only mustered a little over 5,000 words on Monday. I was completely sunk when I could only manage another 5,000 on Tuesday.

There was no way I was getting to 50,000 words by the end of the week. At first, I felt...not so great. I mean, how do you usually feel when you fall short of a goal? Kind of weak and helpless, really; like I had somehow let myself down.

But instead of wallowing in my self-pity like I may have done a lifetime ago, I went right back to the keyboard and kept pounding out words each day.

The result? 18,000 words (or so) so far this week, by far my most productive week to date.

I'm not going to throw a parade for myself; it's a long ways off from 50,000 words.

What I am going to do, though, is try to go the extra 7,000 words tomorrow to get to 25,000 for the week.

It would still be one hell of an accomplishment. If I can get to a level where 25,000 words per week is the norm, that's one 100,000 word novel a month, give or take a few days. Granted, this is before editing, proofreading, formatting, and all of the other fun stuff that comes with (most likely) e-pubbing a book, but it would still be a hell of a pace to increase the catalog of my works.

And even though I may have fallen short of my goal, I've learned that, as I've mentioned before, steady, incremental progress can be a writer's best friend. Though 50,000 words is probably a bit much for me (for now), it's another goal to work toward, and hopefully one that I can make a real run at by the end of the year.

For now, though, 25,000 a week would be just fine. 7,000 words in a day is a lot, but it's a more discrete, and thus more doable goal than something seemingly monolithic and insurmountable (again, for now), like 50,000 words in a week.

Feel free to wish me luck in the comments!

D.J. Gelner covers the Rams beat for, and is an aspiring author.  Follow him on twitter (@djgelner) or facebook (here).  E-mail him at  You can also listen to his podcast (Bottle and Cans) here.

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