We've all heard and understand how helpful it is to write every day, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. And when friends consistently crank out 2,000 words during their lunch hour (and they also have time to go for a walk), I can’t help but feel inadequate. Of course I'm happy for them, but I'm really here to talk about daily word count goals, and one approach to get back on track if you're a slow and somewhat irregular writer, as I am.
A friend once shared the following analogy, and I think of it every time my writing stumbles to a stop. She said, “Instead of worrying about word count, just touch the ball every day.”
That’s what a professional ball player does – he holds the ball so he'll never forget what it smells like, how much it weighs, and the exact curve of his fingers against the leather. This keeps the game fresh even if he’s not actively playing. My friend suggested that writers could embrace the same concept.
Touch your manuscript every day. If you don’t have the time or energy to write fresh words, forgive yourself and let that be okay, because you can find five minutes to sit quietly and read several pages of your most recent chapter. Reading your words will keep the plot points active and your characters alive. Then the next time your fingers do touch the keyboard, the ball will be familiar and ready to fly from your hands!
What do you think? Instead of putting so much pressure on yourself, how about simply touching the ball every day?
by Janet Fogg
Janet is the author of Soliloquy, an award-winning historical romance, and co-author of the military history best seller, Fogg in the Cockpit.