Why this number? My big non – mathematical head figured I can easily type 60 wpm, of which I will round down for easier, quicker math to 50 wpm, multiply the easy way of an hour being 50 minutes gets me… 250 words an hour… that’s not right… oh, add another zero. Yeah, I can do 2,500 words in an hour. Piece of cake to do 5,000 in even three hours.
I realized I could type this amount in a day. But after a point I sound like a teenager who has had way too much Diet Coke on a celery only diet with fingernail polish fumes in a windowless room. Yes! I can create reams of printed paper that later no amount of polish fumes will make it sound good.
This is what I felt like when I tried for 5,000 words a day.
Right from the start gate, I realized it wouldn’t work. I was just shooting off unnecessary, unwanted words to get to that goal. Trying to wade through the nonsense and edit it was tedious and confusing. Writing it was almost the same. Would I save any time or my sanity? Would this be productive? No. I wasn’t working any harder or working any smarter.
I adjusted down to a more acceptable level- 40,000 words for the month.
Did I make it then? No, I didn’t. And I’m okay with that.
I wrote what needed to be written- I had some due dates on stuff that happened to all be in various stages from nothing on the paper to final read through. I worked on several projects in progress. Started a few new ones. Edited others. Some of what I wrote was ok to be rough draft, early or middle stages, some if it needed to be written and edited right then. Editing puts me behind on my word count. I didn’t subtract or add as I went. I did a rough grand total that included everything I did that month.
Was I happy with the things I did write? YES! I got some great stuff that covered rough drafts to finished pieces. Did I learn many things about my writing? Yes, look at some of the things I learned on this blog.
Therefore, I’m not going to look at my 20,000 words as:
- A Failure
- I tried
- I Gave It My Best Shot
I saw what works and what doesn’t. I ended up with a broader understanding of my job, and my craft, which will enable me to create better solutions to my problems.
So, no. I don’t think I failed.