I'm tired of inconsistency from myself in writing. I'm sick of having a great few weeks and then having the well go dry on me for several weeks at a time. I've decided to set a very small goal for myself, and see if this helps me detour those periods of writers' block.
My goal is simply: write 500 words a day.
I can write 15,000 words for all I care. If I feel like it; if a story catches me. But it's not necessary. 500 is all I need. 500 is all I really want.
Already in the last week I've had days where I barely got to 500, and days where I got into a groove and tripled and quadrupled my goal. That's to be expected. I'm not bothered with days that I barely get there. Really great days are fine, too.
This basically removes all the pressure. I know that I can get 500 words in about fifteen minutes if I actually sit down to write, and knowing that I only have to get a few words makes it a lot easier to sit down, even on weekends when I normally cannot concentrate on writing—especially when it's football season.
I wrote both Saturday and Sunday, in the mornings, and got more than 2,000 words this weekend.
Good stuff, right?
Right now I prize consistency over anything else. My second novel of The Czar Chronicles is stalled right now because my girlfriend, who is my reader (and did a damn good job with me on the first book) is swamped with teaching and cannot get caught up on my chapters. I need to keep pushing forward, but I have to work on something else, anything else. This means some other series, or other books in the Chronicles, which is fine.
My overall goal is to compile a dozen or more books for publication. I feel bad for those who have read “Rising” and will have to wait for “Betrayal” and “Sacrifice” but I'm not going to pout about not having them out, and let that come between finishing the rough drafts of other books in the series or to keep working on other stories.
In ten years, if I'm consistent, I will have a dozen, maybe two dozen novels published, or ready to publish, and it is from this volume of work that success will come. I emphasize to myself over and over that writers with one or two books aren't usually successful, and if you look at most successful writers, they have published many books. I have not heard of any authors who have published a dozen or more books that aren't making something on these books. I'm sure they're out there, but I haven't met them.
The key is to get work out there. A lot of work. Readers want a staple. They enjoy going back to the same authors over and over. That's what I need to give them. One well-written story isn't enough.
And writing just 500 words a day will equal out to 182,500 words over a year. That's the equivalent of two or three books. Every year. I could finish 10-30 books in a ten year period depending on how I use those 182,500 words.
10 is great, 30 is even better, but I'd settle for anything in between.
And it's only 500 words. No sweat. I've got this!