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Safety in numbers

I am counting words as I go on this book.  I haven’t done this in years, but I’ve found having the word count at the bottom of the screen is a spur – I’ll just get to the next hundred before I stop, no the next thousand.  The funny thing is that it’s not just meant bashing out more of the first draft at a sitting.  It’s been much more than that.  When I set myself a target, often I get to a certain point, maybe only a hundred or so words from the goal, when I think that I’m stuck or I really feel it’s time to stop or I have no idea where I’m going next or my internal critic is going into overdrive, telling me that it’s all drivel. 

But because I’ve not hit the word count, I keep going.  And more often than not, the problem is suddenly solved, or I want to continue after all or the way ahead becomes clear or the internal critic finally shuts up.  In fact the word count is not the important bit, it’s the spur to keep on writing which counts.  I have regularly surprised myself by writing through the difficult bits instead of saying I’ll come back to it later.  And so far, it’s the fastest first draft I’ve ever written.  And probably the most excited I’ve felt about a story at this stage.

So excuse me, I’m just off to complete the next round thousand words…

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