Word count has become my biggest obstacle

My daily word count has become my biggest obstacle over the last few years. I’m not sure exactly when it started to overtake every other writing concern I have, but it has and I’m not feeling great about that. I know my daily word counts are important. They’re intricately tied to success as measured by revenue because you can’t sell what isn’t written.

However, I’m also feeling a bit like the excessive focus on word count has had some side effects that I’m not really happy with, the biggest and scariest of which is a diminishing enjoyment of writing.

I know I need something to keep me going in the right direction, but … some days this need to measure everything just gets old. I want to love writing so much that I can’t wait to get started and hate to have to stop. Some days I still feel like this. Less so lately though. It’s hard for me to love writing when I’m constantly disappointed in myself because of writing.

Still, although I’ve axed my timer and my time data (archived it, to be exact), I won’t be abandoning my daily log of my word count. I love having that list of numbers. What I don’t love is looking at it and feeling bad about myself when there’s a blip where the numbers drop or a zero shows up.

On the other hand, I do love a good writing streak. For the moment, I’m going to focus on writing every day (that getting started thing is really important) and worry less about the actual quota. I want to end up with a nice average, but “average” means I don’t have to be so hard on myself for any particular day’s word count if I have a reasonable mix of bad days and good days.

What I’m learning: Consistency is important, but it’s probably better if I’m not rigid about it. I want to write every day, but some days are going to be more fun than others and it’s going to be easier to stay at it longer. We’ll see where that gets me in April.