Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Edit or Write?

I read many author blog sites, likely too many. One thing interested me a couple of years ago, and that was keeping better track of what I was writing. So, in 2016, I kept track, noted the number of words and where I wrote them, blog, book, contract work, etc. I did a good job, for me, faithfully writing down numbers each day, adding them up each month, and totaling at the end of the year.

Did it Help? I’m not sure, for some, it might, but I think it may also hurt. I worried about the days I didn't write, and on the days my word count was low. At one point I reassessed my goal and adjusted it down a bit. The problem I had was editing. I would spend hours and days, editing for the second, third and yes, fourth time and those days the word count was low or nonexistent. One day I spent six hours working and wrote 17 words, which I duly noted in my journal. Some days, as is often the norm in editing, I subtracted words, maybe hundreds. No, I didn’t subtract words from my count for those days, but I had no new words either – entered zero.
Prarie Dog Enjoying the Snow

The Problem – Often on editing days I would quit and go to work on a WIP just to get my word count up. If my words for the week were short, I would quit editing to make sure I got my thousand words for the day or whatever goal I had set in my mind. Why is this a problem? Because I can't publish anything if I never complete the edit.

New in 2017 – I am still keeping track of words, but only to note them, not on what project and instead of keeping a running total I may, or may not, add them up at the end of the month.
Travelers on the Trail Called this Stream, in the Laramie Range, the Bitter Cottonwood

Meanwhile – As you may have guessed I am spending most of my days lately editing. Today is a cold, 14 right now, and snowy day, a good day for writing, or editing.

Keep Reading, Keep Writing, and if you live in four season country, stay warm.
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