It's time to audit yourself. Does that word make your flesh crawl? Okay, goof off for a moment and watch Stranger Than Fiction. Every writer should watch a movie about writers just to see how amusingly insane they are, and how far off from reality they'll be. Bonus: you'll also get the title of this post.

Breaks are good whenever work has you feeling like this


Done? Good. It's time to revisit budgeting for time which we covered in Writing 101: 3-C.  Did you do those calculations? Realllllly? You did? Great! How are you doing? Staying close to projections? Didn't do it? Go do it now!

This is going to be short and sweet. Let's check and see how you've done. How long have you been writing? Let's call that number A. How many words have you written? Let's call that B. What's your target? We'll call that Y.

Now to find Y, remember to look up the word count range for your genre and pick the halfway mark. That's Y.

So now you have Y, A and B.
Y = Goal word count
A = Number days of writing
B = Total words written

To check and see how you're doing:

B/A= Words per day (C)
Y/C= Estimated time to completion of first draft (X)

To review as a word problem:

Take the number of words you have written and divide it by the number of days you have been writing (you should be 1/3 of the way through your first d raft by now). Take your goal word count and divide it by the number you just found. That's how many days until your first draft is completed.

Of course there's math in writing, just suck it up and do it!


Now take that number, X, and compare it to the original ETA you did. How do they match? Are you going slower or faster? If faster, do a quick spell check. Are you making a lot of errors? If so, slow down. If slower, are you suffering from writer's block or is life just busier than you thought?

If life is busier, go with the new number. Ease pressure off and work when you can. If it's writer's block, we'll cover that in our next lesson. For now, ease your writer's block by taking a break and watching a movie or reading a book. 

If you've been making a lot of errors going faster, slow down, be conscious of the errors you make, and periodically let the word processor do a grammar and spell check. If you've been going faster without tons of errors...well la-di-da, aren't you a special snowflake? No, seriously, rock on!

Just know this cat is showing exactly how excited I really am. Writers do have jealousy issues


Until next time, happy writing, watching, or reading!