My New Very Plain Widget

widgetIt’s in the lower right underneath the “Most Popular Stories.”  It’s a word count for the current book.  I’ve been updating it nightly so I can keep track of how productive I’m being and then recently I started adding random thoughts whenever I update it.

Pretty revolutionary, no?  No.  Lots of people do this and now I do too.  But it’s fun and I really did need a place to put a word count so I can make sure I stay productive day after day.  It’s embarrassing how often I’ll open my Word document and just start typing and bopping along and then realize I forgot to grab a word count before I started thus leaving me with zero semblance of accountability.  Because it happens quite often when I am keeping track that I’ll immerse myself in my story for hours and come up for air and to check the word count and my thought process will run something like, “Damn that was a good bout of work.  I must have churned out, like, 5,000 words…I’ll just check the word count…I see…and then we subtract the word count I had before I started writing this morning and…oh dear god that was only 4oo words?! Didn’t I write like twelve scenes?  How was that only 400 words?” Then it trails off into uncontrollable sobbing.

So hard numbers are good.  Also it helps me write everyday to have the little widget that needs updating. I feel bad when my creations are neglected. And everyone says that you need to write every single day to be productive.  Of course I basically disproved that whole concept last year during the “26 Stories in 52 Weeks” project when I’d go for whole weeks without writing then cram in a short story over the course of a weekend.  For that matter, Probability Angels would be dropped for months at a time while I wrote other short stories and then I’d come back to it and add another section.  So I don’t know what to think.  I’m pretty sure that all writers need to figure out for themselves how they write best, and at the beginning the “Write Every Day” law isn’t a bad one to go by, but if not writing every day and then chaining yourself to your desk on the weekend with a bunch of scratch paper, a package of colored Sharpie markers and a truly shameful Pandora station works for you then I think you should run with it.  That’s how, “The Monk, the Warrior and the Lord,” got written after all.

FYI, this is what I do with the scratch paper and Sharpie markers.  This happens whenever I stop to think.  We won’t go into what the Pandora station is used for: