word count

Rowing a bath


So yesterday was a clear day I had set aside for writing – I woke up with acres of uninterrupted hours ahead of me. What a luxury. I'm working on a writing project that I've only spent eight years on so far, but to be fair to myself – it has passed through quite a number of transformations in that time as I work on honing this craft.

And yesterday, I set myself a target of completing 2,000 words, because that's the target that Stephen King hits every day. I can't find the exact quote just now, but in his book On Writing, he talks about how it's important to write a book quickly – 'because writing a book is like trying to row a bath across the sea' – or something like that, and this idea has really stuck with me because it feels very true. You don't want to start sinking.

Not long ago I was sticking to a schedule of writing 2,000 a words a day myself – I was burning through the word quota within a couple of hours. But yesterday – blimey. It took me ten hours – ten hours, I tell you – to manage 1,327.

And so I thought, what do you do when you feel discouraged?

Well. You get up the next day and you start again.