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Tip Tuesday #47

Hello everyone! I have another fabulous Tuesday Tip from Ammie Hart. You can read her previous tips here and here. She doesn't have a blog for us to stalk, but if she does start one or gets any great news I'll be sure to pass it along. Here she is!

Tuedsay Tip-Your Word Count is Your 401K

We all know writing is a long, long, LOOOOONG process. Especially when you are writing a novel of any considerable length. It's easy to feel overwhelmed writing thousands and thousands of words to get to the end of your WIP when you are only able to commit to writing a few paragraphs a day. For me, sometimes I don't get to write more than a page a day when my life is focused on raising two babies. I then feel terrible that I didn't get more done. Why didn't I get to 1000 words today? How will I ever get to 40,000 when I can't even get to 20k? I'm sure many of us have been here.

But here's a tip--when you are feeling discouraged about how long you have to get to the end of your WIP, don't look at your word count and be put off by how little you were able to accomplish in that one sitting. Think of your word count as your 401K. Sure, maybe there is only $10K in it now, definitely not enough to retire on, right? But you can bet I'm going to be pretty happy I kept putting in a few bucks every month over the course of my life when I'm in my seventies.

Well, writing a manuscript is the exact same thing. You want to get to retirement (ahem, a finished manuscript) right? Well, every time you deposit a few words, a paragraph, a scene, you are putting a little bit of money into that 401K and it will grow over time. So you were only able to type up 50 words today? Guess what? You are 50 words closer to your finish line. Maybe tomorrow you will write seven hundred fifty words, but for now, be proud of just those 50. Those 50 are better than nothing.

Hope this one helped you out! Happy writing!


I love this one, Ammie! Such a clever tip and a great way to think about adding to the WIP. Thank you!


Unknown said...

This is great tip! Focus on the small writing goals and don't sweat the end goal. You'll get there.

Just make sure your 401k goal isn't an actual "401k" goal. You may give an agent a heart attack if you submit a 401,000 word MS. ;-)

Beth said...

What a terrific analogy! With that great right-brain thinking, Ammie, I know your book will be wonderful whenever you finish it!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tip especially for those of us who can't write full time. I know my goals have to be less than a full time writer because I work and have a family to take care of. My goal, like yours, is to just accomplish something every week.

Robin Dodd Photography said...

This is the tip I needed today. As a photographer and having my girls out of school, it's difficult for me to make the time to write like I do when they're in school. Great post!

Editor Cassandra said...

Just letting you know that I was inspired by this post to write one of my own. I quoted Ammie and have linked back :)



Lisa Nowak said...

This is a wonderful confidence booster, Ammie. Thanks for sharing. It's so easy to beat yourself up in this game.

Ammie said...

Awwwww, shucks, guys! Thanks for the super-fly feedback, my writing friends. Casey, I promise if I ever start my blog up again, you'll be the first to know! In the meantime I'll just continue to stalk yours. :)

On Da Road said...

Clever tip indeed.. What I needed. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Great advice! Definitely something that writers need to keep in mind always!