Counting Words Longhand-My Mini Writing Break

A quick hit today.

I write longhand–the words don’t seem to flow when I write on the computer. I also need to take a lot of breaks when I write. I’m not one of those authors who starts and then looks up to see hours have passed. I’m usually pretty aware of every passing minute. I used to break every page or two to read something in a book, check the Internet, or simply get up and get a drink of water–not because I’m thirsty, but because I need the mini break. I’ve since found a solution to my problem–I count the words I’ve written.

Since I write longhand, I don’t have an handy-dandy word count button. This can be frustrating since that’s how I like to track my daily writing goals. I’ve now found a solution to both of my problems–I count the words when I finish a page. Not only do I track my progress, but it gives me that mini-break I need. While I count, my subconscious is working on what comes next. How do I know? Quite often, before I start counting, I’m not sure what I’m going to put down on the page next. But after I’ve written down my number and added it to the day’s running total, I often find the words flow a bit easier.

What’s the lesson here? Should you do this, too? Probably not, but if you’re situation is like mine, give it a shot. I think the real lesson I’m trying to pass on is to simply find a routine that works for you, even if it seems silly. No one has to know (unless you post it on your blog for all to see!), and if it helps, that’s all that matters. So try something quirky. You may just find it helps both your word count and word quality!


About ericjkrause

I am a speculative fiction writer, who writes flash fiction, short stories, and novel-length work. I have a few ebooks available, and am working on finding an agent and publisher for my current project. I am also hard at work on future novels.

Posted on August 24, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I do something similar. I set mini-goals for myself. After so many words typed, I can take a Twitter/FB/forum/whatever break. I check things for a few minutes and get back to work. The min-break goal is based on my total word goal for that session, but it helps me move through my stories better.

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