author, creative writing, writers, writing

5 things to do if you’re behind on your word count

This year I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo, and I’m currently VERY behind on my word count. Whether you’re taking part or not, it’s likely you have set writing deadlines. If you do, and you’re behind on your word count, here are five things to do to help.

Plan a writing marathon
Pick a day, and carve out some designated writing time. Make sure your set up is comfortable, and has enough snacks to keep you going! It is also worth steering clear of distractions, such as television. Then sit, and write. These sprints can see you add a huge word count to your total. Plus, you’ll have a huge sense of achievement at the end of it!

Set a weekly goal
Daily goals can be daunting. Especially on days when you’re particularly busy. Focusing on a weekly word count goal instead can ease some of the pressure. This way you can write less on your busy days, and more on the days you have time to.

Move past the scenes you’re stuck on
First drafts are often messy, unorganised and incomplete. If you’re stuck on a scene, move on to the next one. Move onto the one you are excited to write. You’ll fill in the gaps on re-writes and edits. The most important thing to remember is that the first draft is just you telling the story. And if you have to leave scenes incomplete to get there, that’s okay.

Fit in a little writing while you can
When it comes to writing, every little bit is progress. Write a paragraph while you’re waiting for the oven to heat up. Jot down a few lines on your lunch break. Wake up half an hour earlier. All these little stints will add up, and boost your word count.

Don’t beat yourself up
Above all else, don’t fret. Be kind to yourself. Writing should be an outlet, a passion, not a chore. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing. Sometimes you may simply not want to do it. And hey, we all miss deadlines and targets sometimes. Don’t let it get you down and don’t let it stop you writing. Keep going. A little every day is enough.

How are you guys doing with your goals and deadlines? Let me know in the comments, and please share your tips and advice too!

Until then,
Keep writing,

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12 thoughts on “5 things to do if you’re behind on your word count”

  1. Michelle, my daughter is well read and writes fairly well. Yet, she is succinct. On more than one occasion, we worked together to make a reasonable piece of hers longer as it did not pass the lower word limit. I think she would be an ideal editor one day. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m up to 35,000 words on my novel in Scrivener, but was having a hard time seeing how I was going to get to 150,000. Then, the overarching theme of the novel hit me like a ton of bricks and everything began to fall into place. I’m now filling up longhand notebooks full of scenes. I think I must be up to 50,000 words by now, with what I’ve written. The story is good and full-enough that, with my filling up to two notebooks longhand, I don’t think I’ll have a hard time reaching my target of 150,000 words!

    Liked by 1 person

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