A friend recently rededicated herself to writing. She’s been a prolific blogger for many years, but now she’s ready to tackle other projects.
Using a website called 750 Words, she set that as her daily word count goal. Here’s how the site’s founder describes this goal, which she first read about in the book The Artist’s Way:
Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day…The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. Unlike many of the other exercises in that book, I found that this one actually worked.
In standard manuscript format, one page averages about 250 words, hence the 750-word goal per day. I don’t use this site myself because my daily word count goal is usually 500-600 words, depending on my monthly goal and how far behind I am.
But my friend has been on a real streak with this site, and it’s tempting to up my game to see if I could keep up with her.
The other day, she looked at her workload and posted a status on Facebook that she was stressed out about whether she would be able to carve out any writing time that day.
Another friend of hers said something like, “If it’s such a burden, don’t do it.”
Clearly, not a writer.
I said what I often say to writers. To make time for writing, you have to give something else up.
My friend used her lunch hour and some break time and exceeded her goal. She also gently explained to the nonwriter that this isn’t a burden. The stress came not from feeling burdened by a task, but by the threat that circumstances would prevent her from doing the thing she most wanted to do.
That’s our burden as writers. Sometimes, like when I have to write a fight scene (books three and four are gonna be nightmares), it is a burden. But it’s one we have gladly taken on. Because it’s what makes us who we are. Writers.