Friday, 6 December 2013

Stop Counting, the words WILL add up!

I recently read 7 short sentences that really summed up for me a great way to approach my writing when struggling against time. Like many of you I am sure, I feel guilty if I do not achieve what I would call a decent word count each day. We all are busy and snatching ten minutes here and there is better than nothing at all but will that story ever get told at this rate?
Then when I do grab a good hour or two to scribble to my mended heart’s desire I sit down at the keyboard and one look at a blank screen sends shivers down my spine. Staring at a blank page with pen in hand has the same effect. Even when my head is crammed with characters screaming at me to tell their story, finding the first words can sometimes be tricky.
When words do spill out and the story is flowing brilliantly, I’m flying with pleasure then I pause and the pause stretches from one minute to one hour and oh I become weary. Despair settles on my shoulders, warming me like a cosy scarf. Will I ever get my mojo back I wonder and then I think of Earl Chessher.
Earl is the guy who put it simply, the way to think and how to break it down so I don’t panic anymore. Read his wise words below and put them up where you can see them each day. No matter how many words you write, there will always be a finished piece of work at the end.
One word a day is a flash fiction piece a year.
Two words a day is a short story a year.
Ten words a day is an enhanced short story a year.
Twenty words a day is a short novella a year.
Forty words a day is a novella a year.
100 words a day is an enhanced novella a year.
Then, you suddenly jump to 500 a day and voila, you're writing TWO novels a year!
Earl Chessher

Find out more about Earl at


  1. Thank you, Mary, for the nod. I'm glad this helps put it in perspective for you, and I hope others will take something positive from it as well. Thank you again. You make me sound good. *smiles*

  2. You are welcome. it really made me take the 'deep breath' and realise it will all get finished without any heart attacks taking place !