Day 3: One Percent

Today’s Word Count Goal: 8850

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 5600

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000


So many writers struggle to write because they expect every word to be precious. I’m dumbfounded by target-oriented writing coaching clients who refuse writing exercises that do not directly contribute to their very focused project goal. I’m in love with process, the acrobatics, the self torture of entertaining urges to create.

I want to show these writers another way by writing 50,000 terribly strung together words about pigeons with the purpose of getting 500 words that are good enough to tell a short, children’s picture book story about pigeons.

That’s right. I’m writing 50,000 recklessly typed words and hoping to extract 500 good ones or 1%.

How can I expect anything I write to be any good at all if everything I write will be scrutinized? Those who write only when something written is required are damned to a painful writing experience. Fill notebooks with nonsense and drivel, with no expectations about content, and amid the nonsense and noise, the self-indulgence and secrets, we find gems. And that’s when we get to feel like writers.

And that’s the spirit of NaNoWriMo. Just write. Write 50,000 words. Write them and see what happens.


Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.

    • Eric
    • November 4th, 2010

    You rock, Kristy. 🙂

    I don’t think it should be a mystery that the more you write the better you write. It’s partly the practice of writing, which is after all a skill like any other, but is also partly that you have more choices the more you write.

    Frankly, I will be ecstatic if I can get one decent sentence out of every thousand words I write. I don’t mean a brilliant sentence, or a perfect sentence. I mean a decent sentence – one that conveys my idea and nothing more, that uses words that I like, that is good enough to be worth taking the time to edit and rewrite to make it better.

  1. Thanks for reading and posting here, Eric, and for pointing out the non-mystery too. Practice any skill with space for it to be just that–practice, and you’re bound to get better at it.

    I also love the idea that a decent sentence (or paragraph or chapter) might be one that is imperfect but worth editing and rewriting.

    You rock, Eric! I see that almost-17-k-word-count!

  1. November 8th, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: