Saturday, March 14, 2009

Number Crunching

Each morning (much too early, I might add), I'm blasted with consciousness. I fall out of my dreams about donating canned goods (last night's offering), or chucking mice to the tiger outside, or harboring pregnant mermaids in my bathtub.

My thoughts immediately turn to my manuscript. I find that the moments between sleep and wakefulness are ripe with inspiration. So I roll over, grab a pen and paper and write. Death, taxes, and packet deadlines wait for no man. Or woman.

If I'm lucky, my husband can get the household moving while I sit in bed, pen scribbling furiously on a pad of paper. If I'm lucky, I get three pages written and typed before nine. If I'm lucky, those three pages will total close to 900 words, which is the random number of words I've chosen to be my daily goalpost. It's certainly not prolific, but it is realistic. So 900 words.

Sometimes I'm lucky. Sometimes I'm not. But with my packet deadline looming every closer, I find myself focusing on the number of words produced each day almost as much as the actual words themselves. I watch the word counter going up, up, up, then falling as I cut words, sentences, whole paragraphs. Let me tell you of the angst I created when I reached 10,000 words, then subsequently cut a few sentences, which caused me to dip back below the 10K mark. Oh, the pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth! Ok, not really, but I didn't shut down for the day until I was well above 10,000 words.

And now, after some more pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth, I passed 11,000 words. Come Monday, I hope to hit 12,000. By Tuesday, my packet will be submitted. Perhaps then I can return to a less numerical state of mind.


  1. Do you really dream about pregnant mermaids in your bathtub? No wonder you are a children's author. Good luck with your numbers. And your words.

  2. Go! Go! Go! I'm rooting for you, GingerSnap!