The Practice – Post 9  

What I do:  

I open up a blank Word document (yes, I still use Word, youngsters) and date it with today’s date. Sometimes I add the time. Then I start to journal a few thoughts and ideas or concerns, what the morning looks like. 

Today, being the last day of my daughter’s vacation, I mentioned being the first one up in the house, the snow in our backyard and slush on our deck.

I write whatever comes up, comes to mind. Maybe I even add a few To Do items for later.

And then, when I’m ready—this always comes relatively soon—I get to the longer project I’m working on.

Today it took me 65 words to get there. I don’t usually count the words there, but MS Word makes that easy.

When I’m really going on the draft of a longer project, sometimes I’ll write the total word count for that project before I begin, then I’ll come back later and use it to establish how many words I’ve written that day.

This is where my goals come in: how many words I want to do on the longer project, always a minimum, these days a very doable 300+.

I used to push for minimums of 1,500 or 2,000 words in my younger days when I was working on crime novels. Then, in revision, I could see places where I’d jumped past what I needed or knew about the manuscript. Parts where I was searching. I read an interview with Josh Grisham where he said he just did 200 words per day, and in a year he’d have a novel. This seemed so pedestrian, doable, non-Herculean. Maybe being the Hercules of daily word counts wasn’t the point, I slowly realized.

Now I know that it’s true.

Lately, some days I’ll get up over 1,000 words, I’ll get on a roll or hit a vein of gold, and I write a lot. These days, I wonder about what’s happening there, question if I should maybe go more slowly, or edit more as I write.

Eventually, I’ll go back to the Word doc, write the number of words I did and any other thoughts that may have come up. Then I save it with that day’s date in a special folder, and it’s done its job.

I’ve used it to start the flow of words and then it’s done.

Q: what practices do you have as part of your writing routine?

What do you do to get yourself started each morning?

About the author : Seth Harwood

Published On: 06/02/2024Categories: The PracticeTags: