What does productivity look like as a writer? Should we be churning out 2,000 words each and every day? Or perhaps we should just consider 150 words as our maximum, as long as they are grammatically correct?
My facetiousness should be evident for everyone to see, because there shouldn’t be a precise amount. We should be focused more on quality and less on quantity. If we write 1,000 words every day, but 500 of them are – frankly – rubbish, then what’s the point? I’d rather take my time, craft something specific that I’m proud of, than just pound through words like there’s no tomorrow just to reach a mythical limit.
We can sometimes mythologise writing; we turn it into this craft where we need to spend six months researching the esoteric mysteries of the ancient Inca traditions surrounding toilet training, and convince ourselves that this is the same as actually crafting our story.
We also spend time obsessing over every single word so that we’ve spent two hours working on our story and written two words, one of which we delete when we next get to the story. There clearly needs to be a different way of looking at the creation of a story.
However you do it – churning out a very good first draft in the space of an afternoon, or creating a few hundred words every day and coming up with a draft in a few months or a year – be productive. But do not create a mythology around the craft that requires more time talking about the writing or the research or the … whatever, than actually coming up with the storyline.
© 2020 Matthew Munson
Available under the Thanet Writers Education Policy
Thanet-based author Matthew has three novels published by Inspired Quill, is an inveterate blogger, and writing is his passion.