Word Drips

A few times in the last week, the boys’ bathroom floor has been soaked.  I blamed it on Oldest, who showers there.  I thought he wasn’t tucking the shower curtain into the tub and water was pouring onto the floor.  You know, Lazy Teenager Syndrom.

DH believed the shower curtain was old and defunct.  His version of the soaked floor was that water ran through the shower curtain, down the side of the tub and onto the floor.

Whatever the reason, it was a whole lot of frustrating.  Some mornings the floor was wet and others, bone dry.

Last night we learned it was the toilet.  Apparantly it needed a little attention.  So, we wrapped a towel around it to save us from yet another morning mop job.  It wasn’t enough.  The towel was drenched and a huge puddle covered the entire floor.  Last night was no little leak.  Not like before.  It was a whole flood of water–of the clean kind, thankfully.

Often times writers discuss their daily writing goals.  How many words?  How many pages?  A chapter?  A scene?

Some writers just try to write, while others try to reach a certain level before calling it a day.  I’m from the write ANYTHING camp.  After all, doesn’t even one sentence a day make your novel/project a handful of words longer?

The only exception to this rule of mine is during NaNo.  There I write my required 1,667 words to reach my 50,000 word goal in thirty days.  Other than that, I write my little word drips down as they come.  Sometimes they arrive in a tiny dribble and other times by flood. 

Yet these words keep adding up.  One by one, line by line, page by page.  Eventually a manuscript is finished and I can begin filling my  new manuscript with words. 

Because, really, even a flood starts with one tiny drop. 

How do you write?  What makes your writing day feel complete? 

~Cat

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20 responses to “Word Drips

  1. I write much the way you describe and I haven’t yet done a Nano trip. ;D Usually once I get going, I’m on full force. Starting the initial trickle can be tough, though. Sorry to hear about the toilet! We’ve had enough problems my four-year-old daughter has taken to asking me if it will overflow each time she uses it.

  2. So first, you have my sympathy on the whole flooded bathroom thing. Our drain used to not work properly, so every time someone took a shower there’d be an inch of water on the floor. So not fun. Least the problem is fixed, now, right? 😉

    As for how I write, I definitely think writing ANY amount of words is a good thing. Even if it’s just a few sentences, at least it’s something. My personal goal is to write every day, and to write at least 500 words (I used to have a higher goal, but it stressed me out too much!). Usually I write more than that, but that word count puts less pressure on me, and I feel more comfortable with that. Eventually, I’ll probably work my way up to 1, 000 a day, though.

    • Mia,

      I’ll take the clean toilet water any day over an inch of shower water with every scrubbing! That had to have made a mess.

      Five hundred words is a great goal. It’s doable without the undue stress. And, depending on what you write, you can easily pump out a book a year with this method. Add in editing and you’re an agent’s dream.

  3. Lately, I’m with you in the write anything camp. My son said, “I wish you’d make up your mind which book you’re writing.” I just shook my head and said, “but you don’t understand”. I’m now at least about 2,000 words into my new wip. I’m going to try to settle down with it for awhile and get it written before I go back to one of the others. And yes, a few words here and there, I think I can, I think I can…. 😉 Have a great day!

    • I love your son’s comment. Some days I feel that way. I get so side tracked that I am happy working on any number of things throughout a given day. I think this is less stressful on one level, but can be frustrating when completing a single project takes longer.

      hugs for the day right back at you~ cat

  4. Ouch; that toilet situation sounds annoying!!

    I try to write in chapters. I feel “done” if I’ve finished a draft of a chapter. I like that you do it by word count!!

    • Chapter are interesting. I did that for my chapter books I wrote. It’s so natural that way and the chapters are so short. But when I got up into the longer fiction for middle grade and above, it kind of stalled out on me and I had to revert to words : )

      Maybe it’s a time issue…

      Thanks for hanging out here!

  5. I’m also manuscript hopping and I’m getting crazy. I need to pick one, stop doing everything else I’m doing, and focus.

  6. Heck, these days I’m just happy if I get to my blog!

    P.S. Sorry to hear about the toilet. If it makes you feel any better, ours is currently hanging out in the dining room. The tub, thankfully, has resumed its position and is hunkered back down in the bathroom. The toilet is a wily one though. In the bathroom. Next day in the dining room. Back to the bathroom. Back to the dining room. It’s like musical chairs, but with a toilet. You never know if it’s going to be there when it’s time to sit down.

    • LOL, Jean.

      I will take my leaky toilet any day over playing hide and go seek with the Porcelain God! I hope you someday have your toilet firmly back where it belongs.

      Also, best on your continued writing endeavors. Sometimes a break from some of them is okay.

  7. I’m a time-spent more than words-produced kind of writer. I’ll write on one of my long pieces until it makes me nuts, then take a break with a short. I guess I could be more efficient, but at least it means I never put down my writing for long. 🙂

    Great post!

    • Kate,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love how you define your writing time. It’s probably very effective, as I find that when I work on writing for my other job (court reports) that I feel better balanced with my fiction. Kind of crazy, but I think it destresses my brain some. Switching up lengths of works is likely the same.

      Good luck on continuing your method–just don’t go too nuts in the process ; )

  8. Soon, soon it shall be bolted back firmly in its proper place.

    I agree, sometimes a break from writing can be refreshing. I am getting kind of eager to get back to it.

    • Jean,

      I bet. You’ve been uber busy with so many other projects right now that your brain is probably filled to overflowing with good writing karma! When do you get to slow down again?

  9. My style is similar to yours – I do what I can when I can. But during NaNo I just keep going – that good old competitive spirit. It also helps when it’s first draft – I do some much more during first draft than in editing phases.

    • Jemi,

      I’m right there with you. First drafts usually go rather quickly. I think I’m a picky editor, however, and that slows me down on the rewrites. That and continuously learning the craft.

      I have a girlfriend who does three NaNoSeasons each year. And typically writes 100k-150k for each of them. That would be amazing. Of course, no kids and no outside job helps…

  10. Yep, busy is good though. I told myself in January that I needed to take a step back (take a break) and reassess. By February I realized I wasn’t able to do it alone and along came a job. I took it but still kept writing. Then along came another job… etc., etc., until I was so loaded up I HAD to take a break from writing. It’s been great though. I needed to refresh. But I tell ya, be careful what you wish for–or at least be very specific. I think maybe next month I may have more writing time back. Although, I have been getting little bits in here and there and it has been wonderful. But really, any day that I get that happy feeling from getting to put some words down or tweak some words is a good writing day. I don’t know if I would call it ‘complete’ though. 😉

    • Jean,

      I think we’ve all gone through periods like that with our writing. It’s coming out on the other side and still writing that sets us apart from the others. Unless we have unlimited time to do nothing else, we have to contend with Real Life interventions that can really try our patience and desire to struggle through the process.

      I’m in the same boat as you right now. I took on another part time gig to help out my church and even though it is only two days a week, I find myself playing catch-up more than actually writing. It’s all about balance.

      Best wishes and hugs~ cat

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