Saturday, 20 December 2014

Dilemma: how do I up the word count?

Actually, it isn't word count per novel that concerns me, it's words per day that has been letting me down.

Here's one of my recent days:  I'm up at five in the morning, so after taking a bath and getting dressed, I've got about an hour to write before I have to go to work.  Unfortunately, I have my social media to take care of, too, and that can often take up a whole morning.  That was the case on Thursday. Then it's off to work, and that keeps me occupied for the next nine hours.  I'm back home by 3.30, just in time to break up the first argument of the evening.  Much as I love the girls, they fight like cat and dog.  Once everything has calmed down, it's usually time for dinner, then getting the girls ready for bed.  Only then can I think about getting a few words on paper.

Okay, that was an extreme example, but despite that, if I could get 500 words done in a normal day, I called that a success.

Until now.

Five hundred words a day meant one book a year, and as my following has grown, I know that will never be enough.  That's why I've decided to quit the day job and concentrate on being a full time author!

I will take the next two weeks off to spend Christmas with my girls, and from January 5th 2015 I will sit down each day with a minimum  target of 1500 words per day.  That should enable me to write a book in three months, which means at least three new adventures every year.

I've already started book 6, which once again sees Tom Gray leaping into action, this time to rescue a friend from some Russian mobsters.  After that, I plan to write three spin-off books starring MI5 operative Andrew Harvey and his sidekick Hamad Farsi.  I think my readers will agree that Tom needs a rest!  I also have the seed of an idea for a standalone featuring brand new characters.

That's the next year and a half plotted out, and I should know by then if my decision to quit the day job was a wise one.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!


  1. Great to see you're so focused, Alan! :)

    Up until giving up the day job myself earlier this year, I averaged about 4000 words each week, fitting the writing in and around everything else in life. Then I retired from the rat race, with every intention of at least doubling that word count. As it turned out, I still average 4000 words each week (sometimes a lot less depending on how much grandchildren babysitting comes along), which is frustrating, especially since my aim was to write two decent-lengthed books each year. It seems, now that I have more time on my hands, it tends to fill up with all those jobs I've been putting off for years (because I simply couldn't fir them in!) and so this year I've still only managed to pen one book. Dang.

    So, my New Year's resolution is to be more disciplined and to be more focused to pen those two books in 2015. I am not the world's fastest writer. Some days nothing comes out at all and on others I'll rewrite everything from the day before. Being realistic, I don't expect to write more than 1000 or so words each day, editing as I go along. So, if I aim for one book every six months (taking into account all of life's distractions) I think I can make it.

    Fingers crossed!

    Alan, I hope you have a lovely Christmas with the family and a very safe and healthy New Year!

    Keith :)

    1. Sounds a lot like me, Keith! I think discipline will be key in 2015, and hopefully I can knuckle down and get at least two books written. I'm sure that once I get into a rhythm it'll come a lot easier.

      Merry Christmas to you, too, mate, and may 2015 be the year for us both!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


My Zimbio
Top Stories