Monday, 3 September 2012

Possibly this also explains my aversion to vampires

6455 / 50000 words. 13% done!

Admittedly not the most prolific day I've ever had, but that's what comes of afternoon naps. Do as I say, not as I do.

The word counter I've been using since I started this novel is the NaNoWriMo Word Meter. I've tried NaNo several years in a row, but never managed to complete one. I think my highest wordcount was 5k. I attribute this to two things:

  1. NaNo is held in November, which is the worst of all possible times for students to take up writing 1667 words a day. At least, not 1667 words of stuff that isn't term papers and exams.
  2. I am just really, really bad at deadlines. I'm getting better! I've never missed a deadline in the two years I've been at university! But when your professor isn't looming over you promising hellfire and failing grades should you fail to turn in ten pages on the life of Catherine Tekakwitha, the deadline just lacks that extra oomph.
Number #2 (heh) is a big part of why I started this blog. In 2011, when I signed up for a fanfic challenge to write a fic of at least 15k over the course of a summer, I used the same word counter when updating on Livejournal, and I found it helped when trying to motivate myself. It's easy to get discouraged when you're just staring at the wordcount at the bottom of the Word document; it helps a lot to watch that colour bar inch ever closer to the finish line, whispering "soon, my precious . . . sooooooooooooon."

The other helpful thing, I find, is the percentage calculation. Which is a bit odd, because if you had suggested to me before I started using the word counter that I would be comforted by a percentage, I would have laughed in your face and possibly spit on you and cursed your descendents. I hate math. Haaaaaaaate it. I hate arithmetic. I hate multiplication and division. I hate algebra. I hate calculus. I even hate numbers. Like the number 2, what does it think it's fooling? I can feel it laughing at me. I see that sarcastic upper curve there. My hate extends yea verily to the very first caveperson who invented the concept of numbers. I don't know who or where they are, but I hope they feel very guilty about it.

And yet . . . percentages! They calm me! I think it's a matter of perspective, honestly. Looking at "6445 out of 50, 000" is a good inducement to taking up drinking. Looking at "13%" is much more encouraging. I'm in the double digits! I'm in the teens! And I'm only on Chapter Four! Maybe I can do this after all.

But I haven't forgiven the number 2. Smug bastard.

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