Monday, December 10, 2012

Writing Productivity: Guest post by Jennifer Shirk

I'm so excited to host multi-published author Jennifer Shirk. If you're not familiar with her blog, go check it out today! It's full of fun stuff.
Hi, all! Jennifer here!
Julie was kind of enough to have me on her blog today so I could talk about 
I’ve noticed lately that perception has been a key factor in me writing more. 
What does that mean exactly?
Well, one of the things that I learned when I took The Fast Draft class earlier this year was how much more doable page count sounded than actual words. For example, if I set a daily goal of “2 pages” that sounds like nothing, right? (For some it is. But 500 words for me is decent unless I have a few hours to write)
But… when I sit to write “500 words” instead of “2 pages” (same exact thing), I tend to agonize over each word to make sure they all add up. And if I end up writing 490 words instead of the 500, I feel like a failure and it actually DEPRESSES ME.
However, if I pledge to write 2 pages, I don’t get hung up on writing the individual words and I actually tend to write faster and sometimes even more. Before I know it, I’ve written 2 pages and I have the rest of my day to myself. I made goal and I’m done. 
What happens more times than not is that after I write the 2 pages, I go and do errands or clean and because I have the time, I can sit and write another page or two not worrying if I do or not because I already made my goal anyway.
See? Mind over matter.
It’s funny that I need to resort to tricking myself. But it seems to work for me and I don’t get stressed about writing or not writing enough.
Try changing your goals to page counts instead of words and see if it works for you, too!
By the way, I have a new sweet romance out with Entangled today called 
I’ll be happily giving away an ebook copy to some lucky commenter!
Here’s a little bit about it: 
Kendall Grisbaum is finally taking charge of her life—pouring her heart into opening a new bakery business and even allowing her best friend Georgie to play matchmaker for her. Trouble is, the one guy she secretly wants is Georgie’s older brother, Brad.

Brad can’t seem to get his little sister’s best friend out of his mind. He and Kendall used to be close friends, too, though they drifted apart years ago. But as a local policeman, Brad can’t help but play protector, looking out for Kendall. And when he offers to help her renovate her new bakery space on the side, their attraction flares back to life.

Amid the temptation of doughnut muffins and blueberry cobbler, a new temptation draws them both closer. Can two friends take a chance on love when it means risking everything?

How do you set your writing goals? By page count or word count?


  1. Congrats to Jennifer! Love the cover and the premise! So happy for you. :)

    I'd love the ebook. laurapauling at yahoo dot com

  2. Congratulations on the release, Jennifer!

    I still use word count - I tried the page count instead of word count thing and it did nothing for me. 500 sounds so much more than 2!

  3. Word count works better for me. I know I'd slack with page count. lol
    Love the cover and the storyline!!!

  4. Great tips, Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

  5. Pages and even SCENES are more manageable. Altho I have a hard time passing up word count 'cause it keeps me moving toward that marketable 80-95K for my genre. :)

    Great post, Jen!

  6. These are some great tips. Word count works better for me, I find, and I usually aim for about one thousand words at a time a few times a day. If I write less, I feel pathetic. Much like you: depressed.

    By the way, I would love to read your book. It sounds enchanting and romantic!

  7. (I meant Jennifer's book. I forgot to clarify, please forgive me.)

  8. I like this page vs. word count idea. I too, get bogged down like that. Can't wait to give it a try. Thanks, Jennifer! Thanks, Julie for hosting!

  9. Hi Jennifer,

    You are so right. Perception is everything!

    Congratulations on your new release! The story sounds so cute and the cover is amazing!


  10. Great tip, Jennifer! I just might try it when I start drafting soon. :) (And congrats on your book release, btw!)

  11. Congratulations on the book release, Jennifer! I set my writing goals by word count, but must admit, that it can be intimidating. Page count is a much smaller number ;-)

  12. I do better with pages, too. But I sometimes switch them around because I get bored - LOL.

  13. I usually set a word count goal...which leaves me disappointed if I fall short. Maybe I'll try page goals instead. Of course, at this time of year I might be better off setting the bar even lower with paragraph goals.

  14. I've always done word count, but you're right - the page count is less scary. I'm going to try it.

  15. Thanks, everyone!!

    And thanks again, Julie!!