KJ (owlmoose) wrote,

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GYWO: To join or not to join

The time is coming where I have to decide whether to sign up for getyourwordsout for 2014. This is my fourth year of participation, and the first time I will have missed my goal. (I have almost 17,000 words to go, which is technically doable -- I'd have to average just over a thousand words a day, which I've done in two week bursts before, but given that I now have drafts of every major project due before the end of the year, and a trip coming up, I just don't see myself generating that much new copy.) But even if I'd made my goal, I'd still probably be questioning whether I should continue.

The first time I signed up for GYWO, I wasn't actually expecting to hit the 200,000 word goal (the lowest option at the time). I joined to give myself some structure (reporting monthly word counts) and in hopes that I would find motivation in being part of a community of writers. As it turns out, I never really got involved with the community, and -- like many other communities on LJ -- the community has also become less interactive over the years. However, I feel like it served its other intended purpose quite well: the long-term wordcount goals, coupled with the monthly goals I gave myself, kept me writing through the dry spells, which is something I used to have real trouble doing.

The last three years I wrote 200k words (including 2011, when I only signed up for 150,000) and blew past my goal before the end of November, or even sooner. This year, I have struggled, falling well below monthly targets every month from July through October. I did well in November, but it was like pulling teeth. Not so much with writing at all, but to write in any sustained sort of way, enough to get decent wordcounts. Which has me wondering: do I really want to stress about wordcounts? Shouldn't my goal be to create stories and meta posts, then craft them into a finished, postable form?

So I'm wondering if I should move away from number of words written as a goal. Not to stop tracking them -- I think making note of which days I've written, what I've been working on, and approximately how many words I wrote and/or edited each day, has been both motivating and rewarding for me. But maybe I no longer need this giant number looming over my head. Especially not now that I've joined the ushobwri community, which has weekly check-ins and loose, more self-directed goals. And at least so far, it's more interactive, which is nice. (If you're looking for a low-pressure writing community, and are okay with being on an LJ comm, I definitely recommend checking it out.) Would that be enough to keep me setting goals and writing, without the stricter structure of GYWO? It's worth thinking about, anyway.

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Tags: writing projects

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