Word Counts and Distractions.

Did you ever see that movie UP? The animated cartoon about an old man determined to move his house with balloons. There was a dog in that movie named Dug who had a short attention span. He wore a specially designed collar that allowed him to speak. At some point during every conversation he would suddenly look to the side and shout. Squirrel!

While hilarious the first time I saw it, and still funny during subsequent viewings, it reminded me of a little problem I have with my writing.

I'm easily distracted.

Ooohh look, a shiny thing.

Like Dug I can be in the middle of something and all of the sudden my mind will zoom off on a tangent. Can anybody say Squirrel. I'm surprised I ever get anything done to be honest. It seems when I near the thousand word point I become bored with what I'm doing and start looking for something else to occupy my mind. Even now,  as I'm writing this, my thoughts have turned to listening to some music.

In fact I think I'll do that. Hang on a minute.

There, that's better, nothing like a little AC/DC to get the blood pumping.

Now where were we? Oh yeah, distractions. Did somebody say Squirrel?

I write seven days a week. Every morning, without fail, I'm at my computer either editing, marketing, or writing new stuff. But my output remains minimal at best. I probably average five hundred to a thousand words in a two to three hour period when I actually do write.

For much of the time I'm at my computer I'm usually browsing the internet, checking my news feed on the biggest time waster of all, Facebook, or repeatedly checking my nearly non existent sales figures at Amazon and Smashwords.

Did anyone buy anything yet?

When I first started writing, back in the dark ages of the early nineties, it was nothing to pump out ten, fifteen double spaced pages. Of course when I went back over my latest ramblings I'd end up deleting ninety percent of what I'd written. So I guess I'm holding my own in some small way. I've matured as a writer, and as such I've become more selective to what actually makes it to the page. I've discovered too that much more of what I put down during a first draft remains through subsequent edits.

Yet the distractions remain and I sometimes wonder how much more I could write if they weren't calling to me in their most alluring voices. In all honesty, would I really get any more done? Or would I revert to padding the page to fill out my word count as I compete with myself.

Maybe I just need to accept the fact that I'm a thousand word a day writer.  Of course as such I should be able to finish a 90,000 word novel in three months. Right?

As a writer, what's your daily output?

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