Your Word Count: The Black Cloud of Doom

You’ve sat down to write and can feel that sense of excitement coursing through you. You’re just as excited as you always are to be doing what you love. But, at the same time, you see this number in the back of your mind and it won’t go away. It’s hanging over you like a black cloud.

That black cloud is your word count.

It’s haunting you and it won’t be shaken off. You can’t stop the self-doubt from arising and the belief that you aren’t going to reach your goal today. Your hands are flying across the keyboard but it doesn’t seem fast enough. It will never be fast enough.

Or maybe you reached your goal yesterday and feel very satisfied. But then, today, you realized you still haven’t written and your schedule is full for the rest of the day. You feel the panic rise up within you that you won’t be making your word count – again. What are you going to do? You have to get that word count in. You have to reach your goal.

But you don’t.

I’ve been there. I’ve let that word count plague me until it would exhaust me. It began to take the joy out of writing. In a way, I was dreading it. And that’s no way to approach your writing. So, do me a favor, and just forget that word count.

Poof. The black cloud goes away.

Now, don’t get me wrong, daily word counts are great and can be very helpful motivators. Despite this realization I still use them to a certain extent. But I can now recognize when they are becoming too restricting and how to give them up. As writers, we don’t want that black cloud of doom hanging over our heads and discouraging us the whole time we write. Instead, imagine this scene:

You sit down to write and feel that sense of excitement coursing through you. You’re just as excited as you always are to be doing what you love. You set your fingers to the keys and just sigh for the pure bliss of it. There’s no black cloud hanging over your head and there’s no fear of whether or not you will reach your word goal. Because it’s just you and your writing. You and your story. And whatever you get written will be just enough.

And you know what? You will find yourself enjoying the writing process all over again. I know I sure did when I implemented this into my own writing life.

That’s the feeling we all want. We want that creativity to burn within us and that passion to kindle a fire until we feel we could write all day long without stopping. So if you’ve been experiencing these same feelings then I suggest you give this a try and let me know how it went. I always love to hear from you!

Your turn!

Have you ever experienced the black cloud of doom? Do word counts restrict or free you? Do you set one at all?

Blessings, Allyson


8 thoughts on “Your Word Count: The Black Cloud of Doom

  1. Ugh, so true!! I find they help with motivation, but on the days that I get a late start. . . eh, they’re better left forgotten for me to just enjoy the ride. Great post Ally!!

    Liked by 1 person

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