marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

the trouble with quotas

Word quotas can be a wonderful thing to keep you going.  Particularly if you are wise enough to set your daily quota higher than the usual number of words you need to get warm to your work.

And don't allow yourself to do them in advance, because once you've built up a margin of error, you can quickly find that you don't get back into the habit once you've used it up.  Making up works better -- it puts in an inherent punishment.

Revision can be fun. I've never found a really good measure -- words changed (plus or minus) is not much help if some passages don't need much change, and pages done, if some need a lot.

The worst effect for me is when it results in my only writing once a day, even though I could do more.  I look at the desk and think that I've already done it, and the initial reluctance that inspires quotas is back full force, and not to be budged.

Tags: writing flow, writing habits

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