An advantage to having a writing goal of 100 words per day is that it’s really easy to meet the goal. Days when I’m feeling sick, I can convince myself to get to the writing computer and just do those 100 words. I might not have a lot of time, but I can find five minutes to get those words in.

I like that. It helps me to stay on a streak of writing.

But there’s a significant disadvantage that I’ve noticed after doing this kind of goal a few times.

The story loses momentum. I get a good idea and I start running with it and by writing it in tiny chunks I slow myself down. I don’t continue writing at the pace that the story wants to go. And then I get neurotic about it and can’t get myself to just play with the story again.

That’s not a disadvantage when I’m writing a guide book or a hiking book. I know the shapes of those stories already in my head. I lived them. With fiction, I’m discovering the story. It’s like I need to pay attention to the story and make it move more quickly if I don’t want to lose it.

And somehow, writing just the 100 words has also taken my attention away from production work on my Queens River guidebook. The words are there, but I need to get the pictures squared away and the cover and all the fiddly bits. For the Chamberlain guide, I stopped writing after I finished the words so I could focus on production and I got it done pretty quickly.

After my solo trip, I’m going to have to write that up and work on the story and do production work on the guide. So I guess I’ll be doing a bit less TV watching…

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