The Do’s and Don’ts of Word Counts- Allyson Jamison

Good morning yall! After what seems like forever, we are back with our Tips for Tales! Today, we are joined by Allyson from Vessels of Honor! I hope you enjoy this amazing set of tips for this week!

“Word counts are a blessing and a curse. At times, they can motivate us to keep writing even when we don’t feel like it just so we will reach that word count goal. But they can also restrict and depress us at times as well.

Word counts are wonderful tools for writers but there’s a fine line between when they’re helpful… and when they become confining. Personally, I either love or hate them—depending on where I’m at with my writing. But I don’t think writer’s notice often enough when the word counts are being helpful, and when they need to be thrown out the window.

I find more times than not I enjoy having a word count goal. Usually I have one already set in mind before I sit down to write. This helps to motivate me not to stop writing until I have that many words. This is when they’re being helpful.

I think writers can often tell when word counts are being helpful, it’s when they’ve become restricting that it’s hard to find the issue.

Writer’s block. Procrastination. Lack of inspiration. These are all enemies that writer’s have and the ones that get blamed for a lot of our problems. But I think a lot of times the issue can be found when you zoom into the issue at hand.

Such as your word count.

Do you feel weighed down by the amount of words still needing written today? Maybe you’re procrastinating. You feel you can’t write one word even if your life depended on it. That’s because you’re letting your word count control you. You’re so caught up on how much you still have to write today that you forget one of the most important rules of storytelling.

Enjoy the story.

That’s right. Don’t become so overwhelmed and exhausted by that word count hanging over your head that you forget to enjoy your story. Because if you don’t enjoy and absolutely love your story then why are you writing?

Don’t get the wrong impression here, I love word counts and think they are incredible goals for writers to set to help motivate them. But not if they’re making you rush through your story to simply get those words in. Not when you forget to let the story flow naturally because that word count is hanging over your head.

So I’m going to list a guideline to help you decipher whether or not they are helping you or not. A list of the do’s and don’ts of word counts:

Do’s:

If your word count is creating a healthy motivation

If it’s inspiring you

If you’re challenging yourself

If you need the accountability

If they don’t push you too hard

Don’ts:

If they’re stressful

If it’s hanging over your head all day and bringing you down

If it’s restricting your story

If it’s giving you writer’s block or making you want to procrastinate

If it’s stopping your story’s natural flow

If you can relate with the do’s, then I think word counts are beneficial for you and you’re using them properly. However, if the don’ts describe you better than maybe you should consider taking a break from them.

Never let anything take the joy out of writing for you. If something is restricting or being unhealthy for you and your writing journey, cut it out. It doesn’t have to be permanent, it just has to be what’s right for you.”

Wow Allyson! That was an amazing tip! I can definitely tell that this will be a tip I will put into practice! You can follow Allyson at any of the links listed below. I would definitely check out her blog!

Did you enjoy todays tip? Do you have your own tip that you’d like to share? Please let me know in the comments! Thanks so much for joining us today and I will see you for the next Tip for Tales.

Blog: https://allysonjamison.wordpress.com/

Email List: https://allysonjamison.ck.page/6014cf7d4a

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106973722-allyson-jamison

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