In last week's post, we talked about how every book birth is unique and how part of your work in writing it is to notice what your particular book needs and to respond accordingly. Today, I want to unpack more of what that can look when you're writing the first draft of your book, or what I call the 1st Trimester.
To do this, I want to share with you a few stories.
I talked with a client last week who said she'd read about a famous writer who gets up every day and writes 350 words. Once he hits 350 words, he allows himself to be done for the day.
"I can't work that way," she said. "A monthly word count works better than a daily word count for me."
Through our last few months of working through her 1st Trimester together, we've learned that her ideal monthly goal is to write ten thousand words per month as she makes her way toward her sixty-thousand-word goal for the first draft.
She doesn't break the ten-thousand-word goal into smaller word-count goals per week or per day. Instead, she allows the one large goal to guide her in a monthly rhythm. She's learned that a larger goal at a slower pace works better for her than writing shorter, consistent burst of words each day.
As another example, I talked with a friend and former client yesterday who published her first book earlier this year and plans to start writing her second next year. Since her first book came out, she's been invited to give many talks and retreats to groups, many of which she writes from scratch beforehand.
"I've learned I can't write in a linear fashion," she told me. "I'm more of an organic writer. I have certain topics in my head that I know I want to cover, and I write my way through each topic first. Afterward, I can go back and put things in an order that makes sense."
Here's where I'm going with this: Find what works for you.
I mentioned last week that the 1st Trimester is all about growing your book—getting the words out of you and onto the page. I encourage you to find whatever method helps you get that done.
There's no right or wrong way to do this. There are no hard or fast rules. There's what actually works for you. Remember, your book birth is unique.
What have you learned works for you in getting the words of your first draft written? Have you tried anything that didn't work?