It's often debated among authors: What is a a good daily word count? Is word count even important?
In episode 91 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast, Autumn and Jesper answer these questions. You might be surprised to hear the answer.
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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from Writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt
Hello I am Jesper
and I am Autumn.
This is Episode 91 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast and you probably come across to the advice to write every day, many, many times before that's something we've all heard. There are also those who say that you should have a daily word count, but it's it's. So we are going to reflect on that topic today and discuss the daily word counts. I am looking forward to it because this was, even though I knew this podcast topic was coming up unrelated to that, I recently had some very deep reflection on word counts and how it affected my writing.
Autumn (1m 12s):
And I think it does. So I look forward to it when we get into the topics, but first the Odyssey of your house selling in your life. How were things over in Denmark? Oh, good. That's good. I, by the way, I think it's the first time I I've heard somebody say deep reflections about what Count. I don't think I've ever heard that sentence said before, but I loved being a regional, so that's. Yeah, no, no, everything's good. Over here.
Jesper (1m 42s):
Not nothing new to report on the house, selling in front. We are still waiting for those people to sell their own place first. So God knows that when that will happen, but hopefully I was still fingers crossed. I will hope that it won't take too long, but who knows? Yeah. So hopefully this is not as long as the Odyssey is and you don't have a 10 year wait. All right. Oh yeah. But actually I was thinking it gets to, its been a bit of a while since I told one of my referee stories. Excellent.
Jesper (2m 12s):
And considering how bad things turned out two weeks ago, I was thinking that maybe, or maybe it was a good story for today.
Autumn (2m 19s):
Oh perfect. I would love to hear it.
Jesper (2m 22s):
Okay. Yeah. Well thanks. Just goes crazy sometimes with these matches and then I have the, had a match two weeks ago, a wish it was played with the, you know, much intensity and a, it was pretty physical work as well, you know, in the sense that they were, they were tackling, tackling each other pretty hard and a, well, I also had to issue a few reload cards and so on that's it that's what happens. Right. But so we play 90 minutes in a soccer match and a buy the 80th minute.
Jesper (2m 55s):
The Hometeam had been in the lead with one to kneel for almost the entire Mets. I think they squat like after 10 minutes or something like that. So, so basically we had 10 minutes to go and they had been leading one nil all the way through and was basically in control of the mat as such, but then in the last 10 minutes, the way to equalize, Oh, this, this getting out and say like, yeah. And then of course a intensity Rose quite a lot and we got into overtime.
Jesper (3m 28s):
So that's within the last two minutes of the game where it still one, one. And then within those last two minutes, I awarded the penalty kick to the way team and a, yeah, you can imagine how upset the home team got. So they were extremely angry that we're complaining and yelling and a, you know, the spectators from the sidelines who are not very happy either. They probably felt that it was an unfair ruling, but I still stand by the fact that there was a penalty kick.
Jesper (4m 2s):
So that was awarded and, and especially no, you know, when you get a penalty kick in the last dying minutes of a match, it's it will determine the win in this case. Right. So yeah. Obviously they, emotions are running high now. Mmm. And the away team scored. Oh no. And shortly after that I blew the whistle and ended the match. So the away team, actually one, after having been behind almost all the way through, there was a lot of angry faces and shouting and all that kind of thing going on.
Jesper (4m 41s):
And then, you know, afterwords the teams convene at this center of the pitch with the customary as per the fair plea rules or the game that you convened at the center to just say, thank you for the match studio of the team. And of course it didn't go to Well because they were pretty angry. And ah, I was sort of standing there and, you know, looking at some players who was standing in front of me just because they were not too friendly. So I just wanted to make sure that everything was okay.
Jesper (5m 11s):
And then behind me, I, all of a sudden had a lot of promotion and I turn it around and basically there was a fight breaking up and I was like, what the hell? And then I brought over there and a, one of the team coaches also rushed us over there and we get the party split apart and separated them. And at this point in time, I think that the whole thing is probably because of the frustration that has been built up from losing the game. Right. So yeah, we just separate them and we'll go off to our different, a lot of the rooms and then trying to keep them separated, write.
Jesper (5m 46s):
So, and then with this particular place where we were playing the game, the locker room's is, is further away from the actual feel of place. We have to work for a while. So I went up there and then when I got up there, then the away team came to me and say, Hey, do you know that the home team player just kicked out a guy on the stomach? Oh my goodness. I was like, what? He did, what they say? Yeah, yeah. Then he kicked him and then they call it the play that out. And he pulled up his Jersey to show me. And you could just see on his stomach, like a clear boot boot imprint on his stomach and skin was all colored.
Jesper (6m 24s):
Right. You know? And there was even a little bit of bleeding at the bottom were one of the steps from the boot have made this impact. It's like, why do you do,
Autumn (6m 32s):
Do you believe that no, that's not appropriate. Yeah.
Jesper (6m 36s):
Well we have, it's just like this. I mean, one is going on in my mind. What are some people are thinking I don't get it.
Autumn (6m 42s):
No. Especially, I mean, they know Fairplay, it's frustrating, but you know, go hit a punching bag life isn't fair. And that's just the way the rules went. Right?
Jesper (6m 53s):
Yeah. Well, I just don't understand. I mean, well, we've seen also professional players do stupid things in, even at the world cup final, ya know, the French captain sent it in sedan many years ago. He head butted another player and was shown on a red car in the middle of the world cup final. Also what happens there as well. Alright. And not that this is an excuse, right? Violence has never OK. But I can see how, if you're playing four, a lot of money on a very high prestigious, I can sort of understand not that violence is okay in any way, but I can understand the emotions you might get high.
Jesper (7m 31s):
Right. Right here, are we talking like an amateur league match? Like doesn't really matter if you win. I mean, we'll of course it does too, your honor, but nobody is gonna win any money or nobody is gonna, you know, all of a sudden get it, get in to the major leagues because you're going to lose this match. So in that sense of it doesn't matter right now. I just, I don't know. I just don't get it. Sometimes people weird.
Autumn (7m 55s):
Yeah. I guess it's what I used to tell my employees when I had to a field office and I was the boss and I would tell them, look, you can tell me anything, unless it's life, death or world peace. I'm not going to get worked up. Just, just tell me, I, I totally am way too calm. I think about things, but those are my three points. Unless it's life and death are a world. Peace. I got to get excited. So it's fine. Just, just tell me so I don't get these players either. Unfortunately.
Jesper (8m 26s):
Yeah, no. So that was my referee story. I think sometimes when crazy things happen and then usually people liked to hear my stories, but I don't know if the listeners, if they don't then let us know if you don't like my stories, but otherwise I'll assume that you liked them. Because normally when we at like family parties or dinner things or whatever people usually like to hear their stories.
Autumn (8m 46s):
Yeah. So I think it's a very entertaining. So hopefully they like it too, because I don't want you to stop. Otherwise I'll have to talk more offline. Yeah.
Jesper (8m 53s):
Yeah. How do I think so too, with you? Good. I
Autumn (8m 56s):
Am still, I think I'm in week two, week three of on my own and being a single parent to my small dogs, but things are good. Yeah I husband has finally turning, turning back towards the East. So I expect to see him within the next 10 weeks or so 2000 plus miles to try to drive back through COVID this was his own auto. So you could write a whole novel and just this little trip threw everything.
Autumn (9m 27s):
So I'm looking forward to it. And its nice to know who's getting a little bit closer every single day, but definitely been getting my work done. But I did realize because getting work done, I finally updated my website, which means I added the books. We just published a suburb to my website, which are excellent. And you know, this whole time I thought those books were 17, 18 and 19. And the book I'm writing now the series I'm writing now is 20 to 21 and 20 To and that's kind of thinking, Oh my gosh, my 20th book, I am so excited.
Autumn (9m 60s):
I'm going to break out the good scotch. I'm going to have a little, you know, party. And it will be, you know, even if it's virtual, I'm so excited to think when I really spoke 20. And guess what I realized when I counted up the books on my website
Jesper (10m 13s):
That you were already above two and
Autumn (10m 17s):
Yeah. So are 18 or 19 and 20. I'm like, Oh I can't believe I miscounted my own books. Its an embarrassing, I mean, I know I'm kind of low key and calm, but I thought I'd do had a cow's no, well yeah.
Jesper (10m 39s):
Well it has been many years since you and I went to school. So maybe we forgot it.
Autumn (10m 44s):
Yeah. Yes. So anyway, or at least I know the book, I have book 21 written and I'm working on 20 to 23. It's slowly coming together in plotting, but just by when I released at all party anyway. Yeah,
Jesper (10m 57s):
Yeah. You should we go on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast so last week I set up a very special giveaway On Patrion And I'm thinking maybe you could start out Autumn by just explaining how far we come with the world building costs because then I will cover how that actually ties into the giveaway.
Autumn (11m 24s):
Yeah, that sounds good. All the modules are recorded. I don't know if anyone follows me on Instagram. They probably saw the post that showed, Hey, this wasn't a Writing post. This is a something else on my computer. As I uploaded the final modules. And also I did celebrate that. I at least danced around the cabin to some music and had some realms. You know, I will do the parties. Didn't see you and its been such a journey. We are here on this course to finally have the modules recorded and as speak. Well, not right now, but this week I have been working on getting the website built and that's over half done.
Autumn (12m 1s):
So we're so close to having this full course finally at long, last complete finally.
Jesper (12m 7s):
Well there's like two years later or something.
Autumn (12m 10s):
Yeah, we've been off of, I mean, we've been off a world. It, it took a lot longer than seven days, but it's, it's amazing what his in this course. And it does always astound me when I look through everything as I've been doing well or uploading all the videos. So it's ah, it is very exciting to see it come together and it's such an awesome course.
Jesper (12m 32s):
Yeah. So more on that because in the future, but why I wanted to get all of them to just to say all of that was to explain the special giveaway we are going to run on Patrion. So we've decided to give away a golden ticket to the world with of course, meaning that their is a chance to win a completely free access to
Autumn (12m 55s):
Yeah. And that's, what's really exciting about this is that it's going to be a limited release. So this is really a golden ticket. This is like exclusive, exclusive, not every week. This is not going to be a wide open entrance either. It's going to be gated. So this is really, really a golden ticket.
Jesper (13m 11s):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Because we would like to basically give access to just a few people at first to the costs because we want to, well, both here the feedback and as such, but we also would like to get some testimonials from, from those people that we give access to in the beginning. So there is a chance that you can become a part of that exclusive team for free, but there is more because we always have to sweeten deal right now.
Autumn (13m 39s):
Absolutely. Everyone has got a win. We are so nice that way, right?
Jesper (13m 43s):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Because the golden ticket has a draw, meaning only one person who will win, but we are going to give something to everyone. And that also includes all our existing patron supporters because we just appreciate it. You guys in girls so much. So now we're going to give everybody something. So basically everyone who signs up to become a patron support and everyone who is already as a Porter, we'll be giving access to either it could be a free video cost module or perhaps we are going to run it as a webinar and then recorded.
Jesper (14m 19s):
We haven't quite made up our mind on that. But what it will be about is what we call the reader's journey. This is basically how you can use paid advertising to warm up your audience over several different steps and a then hopefully of course get them to buy something at this.
Autumn (14m 40s):
Yeah, that's right. I think so. It's such a cool webinar topic as well and its yeah, everyone will benefit from that. So this is We excellent. And how do we still have to work out a few of the kinks, but I know we will. Yeah.
Jesper (14m 52s):
So EVERY patron support. Our new old will get access too to that video of course module or webinar, whatever we decide, what are the other, but it will get that for free. So if that sounds good to you, you can just follow the link to Patrion in the show notes. It might not say anything about the special giveaway just yet, but as I just explained, all existing patrons will automatically be part of the giveaway. So if you want to make sure you don't forget about it and head on over and sign up right away for as little as a dollar, you can be part of this giveaway.
Jesper (15m 31s):
So I would say that's pretty good.
Autumn (15m 32s):
It would be a, when you want to get to say it, if you could win in this course on a dollar, Holy crap, that would be a, such a wonderful, I'm quite jealous. I just want to receive enough to have built it, but that's okay. It'll be fantastic.
Jesper (15m 47s):
Yeah. Okay. Anything else before we move into today's topic?
Autumn (15m 51s):
No. Otherwise I just wanted to say that the Am Writing Fantasy group on Facebook has been newly, very active, but so as supportive, I noticed that out, we had a new member who asked a question about isn't really possible to have a life in a job you actually enjoy and kids and also still right. And the last I checked was over 93 comments and I know one on one, one of his was just like, I can't believe how you know, amazingly supportive you guys are. So that is just, I went to, I wish I could help everyone there as well as that.
Autumn (16m 25s):
Of course COVID safely So but I just think that it's just wonderful to see such encouragement among fellow Fantasy authors. So if anyone else's looking for that type of support, come join us on Facebook. It actually does exist on Facebook.
Jesper (16m 46s):
Okay. Autumn I was thinking I could start us out by two quotes from famous writers to sort of set the scene a bit here. Yeah. And then maybe we can use that as a springboard to reflect upon today's topic.
Autumn (17m 0s):
That sounds perfect. I love it. When you do the homework. Fantastic.
Jesper (17m 4s):
Yeah. I am pretty good at that.
Autumn (17m 7s):
Jesper (17m 9s):
Yeah. So let me start out with the first one is from Anne rice and I just like Anne rice so much and I love her books, especially the empire ones, but the, so it goes like this quote WRITING is what makes it a writer, nothing more, nothing less go where the pleasure is in your writing, go where the pain is. Write the book you would like to read right to book your I've been trying to fight, but have not found, but right.
Jesper (17m 40s):
And remember there are no rules for our profession ignore rules and a half.
Autumn (17m 45s):
Yeah. I love and price. That is a wonderful quote. I think that's a good
Jesper (17m 50s):
One. That'd be it. Just do the second one. And then we can just maybe do, are reflections on these quotes here afterwords. So the second one is from the all famous Stephen King. Ah, so he says, quote, I like to get 10 pages a day, which amounts to 2000 words. That's 180,000 words over a three month span at good enough length for a book and put a book on. Yeah. And he and his book on writing Stephen King continues to give the advice that new writers should write 1000 words everyday with one rest day per week.
Jesper (18m 29s):
Well, what do you think about these quotes? Yeah.
Autumn (18m 31s):
Awesome. All right. Well I've told you guys like totally opposite ends. Do you have an ricing saying right. You know what it is in your sole, what it is that you are passionate about and it doesn't matter how long it takes to the journey to get their, and then you have Stephen King of very succinctly saying basically write 10 pages, a thousand words a day, just do it. It doesn't matter what, so those are, that's definitely been what I've been thinking about reading recently. I mean, I am a big proponent of I goals, having goals.
Autumn (19m 1s):
I try and do weekly goals, but I have recently, it was now that I have Scrivener and it lets you put in a daily word count goal. I've adjusted to that. So my, my weekly goal has gone to a daily writing goal and I, I have noticed a change in my writing that I've only recently, I think finally managed to adjust back to where I wanted it. And that's been a long journey of 20 bucks to get back to There. So I think, I think just so hard and re said to me, it's the true model.
Autumn (19m 33s):
There are no rules to this. There are things you can try out and try on for size, but you need to do so to see if they fit and they might not fit and who has to be willing to try something else. If it doesn't, if you find out its been a little too tight, a little too loose, just not your style.
Jesper (19m 53s):
Yeah. But you know, I also actually saw some overlap between the two quotes, even though they are different because I think Anne rice is also saying that Writing is what makes it a rider, but it goes without saying, if we don't write well, we, well, I guess this could be argued as well, but if we don't ride, we're not gonna publish anything. And if we don't publish anything then, well, I guess we could discuss that. But what are we then, you know, is if you're just riding as a hobby, I've been a writer or does it, do you have to pup?
Jesper (20m 29s):
Is that I know that's a completely different rabbit hole and they want to go there right now, but it's a whole different Podcast I yeah, nothing that is not that there is anything wrong with Ida or, but of course it, if you want to make an income or at least we could say, then you have to right. And you have to continue to write. And it's the same thing, Steven King sets, right? He has sets that you have to write 'em in order too, to become a writer or be a writer. But I'm thinking that the fact that he wants new writers to set a daily word count.
Jesper (20m 59s):
I like the part, at least about that, that where it sort of forces them to set a goal and strive to achieve that goal. And I feel like that's important because at the end of the day, a lot of this is also about building up a habit of writing. And if having a daily work Count is what helps you build up a habit of writing then I think that's a pretty good thing. Yeah,
Autumn (21m 26s):
Definitely. I mean, definitely I, to me, its the thousand words a day, I mean that's, that is actually my daily goal in Scrivener. And usually I'm there's days on blasting past it I'm like, well, especially if I have woken up at 4:00 AM and because my character's are talking to me, I'm going to have a thousand words had done before at 8:00 AM. Not a problem, but there's a daze, you know, that I could not there's times it is. I've actually realized for me, it's important to map out your productivity, not only in your time's of like, when are you most productive and most creative during the day, but when are you the most verbose?
Autumn (22m 2s):
What are you really like? The story is just jelling and you can churn out 3000 words if you can sit down for enough time. And when are there times at your book is Maybe, you know, if you're pushing 250 words and your doing a bit of plotting, that's perfect. And I've written enough books now that I know my scale, I know my graph of when I'm going to have my word count, go up when it's not going to be that much when a plotting is more important. So a thousand words as a newbie is heavy.
Autumn (22m 33s):
Yeah. That's a lot. I think, you know, if you're starting out in your, just trying to make a goal, you know, 250 or 100, you know, just, you have to write, you do have to write, even if it's a sentence, I know there's been times in my life and that's why I liked having a, a weekly goal where I knew, cause I was a manager, I had a field office, I had nighttime meetings. I would have to be in early. It would be out in the field. I'd be reprimanding people, whatever. If I got a sentence down, I was like, Yes I score today. I got seven words out.
Autumn (23m 4s):
And there are times though, you know, Saturday morning it was quiet. I had three hours off you go. Yeah, that was fine. So, ah, you know, can you just can't agree? I loved Stephen King. I used to live in Maine. We used to joke is my neighbor, but he, it was never my neighbor, but a thousand words as a whole lot. It's a lot, a lot, a lot for a newbie. I think that's kinda tough. Yeah. And then
Jesper (23m 27s):
Yeah, I think as well as an alternative to word count, just to maybe add that onto it is you could also look at what time slots instead of what counts I have worked with Word counts, but I've also worked with time slots. And for example, if you are maybe a very busy, like Like you were just saying that you could also be that you are one of those people who just get really distracted by the internet.
Jesper (23m 59s):
Every time you sit at the computer.
Autumn (24m 0s):
Yeah. He was like, Oh, that YouTube video is about what's interesting. Yeah. I got to also be the case. Yeah.
Jesper (24m 7s):
Yeah. But no matter what it is rather than maybe what Count you, you could say how much time can I dedicate a day to Writing right. And if that's 15 minutes fine, if it's 30 minutes better, but whatever you can devote, devote that time and say, okay, I'm gonna right there. And I dunno if you need to pull out the cable to the internet routed and do that during that time. Yeah.
Autumn (24m 32s):
Yeah. Turn your computer off wifi mode Yes yeah,
Jesper (24m 35s):
Yeah. Something. Yeah. But, and then just right, whatever you can eat, if you get 50 words, then you got 50 words and that's fine. You know, I think we just need to be careful not to get too hung up on Yeah. I need to write a thousand words today and its, especially when, when we are just starting out because its so easy to get into self blame and guilting yourself for not achieving what you wanted to achieve. And then while I guess I should write 2000 words tomorrow then, and then you even more stressed.
Jesper (25m 9s):
I don't know. I like what, like we said, it's just a moment ago is I think it's about billing up the habit of Writing and however you do that, it doesn't necessarily have to be with the world Word Count I I don't think so.
Autumn (25m 26s):
Agree. I mean, to me I think that most important part is just setting aside time, writing time. I mean, when I had the full time job, I would, it was when I came home grade, my husband got to see and I would write, it would have 45 minutes. I would have even now when it's the morning and things are going well and no matter what time I got up, that's time as flexible. But there was a certain point where its like, okay, I have got to go have breakfast, I've got to put this away. I've got other things to do today. And that was my cutoff time. And I think that's important. And another version I used to it's like world Word Count.
Autumn (25m 58s):
But if you're, if you're a little softer chapter Count I I used to have a, just a chapter Count like maybe three chapters a week. It didn't matter how I filled that in during my writing time. But as well, if I hit that goal, it seemed a little bit easier to have a week long ago and a set time to just try for it because it's it was, it was pretty easy. I always try to make it achievable. And I think figuring out what is achievable for you to put some side of TA you know, some time aside every day, maybe a day off.
Autumn (26m 28s):
I kinda liked that with Stephen King. It's kind of cute. Don't think that I try not to take a day off no matter what. Even in my days off, I'm still writing in the morning. I don't care, but it's, it's a good thing to figure out what, as an achievable, a word count for You some people, I know, one woman writing 5,000 words a day. I know some people, if they're happy they can get a page 250 words a day. It shows progress, keeping progress going Is is really the idea to do it, sitting down, doing it as an idea. But you are going to have to write an experiment and find out what fits your life so that your not the hermit locked in the study, never seeing your family.
Autumn (27m 6s):
And you know, that's what a good feeling either just to hit a goal for something that you should feel passionate about, you shouldn't be missing life because you want to write a thousand words today. You should also get to walk the dog, something to spend time with your family. That's why you have them. So
Jesper (27m 23s):
Yeah. Yeah. The, the, the chapter goal that you mentioned, that was actually how I do it nowadays. Umm, well, first of all, I don't have daily word counts anymore because we'll be between The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast recording here. Do we get courses and all kinds of other things? Its I don't write every day I work every day on our business, but it's different things. Sometimes I'm, you know, costs building or today we were recording podcasts. I've been preparing some slides for one of our classes as well as this morning.
Jesper (27m 57s):
So I'm always working on our business and there the author parts of my life. But I just don't know we'll in the beginning when I wrote my first novel, I actually had a daily work camp set in Scrivener. Think if I remember correctly, I think it might've been 1200 words or something like that. That's pretty impressive. Yeah. Well I got up at four 30 in the morning and wrote for a couple of hours and a dip that for like two years or something. So it's doable.
Jesper (28m 28s):
But of course I fully agree what you say. You have to, you have to think about something that works for you. If, if you feel like it's slave labor to do your writing everyday because you set so tough goals on yourself, then you're going to burn out on it. So it's, that is not worth it. But I quit. I kind of, for myself, at least I like to just set myself some goals, you know, and then work towards those. For example, I could say indeed, this week I'm gonna, or every week I'm going to complete three chapters for example. And then I also know my creative work I have to do in the first half of the day.
Jesper (29m 4s):
Usually I prefer to do them in the morning because then I'm I could do more creative work there, whereas in the afternoon or as well, I guess almost just after lunchtime, I'm a, I am already a bit tired, but all the marketing stuff, ah, you know, I could, I could do that on auto pilot almost. So I could do that easily and the afternoon where as the creative work I'll have to do in the morning. So I just think the main thing is that you get your butt in the seat and you've put your fingers on a keyboard and you are, you get productive.
Jesper (29m 39s):
But how do you do that if you do, why daily word count or if you do it with more like weekly goals, more like I do or we, well, we also like our to do lists.
Autumn (29m 52s):
Do you and I, are we going to do list? Which is awesome because it makes life easier, but yeah. Yeah. And you know, but even adding it for me, sometimes I used to have just a little note on my iPad back when I was writing on an iPad with an external keyboard and it would just be like, you know, just a little checkbox, three chapters this week. And that was my reminder. And that's all I needed to remind myself that this is something, you know, you need to do. You need to take seriously. Cause sometimes putting it on your to do list is sometimes its, you know, going out on social media and sing, I'm going to do this, whatever it takes to give you me that pressure if you need it.
Autumn (30m 29s):
But you also can't get yourself so much pressure that you hate it, but you also need to be responsible and not spend all your time on social media saying how much you should be. Writing that's that's too much of a cliche. Don't do that.
Jesper (30m 43s):
Yeah. I think to some degree we could compare too. You know, if, if let's say you wanna build your muscles and then you sign up for gym membership and then you only go to the gym once a week. I mean, that's good. It's better than zero, right? But your not going to build up your muscles now, not for one time a week now you have to be much more consistent then. And Writing is a muscle and in exactly the same way that you have to repeatedly exercise your writing skills and then you will become better.
Jesper (31m 15s):
But you do not become better by let's say Writing half an hour every Friday morning, for example, it's that? It's just not enough. No, but at the same time, it's sort of this balance. You have to walk, right? Because on one hand it shouldn't be so much that you get stressed out about it and it feels overwhelming. But on the other hand it cannot be. So let's say rare and I, in this case I categorize one time a week as rare.
Jesper (31m 47s):
Yeah. But it cannot be that red as well. You don't build up momentum and then you get to learn. Right. So that's great. Well at least in the beginning, that's how that might be difficult. But you have to, maybe you could just watch one Netflix show less than a day or something. Yeah, yeah.
Autumn (32m 3s):
Yeah. So the thing, I mean, I remember that was advice I'm recently. I remember giving to an author that, you know, they said they only liked to write when they were inspired. I think that's a, that's a great inspiration is a wonderful thing. But I think we used, we are using the same terms you were just doing Writing is a muscle. So if you only weight to your inspired are always going to be basically a little flabby, but if you are exercising, if you're proficient in it and that inspiration hits, how much further are you going to be? How much more, how much better is what you're going to write, going to be when you're inspired, if you made it through those bits that are uninspiring and in any novel and in the novella, even in a short story, you're going to hit stretches where you're like, Oh jeez.
Autumn (32m 45s):
You know, I just, you've got to sit down and just simply push through. And that is an important thing, but yeah, exactly. If your not exercising and if you cannot make use of that energy, when it comes so that you can channel it and create something big and really boost yourself towards the end goal, then you're just, you're not always going to be kind of just churning along. And at least you hopefully you'll be turning, but it will be a very slow pace and it will be so much easier to have their steam run out and you'll never get to that end goal.
Jesper (33m 18s):
Yeah. And I just sitting here thinking that maybe we should say what people don't wanna hear as well.
Autumn (33m 29s):
Yeah. But they have to have a goal that they have to be writing every day or yeah.
Jesper (33m 35s):
Well, it is. It's just like, you know, if, if you wanna take your Writing serious, you, you kind of come up with excuses. Like I don't feel inspired today, so I'm not gonna, I mean, WRITING is an issue. This is the part that nobody wants to hear. Right. If, if you wanna be serious about it, if it is a job as it is, and you can not turn up to your day job for example, and tell your manager, I don't feel inspired today. So I'll come back here.
Autumn (34m 2s):
Yeah. I mean, you can talk about how it works out.
Jesper (34m 6s):
I don't think you'll last very long in that company, but the point is just that like any job you will have times during your Writing where it feels a bit like, ah, I know it's a bit tough going today. I don't really feel like it, but you just have to put through it for me, especially in the middle of a novel that's where I find it hardest. Yeah. Because the exciting new beginnings over with, and I'm looking forward to get to the ending were a lot of, and then the middle is a bit, a bit like, ah, okay.
Jesper (34m 39s):
There still a long way to go, but I already feel like I've been added for a long time as well. All right. So it's a toughest part, I guess its like when you run a marathon I could get in the way I have not tried that, but I could guess in the middle you were also a bit like, Oh my God, there's a long way yet. Right.
Autumn (34m 55s):
Oh. Oh. And I think its funny because we have had a conversation with him between you and you and Jay were, you both had said book two was the hardest in the middles of the hardest to right. And to me it's the beginning, the first book and the first third of a book, that's when my word count is lower on spending a lot more time plotting and outlining even though I think I have it plotted, I realized I don't have it plotted. And I'm so, you know, it's 50, 50 writing and plotting and coming up with ideas. But once I hit, like I just hit chapter 10 and what I'm writing now and its, its fine, its, you know, I, I don't even notice the word count goal except to say like, Oh I passed it already.
Autumn (35m 33s):
So I probably should op it, but it's just, I don't, to me, it's nice to have something standard and you see how much higher I can get. And then there's days that I don't something happens and I don't quite make it. But I did notice that word count. Having a word count has affected some of my writing. But you had something to say, so I'll let you go first. No, it's just a annoying comment that I thought about that was just about to say, Oh, if only you had written a guide book on how to plot the beginning of a novel Autumn, then you can read that guide book and, and you wouldn't have that problem anymore, right?
Autumn (36m 8s):
Yeah. Yeah. No, it that'd be funny. What do I do? I just a little bit more of a hybrid when I'm on my own. Once, once the characters start talking to me, like I said, this last week, I've been up at four, four 30 and five 30 on three different days. The, the day in between I was always like hit sleep until six 30. But the other days I just, you know, the characters are actually talking in my head and I'm like, I'm getting up. I'm I'm going to go. Right. I don't care that its 4:00 AM I'm alone in my cabinet and I just have the dog.
Autumn (36m 39s):
He was like, I ain't giving up now. So I'd just go downstairs and to have a lot of tea or that day and get through it and then sleep the next day. And then so just keep going. So the novel's going incredibly well, but I did notice that I do think having a word count goal that I've now started pretty much ignoring is a good thing that I'm ignoring it because I think I'm very task oriented. And I know that about myself. I just, I like finishing tasks just for the sake of finishing a task and marketing it off and lets all the only reward I really need, except for forcing myself occasionally to have a celebration when I hit a milestone.
Autumn (37m 19s):
But I've noticed that sometimes just trying to reach that goal that I will, I will, I'll put my butt in the chair and I will sit down and I will write even when it's not going well. And my writing was in blacking, something that recently I managed to get back were instead of just racing, threw themes, to get Saenz, to get you, you know, the chapter can hit my goal, whatever it is, just trying to get everything done. I'm kind of relaxing into it. And it reminds me of Writing my first book when I didn't know anything and I didn't care about when I finished it.
Autumn (37m 53s):
I was just writing because I love words. I love words so much. I love word play. I love literature. And so I'm just enjoying using words and developing these scenes and really spending time with my characters. And that's, you know, they're getting the up at 4:00 AM. And so I'm obviously spending a lot of time with them. And by doing that, by allowing myself to slow down and settle into these scenes, I've had to add a couple of extra chapters that I hadn't planned on because scenes are taking a little longer, but they have so much more depth, so much more impact, so much more character development.
Autumn (38m 28s):
And I also realized, I looked down at my word Count I'm like, Holy crap. I'm at 200, 300 2,500 words. I've got to start thinking you, is this a chapter break coming up? I'm zooming past my word, count goals by almost ignoring them by doing what feels right by falling in races advice and just doing it for the sheer love of what I'm writing. And that feels pretty darn good.
Jesper (38m 54s):
Yeah. And then don't you think as well? I mean, I, at least I've noticed us, you know, those times were I just kind of pushed through, even though that day, I might not feel like it. I noticed that when I come back to that Writing a day or two or three later. Yeah.
Autumn (39m 9s):
It is not bad at all. Usually it's just when your, in the,
Jesper (39m 12s):
Yeah, it feels like, Oh I am not in the mood. I am not inspired it. Doesn't gel with me today. This is bad writing. And then when you go on
Autumn (39m 19s):
And when they come back to it, it's, you know, it's not, its actually pretty good. They have, it's usually I guess when I do my content edit, you know, I can usually see those chapters where I push through and I'll write myself a note, like to add more description or add this, whatever it is missing. But its usually decent. I mean, its not like I'm ever cutting it from the novels because I am enough have a plotter that I, no it needs to be their, it just might need to be added to it developed a little bit more. But if you don't do it, if you don't put those words down, even on the bad days, you have nothing to edit. So just put the words down and they're not going to be as bad as you think if you're a plotter are at least, you know, that they're supposed to be there.
Autumn (39m 55s):
You'll just have to add in maybe some more adjectives or some more dialogue, just bring out the prick out the way, you know, take off the rough does and bring out the Schein and its, there, it is their even in the bad days because you're have been exercising, your writing mussel, you know what you're doing? You're proficient at it. Even on the bad days, year, still, at least hitting the above average and on the awesome days' you know what you're you you're up there with the best of them and that feels really good. Right?
Jesper (40m 25s):
Yeah. So I think I've sort of have arrived at a takeaway from this whole conversation. Don't know if you were ready for that yet. Yeah.
Autumn (40m 33s):
Yeah. So I think while were hitting our marks, I think I'm feeling ready for having you boil this whole 40 minutes now, right?
Jesper (40m 40s):
Yeah. Yeah. I think above everything else. I think this, this really comes down to is don't give up. Yeah. You know, if, if, if setting a daily word count works for you then said a day at camp, if you don't have time to write a thousand words every day start smaller. Yeah. Perhaps you could do 300 words a day because 300 words, but still a a hundred thousand word fantasy novel in about a year now
Autumn (41m 11s):
Do you mind if
Jesper (41m 14s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I just, I really want to push back on the whole, you know, if you want to be successful, you have to right. All the time and release a novel every month. Like it is that sort of thing goes around. You know, it is, I've heard it multiple times and I don't, I don't like it. No, I don't like it either.
Autumn (41m 34s):
I mean, its been, and we've obviously just released three nonfiction books, but since I haven't at least a fantasy novel in over a year and what I released last year were two novellas to two new, a new series. And that I'm only just Writing I won't release the trilogy until its, its completely written. So you know, readers are still following me. I'm still getting encouragement. They're responding to my emails. I get emails to normally daily. So it's like they haven't gone away. You don't have to release a novel a year.
Autumn (42m 5s):
You just have to be communicated in the sharing and let them be on the journey with you because a good model might take a year, might take six months. You'll figure it out once you hit your stride. But I agree. Just keep going. Don't give up.
Jesper (42m 21s):
Yeah, I am. I'm also a completely on board with its been a while, but I've heard at some point, do you want a pen set that a way that the whole model about rapid releasing and releasing a new novel every month, she just said, you know, I'm not gonna even going to try to get onto that treadmill because I don't want to be, there will be exhausted. And I really liked that because it's, it's like there are so many people getting stressed out by the high pressure that they here on social media and maybe our also, I don't know, maybe also on podcast or maybe the author's giving advice.
Jesper (42m 53s):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Just make sure you read enough books and you released stuff all the time than the algorithm on Amazon. We'll favor you. And while there is truth to that, it doesn't, it just doesn't bring any good. If you feel so much pressure to, you have to write every day that all your love for WRITING goes away because its, it just becomes a one big slug. Right. You know, I have to right. 10,000 words everyday because otherwise it can't keep up with the, with the competition. And I know I just liked the I'm just going to ignore it a treadmill all together kind of attitude.
Jesper (43m 24s):
That's going to turn up your head there.
Autumn (43m 26s):
I agree. I think as much as I tried for a little while to be a little faster, but now that I think you lose finding your author voice, if you don't give yourself some time to mature and find your author voice and find your passion for it, I mean you should write every day, but you should also take the time to find out what it is you right. And why is your right in what your passionate about Writing and you want to be, you don't want to do you want to be Neil Gaiman? You wanna be known for what you write.
Autumn (43m 55s):
Not that you write a book a month. So think about what it is that you want to be known for as it is at a book or a month that you're the author who always had to pick a month, no matter what you're turning out or is it the fact that you've created something that is, you know, Neil Gaiman, if they don't know how long it takes him to write a book, but I know he's not worried about getting it out in the next month.
Jesper (44m 16s):
Yeah, no. Well I guess for some extent we can't compare some of Georgia or Martin is probably the most famous example of all of this white. Yeah.
Autumn (44m 23s):
Yeah. But it wasn't got to go there, but yeah.
Jesper (44m 27s):
Yeah. And help my self, you know?
Autumn (44m 29s):
Yeah. But don't, we might get hit category,
Jesper (44m 32s):
But its still, we can compare with that either because these guys have so much money that they, they even have to ride if they don't want two. Right. But for the rest of us, a mortal people have to think about this kind of thing. But above all, I think longterm view, that's what you need to take instead, you know, make sure you prioritize Writing but please don't let it take over your life. So all right. The next Monday I should have a very interesting interview lined up for you.
Jesper (45m 6s):
And I can say that it involves world-building in part, at least that's right.
Narrator (45m 12s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Yesper on patrion.com/am Writing Fantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going to stay safe out there and see you next Monday.