In writing groups, the question often floats around the room, do you do hours or pages? Then there’s always some friendly disagreement over which is better.
I, personally, do hours. I get up and sit at my computer and write for a certain amount of time.
I’ve heard arguments that if I force myself to write at least a page or a certain number of words, I would be more motivated. But, see, I don’t have a problem with motivation. Many days, I get up with an idea ready to flesh out. Other days, I struggle. Like all writers.
One writer told me to do pages or word count, so when I’m done I’ll know I’ve accomplished something.
However, I recently heard an argument that made complete sense to me and might to you as well.
The writer said – do hours. That way, if you have a bad day, you know you can get up and leave when your work day is over. If you have a bad day when you’re doing pages – then you’ve struggled with a single page for however many hours and you’re less likely to want to come back the next day, and when you do come back, you’ll realize the page you struggled with has to be deleted anyway.
I imagine some people who chose pages to rush through on some days so they can get on to other things or give up when the page doesn’t come. One woman shared she writes pages so she can get on to other things.
I guess, I feel, I’m not in a hurry to “get on with other things.” Whereas it she sounded happy to get up and get on with her life, I’d sometimes like to sit and write longer than I’m normally free to do.
Perhaps the best choice for each individual is based on their personality. But I vote for hours. I still know I’ve accomplished something – stuck with my commitment and ritual – whether I have a page or a finished short story.