CBC Literary Prizes·Writing Tip

Set a daily word count and stick to it

CBC Books regularly publishes writing tips.
The 2019 CBC Short Story Prize is open until Oct. 31, 2018. (Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

This writing tip is from Kate Cayley.

"Set a quota. Give yourself a word count and stick to it every day you have any time to write, don't vary it and don't make excuses. It's mechanical, but you're building something — there has to be a mechanical, slightly plodding aspect to the work or it won't get done. Make the quota low, so you don't beat yourself up when you can't reach it, and that way you get to feel on top of the world when you exceed it. Filling up the empty space of the screen or the page each day rather than waiting until the moment is right will lead to more 'right' moments."

Kate Cayley's first collection of short fiction, How You Were Born, won the 2015 Trillium Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. She was a reader for the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize

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