Yesterday, I discovered that my rituals of writing are more deeply ingrained than I thought.
For about a week, I have been worried about my page count to word count ratio. It was very different from my normal page to word count ratio. One of the things I do is to write down how many words and the page number I am up to. I would like to say that I do this every day, but in reality, it depends on where I am in the ms and if I am really pushing forward, or IF I am to stop thinking about the ms for the day. The end result is that I do have a record. This makes it easy for me to go back and check -- I was at this word count and the page number on such and such, AND I still got it finished by this date. In other words, it serves as a motivational tool and helps to keep a certain variety of crow at bay.
Only this time, there was a disconnect. I came up with all sort of theories -- including the scary one of my writing had started to severely change. But that didn't make sense. I had visions of me turning a really long ms, only to be told -- great story, but you are going to have to cut because your word count has gone haywire.
Writers have vivid imaginations. It goes with the job.
Then I thought to look at my margins -- the thing I change BEFORE I start a new wip. Only this time, I hadn't. I changed my margins, and hey presto -- the word count to page ratio became my normal one. Huge relief. And I can get this finished. It is under 100 pages and less than 20k to go. (I enjoy the countdown)
Until this happened, I did not realise how important that ritual was to me. In order to feel in control of my writing, I need the safety net of the page to word count thing. That little piece of structure.
Does anyone else have little rituals like that? Or is it just the way my brain is wired?