Does ‘word count’ count?

I’ve decided to write 250 words a day for my novel. This number might change, but right now it seems right. This means that it will take longer than I hoped to finish a rough draft. I don’t want to push myself for some reason. Maybe I don’t want to get discouraged with the pressure of 500-1000 words a day.

So here’s my metaphor of the day. I’m in a dark castle at night, and I have only a box of matches to help me find a magical sword. I have to use any and every clue and mental faculty I have to discern where the sword might be.  This is how this rough draft feels. And in the end, that’s what it will be. Very, very rough. It’s hard to get over the fact that it won’t be pristine, but I’m trying to enjoy the journey.

So any thoughts on a 250 word a day count for what might be a 100 word book?

On Writing: The Rough Draft

Rough drafts are like this. You’re digging for clay in the dirt. You’ve finally gotten to the layer where the clay resides. You grab some clay and throw it on the ground above. A pile forms. You keep grabbing some more clay and you throw it on the pile. There is a temptation to mold the clay pile as you dig for more, but you just have to keep digging and mold later.

Your rough draft is a search for the clay. You successive drafts are the molding of the clay. There’s a danger in molding what you’ve dig up too soon. The fresh clay covers up the moldings you made on the clay pile.