Unless something special is planned, I write at least a couple of thousand words for my books each and every day. This is in addition to paid activities, blogging, emails and promotion. The idea is to always make progress on the next book, as that’s important to maintain momentum and build up a following.
Three days a week, I set aside most other activities and write 10000 words a day towards completing a book. It takes dedication, willpower and resistance to temptation, especially from the internet, to be able to do this. There’s always something else that seems more fun, and the excuse of “writer’s block” is constantly available. However, regardless of distractions and excuses, it is possible to write that many words in a single, 8-hour day.
Can you write 10,000 words in a day? Some people set their goal of writing to 1000 words a day, some to 750 words per day and others to even 200 words a day. The important thing is to set a goal and meet that goal every single day. By the way,
Set a Goal to Write 10000 Words a Day
Setting goals is important, and before I go to bed for the evening I jot down my goals for the next day. Some of these are business related (finish a proposal), others have to do with writing (proofread 6 chapters of new book) and some are personal. Once I’m done with the list, and I have to be careful to keep it achievable, I put a number beside each one indicating priority, from 1, must complete, to 4, optional. This tells me what I need to work on first.
It’s important not to stress out too much if the goals are not met. They are intended as a guideline, not as a straight jacket. Setting goals adds focus to the day and helps to prevent distractions from appearing which don’t align to my longer-term objectives. Setting goals is an important part of being able to write 10000 words a day.
Distractions are the bane of anyone who works from home. There is always something else to do, something to look at, or someone to talk with. Simple phone conversations can chew up hours out of a day, answering emails a couple hours more, and playing on Facebook and other social media ties up even more time. If not controlled, these other, unproductive activities can easily consume the good portion of a day.
To write 10000 words in a single, 8-hour day, you have to eliminate and ignore distractions.
- Create a workspace in your home and make it clear to everyone in the household that when you are in that space, you are not to be interrupted except for urgent, life-threatening emergencies. You’ll have to enforce this to make it work, and sometimes others will not be happy with you for not giving them attention. Nonetheless, to achieve your goal you must set enforce your limit and space.
- Turn off the cell phone and other distractions. Don’t just put it on vibrate, because you will still know when it is ringing. Either turn it off or put it in another room, far away from you.
- Ignore the temptations of the internet. Sure, I know how much fun it is to “just look at the news for a minute” or “scan Facebook”, but don’t do it. They can drag you away from your goal for minutes or even hours.
- Do not answer emails, social media and other messages. During your productive time, make an effort to ignore all emails and other messaging. Believe it or not, you lose hours each day just reviewing and answering and getting caught up in related activities as a result.
- Eliminate any other distractions. As you identify other things that cause you to deviate from your writing, tune them out or turn them off.
Write in Chunks
I’ve found it is best to divide up my writing day into smaller chunks of time. This allows me to schedule short breaks for stretching, snacking, answering email and so on. I set a timer for 45 minutes and write for that length of time. When the timer goes off, I reset it for 15 minutes, which is the length of the break. This seems to work very well, and vastly increases my productivity. Additionally, it gives me a chance to stretch and get on the exercise bike for a few minutes, which is better for the back and the body.
Don’t Edit as you Write
You’ll never be able to write 10000 words a day if you attempt to multi-task editing and writing. When you write, just write. Don’t go back and change words, delete sentences and restructure things. Save that for another day. You’ll find that by just writing all in one shot, you’ll get far more done. Then you can edit the whole thing at once, with a clearer picture of where you are going with it all.
Explore Dictation Software
Dictation software has allowed me to improve the speed of my writing by over three times. It is far faster to speak than it is to type, at least for most people. For some, dictating their works to the computer works wonders, and for others it is a meaningless distraction.
Once you’ve successfully completed your goal to write 10000 words a day, reward yourself. You’ve done well, and you deserve to be rewarded for your efforts.
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