I had a problem. 😐
Months ago, I planned to write 3,000 words a week to step up my writing game. It wasn’t working.
If I want to be a full-time writer, I have to get used to producing tons of content on a daily basis. I wanted to be one of those cool writers who can write 10,000 words a day without a sweat.
Alas, I’m not on that level yet. I must start small.
For weeks, I would write around 1,000–1,800 words a week. Not bad, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I’ve created the 3,000-word weekly challenge for a reason. I had to get something done.
There are many sweet freelance writing opportunities offering pay. Most gigs require writers to submit articles from 500 to 5,000 words. It takes me a while to write a post over 1,000 words. “A while” doesn’t cut it in the real world when you have a tight deadline and an eager editor waiting for you.
My current writing habits won’t get me in the writing positions I want. I finally changed my ways, and something cool happened.
I SET SEPTEMBER ON FIRE 🔥
My weekly writing challenge starts from Sundays to the following Saturdays. It’s easier for me to mark my progress on my calendar.
How did my September go? It looked something like this:
- 8/26/18 to 9/1/18: 3,111 words
- 9/2/18 to 9/8/18: 3,550 words
- 9/9/18 to 9/15/18: 3,575 words
- 9/16/18 to 9/22/18: 3,372 words
- 9/23/18 to 9/29/18: 5,132 words
What changed? I would say, “I’ve changed my mindset,” but that’s lame and beating around the bush.
I’ll tell you exactly how I got it done.
WRITING BECAME A MORNING ROUTINE 🌞
I like to wake up at 4 am to make up most of my productivity. I exercise, shower, meditate, eat breakfast, and go straight to writing.
Now, you don’t have to wake up at 4 am! This is no secret magic hour. If you have nothing else better to do in the morning as a writer, take advantage of the time!
I OFFERED MYSELF A PRIZE 🎁
I made my fictional pals over at Overwatch wait for me as I battled the big-time writing bosses in the real world.
Every week, I promised I would offer myself three loot boxes in Overwatch’s arcade mode only if I wrote 3,000 words first.
This method goes back to the habit routine I read about in Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. You have a cue, a routine, and a reward. My desire to play Overwatch was my cue, the writing was my routine, and the loot boxes were my rewards. This cycle worked like a charm.
I SET UP SMALL WRITING GOALS 📊
Writing 3,000 words a day would be nice. For now, I must build myself up to that level completing smaller goals.
No matter what, I’ve made sure I’ve written over 500–600 words a day. It makes life easier, and I don’t have to go into a writing frenzy on Saturday evenings. Those days are not fun.
I WRITE IN DIFFERENT AREAS 💻
Writing blog post after post can be tiresome. Some days, I feel like my brain has turned into mush. To shake things up, I turned to fanfiction.
I hadn’t written fanfiction since the glory days when the Lord of the Rings fandom ruled the world. Remember that?
Thanks to Overwatch, I’ve started writing short stories and headcanons for fans who like certain characters from the game. Shockingly, I’ve ended up writing over 1,000 words faster than I would in a regular blog article.
Fanfiction and articles are two different entities in the writing world, but it’s writing nonetheless. For some reason, I tend to write articles faster after writing fluffy short stories starring Junkrat and the reader.
My writing world works in strange ways.
I FOUND WRITING OPPORTUNITIES IN MY PART-TIME JOB 🏢
Thankfully, my current employer has a company blog. Once I’ve noticed they lacked updates, I thought, “Hey, maybe I can help out writing posts for them!”
It was an excellent way for me to keep my writing flow going. I’ve also included power point presentations as part of my weekly writing goals. I like to write them out first like a blog post before dividing them into slides.
WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS ❓
As I keep writing 3,000 words a week, I’m going to scale my writing goals higher. It’s all about focus and what you want to share with your audience. Besides, a full-time writer won’t have the full-time benefits (including pay) writing part-time.
Another writer’s skill I’m improving is my pitching game (oy). That’s another story I might share for another time.
ONE MORE THING! ✋
For a little writing help, I recommend reading two books: 5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox and Rachel Aaron’s 2,000 to 10,000 Words. Both books were incredibly helpful to me. I read over my favorite passages whenever I feel like I can’t write a darn thing.
Do you have any word count goals? How do you smash them?
(Kudos to Nicolas Cole for being a writing inspiration)