How can you increase your word count in a day, a month, or even a year?
If you want to make a living as a writer, you must get used to writing tons of words. Complaining about writing a 3,000-word article isn’t going to cut it if you want to play this game in the long run.
A while ago, I wrote to the point where I was used to writing 1,000 words per day and 3,000 words per week. It may be small for some writers, but it was a mega challenge for me. When I started blogging five years ago, writing merely 500 words felt like pulling teeth.
Now, I’m up for a new challenge. At first, I thought, “Maybe I can try 9,000 words in two weeks.”
It wasn’t enough. What else could I do?
I’ve finally decided to write 12,000 words in a month. Something new, right? The new plan gave me chills, it was exciting.
By the end of the month, I reached an unexpected 29,563 words. How did I arrive at this point? How can you? Here are some tips:
1. Write 500 Words a Day (at least)
Listen, you don’t have to knock 10,000 words in one day if you have a small monthly goal like my 12,000 words.
500 words a day in a month is all you need to do. If you wrote 500 words every day in July, you’d have 15, 500 words down. Even in February, the shortest month of the year, you would have written 14,000 words.
My daily word count ranges from 300 to 1,000 words, depending on the project. As long as I was writing, I was on a roll.
Remember, no excuses. You got this!
2. Hunt Down Your Deadlines
Deadlines do help. They keep you on top of your game.
Without deadlines, your monthly goals will turn into yearly goals. You have no time to be lollygagging!
If you want to stay consistent on your writing goals, focus on the deadlines (mark them on Google Calendar), and hunt them down before they come looming over your shoulder.
3. Add More Writing Projects
I’m not a big fan of multi-tasking, but it’s helpful when it comes to word count goals.
Let’s say you want to write 1,000 words today, but you don’t want to do it all on a non-fiction piece. Do you have a quick short story you want to start? A poem? A blog rant about the current state of the world? Whatever it is, stack them up. For 1,000 words, you can try:
- Project #1 (non-fiction article): 500 words
- Project #2 (random bigfoot romance you’re hiding from your spouse): 500 words
In the mood to write some short works?
- Project #1 (free verse poem): 250 words
- Project #2 (blog rant): 250 words
- Project #3: (short experimental script): 250 words
- Project #4 (first words for your fiction e-book): 250 words
I add words from projects at work, blog posts, reviews, and fanfiction. Last month, I added words from a short story I’ve been thinking about publishing. It helped me with my daily word count big time.
4. Do Exciting Work
Do you know what has my hand flying off the paper and setting my notebook on fire? Writing about ghosts. You need to know what are the most haunted places in the South, and I can whip up a 1,500-word post about it like it’s nothing.
What excites you as a writer?
Do you love to share your travel experiences abroad? The latest gaming gadgets? Do it! You’ll smash your writing goal in no time.
Sure, you may not have the opportunity to write something exciting 24/7, especially if your employer assigns you specific projects. It may be dreadful, but find a compelling angle, and let your writing hand do the rest.
5. Keep Yourself Accountable
It’s exciting to see how much you’ve written every day. Here’s a small example of my writing challenge during June:
- June 25: 25, 177
- June 26: 26, 781
- June 27: 27, 274
- June 28: 27, 870
- June 29: 28, 839
- June 30: 29, 563
Once you start recording your words, you’ll want to see the word count go higher and higher. I got a rush from doing it. I was thrilled to see how much more I could write the next day. It was crazy, but the good kind of crazy.
6. Plan Your Ideas and Outlines
Outlines are my best friends. I don’t know how pantsters do it, but outlining saves me so much time. An outline is like a map telling you where you need to go. Would you drive to Canada from Florida without a map? A bold idea, but nope.
Before the end of the day, write down at least ten ideas. It can be a new article, a book review, screenplays, whatever. Out of your list, pick two or three ideas, do research on them, and create the outlines. You’ll have something to write the next day.
Need to write a quick 500 words before you head out to work? Boom, you have your outlines from last night. You’re good to go!
By the way, the more detailed the outline, the better. I’ve written a 10-page outline for a short story, and it helped me flesh out 8,000 words. Initially, I planned it to be 3,000 words. Don’t know what happened there (magic), but I know I wouldn’t have written so much without an outline.
What long-term writing goals do you have? Whatever they are, write an action plan and start!
My goal is to steadily go up to write 30,000 words a month. If you tried this challenge, you could write a novella every month if you wanted.
My goals for July 2020 is 15,000 words. The following monthly challenges look like this (may change):
- August 2020: 18,000 words
- September 2020: 21,000 words
- October 2020: 24, 000 words
- November 2020: 27,000 words
- December 2020: 30,000 words
It’s time to take your brain out of the lazy couch and train it with writing. It’s like taking your brain to the gym. The more your mind works out, the better.
May your new challenges help you fulfill your full writing potential!
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