Return on Investment: How to Turn 2,000 Words a Day into 10,000

Investing

Two weeks ago, I ran into a post by an author, R. Aaron, who increased her word count from 2k a day to 10k. My mind was blown. The answer to her drastic increase in word count was so simple, it was amazing. But. If I am going to try this, it is going to take discipline.

Her main idea is to break down your writing day into three categories. (Her post is about 5 pages long, so I am going to summarize it into 1 page in my own words.)

  1. Outline what you are going to write for 5 minutes every day BEFORE starting your writing.

Now, this may seem like the most basic step, but as a creative person, I like to give my characters a simple guideline and let them tell me the rest. (I know I sound like a crazy person, but you writers know what I mean.)

However, this approach is the most time consuming. Yes, it is creative, but as writers, we need to be creative AND structured. This will help move the plot in the direction you want it to go and avoid those horrible times when you have to cut thousands of words because the characters ran away with your storyline and you have to get them back on track. So invest in your writing day by taking 5 minutes and just outlining. Don’t be tempted to write the dialogue. Just outline what is going to happen. Make a to-do list of points that must happen to push your plot forward. Don’t just focus on the BIG picture. Focus on the subplot as well.

  1. Track your hours, location and word count.

 I like to keep track of my word count in excel, but I am going to take it to a new level and keep track of my hours, where I wrote and the word count I produced in those hours. The point of this is to find when and where you are most productive and then hone in on those hours for your main writing time. (Currently, I think mine is 10am-2pm, but I’ll try the new tracking system and see!)

Now, this author of the post is a full-time writer and writes 6-7 hours a day, 5 days a week and produces 10k a day…I’m going to try to ease into that, but I think it would be more realistic by setting aside 4 hours a day and shoot for 1k an hour, which is 20k a week. Wow. It sounds like a lot. It is a lot, but I am going to try! I’ll let you know how it goes.

  1. Are you excited about every scene you are writing? 

If you aren’t excited about your writing every day and what you are writing every day, your reader won’t be excited to read it. If you don’t find yourself passionate about your day’s agenda, then change the scene until you are happy with it! The more you are excited about writing it, the faster you can write and thus, the more words you can produce!

I am excited about this new 3-part process. I’ve always done the macro outlining, but the idea of just investing 5 short minutes before writing every day is just the direction I needed to go from a 1k a day pace to a hopefully 4k a day pace!

What is your daily writing routine like? Do you outline? 

Happy Writing!

About Grace Hitchcock

Grace Hitchcock's first novella, The Widow of St. Charles Avenue, released in Barbour Publishing’s The Second Chance Brides Collection August 2017. Her second novella will release in Barbour Publishing’s The Southern Belle Brides Collection in 2018. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace is a Louisiana Southerner living in Colorado with her husband, Dakota, and newborn son.

0 thoughts on “Return on Investment: How to Turn 2,000 Words a Day into 10,000

  1. I’m actually really interested to hear how your writing (both the quantity and the quality) is affected by outlining more in depth than you used to. I hear from various people that planning the story before they start is too constricting, but I don’t really understand that statement. I write outlines for almost everything I write, to some degree, and I certainly don’t feel that I’m not being creative. The outline is only there to keep you focused and moving forward, and certainly no one is going to check it against your final product and see how closely you followed it.

    I don’t mean to sound like I’m lecturing you though. I truly am curious. I’ve read a lot of people’s opinions on this debate, but only a few times do I hear about someone who is normally a “pantser” giving planning a try, so I hope you’ll provide some updates on how your writing has changed.

    1. Hi Kristi! I’ve been doing my new outlining process for about a full week now and my word count has doubled per hour and thankfully, the quality has remained the same. I find that I have to outline a little longer than 5 minutes before writing. 5 minutes of outlining only gives me 3 pages, so I’ve been outlining for at least 10 minutes to get my thoughts together…I guess that is partially because I am such a heavy “creative flow” writer who is trying to move to the outlining side of writing. My thought behind moving to the outlining process is that if I want to become a professional writer, I need to be able to figure out a method to getting two or three quality books a year and outlining seems to be the best route as to not lose precious word counts through slashing and burning pages and pages due to the outline not being thought through enough on the front end.

      However, I still see my outline as more of a guideline than law. As creative writers, we need to have some guidelines/idea of where we want the story to go, but we cannot be afraid to break our own outlines if it is right for the story, so I completely agree with you that the outline is there to keep you focused! Happy writing!

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