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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?