How I Write 10000 Words a Day
Today’s blog post is all about how I write 10000 words a day. Firstly, to all my writer friends this is not a brag.
Yes, I tend to write 10000 words a day but that is only because I write two days a week! If I only wrote 1,000 words I would likely be writing my novel for 2+ years! And deadlines don’t allow for that…
I wanted to share my experiences and reasons for why I write so much in go, and also my tips on how to maintain the speed.
It sounds simple and overly cliched but I have a routine when it comes to my writing. I only write on Saturdays and Sundays, I try to write at my desk and via my laptop and I always have a coffee and some sort of writer’s snack on the go.
The reasons I got into this routine were:
- Lockdown meant that I was working from home and spending all day from 7 am to 10 pm on a laptop would have driven me crazy! So instead I decided from Monday-Friday I focused solely on work. And on Saturday-Sunday I would write my novel, blog, and complete any other side hustle activity I had planned.
- Also due to lockdown, I was living at my parent’s house. As such, I didn’t have the distractions I might have had at home such as cleaning, laundry, shopping, and socialising. This meant it was a lot easier to shut myself in my bedroom with my desk and laptop and have nothing to focus on but writing. Plus the internet was terrible so distractions like playing The Sims or watching Netflix were minimal.
Have a plan
I used to be a 100% pantser. For those readers that are not writers, a pantster is someone who writes without a plan. Whereas a plotter is someone who writes with a cohesive, sometimes step-by-step plan. I can now say I am a plotter.
When I was writing What Planet Can I Blame This On? I had a very strict deadline of three months! I needed to get the book written and not lose focus. What I found helped was having a chapter breakdown with the key moments in each chapter, so that no matter where I stopped for the day I always have a launching pad for writing again the following weekend.
Also, by having a plan I didn’t have to take as many breaks to clear my head and think of new ideas. The hard work has already been done in that regard.
Ignore your word count
Another piece of cliched advice, but with a caveat in my example, is to ignore your word count. Most people will say that it’s pointless to count your words as you’re likely going to delete most of them when it comes to editing. What I say is slightly different.
It doesn’t matter if you write 5,000 or 25,000 words whilst you’re writing them. For me, I wrote until I couldn’t anymore. And by couldn’t I mean my eyes were shutting involuntarily (nap time!) or I was getting ratty with myself (also nap-time!). Basically, when you start to turn into a toddler, you should stop writing for the day.
Sometimes this meant that I only managed to write 5,000 words. But usually, I found I had a rhythm that meant around the 10,000 mark my body would naturally start telling me to stop. I only ever looked at the amount I had written after I finished for the day as usually it gave me a good high to feel I had accomplished something.
Set yourself deadlines
Because I had a strict deadline of three months to work so I knew that I needed to write a lot every weekend in order to meet it. I also had monthly catch-up’s with my editor to make sure that everything was going well and we could edit as we went along.
This meant that each month I knew I had to send between 20,000-30,000 words to my editor. Since I wrote 10,000 words a day I could often write this and send it in one weekend. But I often left time so I could give each section a rough edit before sending. And I made sure to write a little more than the deadline required so that I could take a day off if I ever needed it.
Share your successes and woes
As a writer, you can forget that it’s not just you in this game. Yes, you’re the only one working on your WIP but there are thousands of writers out there working on their own. As such, I recommend sharing your successes and woes whenever you can.
For me, that meant sharing whenever I wrote more words than I intended for example I once wrote 15,000 words in one day because I was on a particular writing high. This isn’t the norm, and I did likely delete half of those words, but it was a really enjoyable experience for me.
I also share when I’m struggling with a particular scene or an ending – I hate endings! – on Instagram and talk it through in one of my many Instagram monologues. This helps me to work it out and also feel supported.
Writers want to cheer you on and share a glass of wine with you after a hard day. Be open and happy to discuss. And remember to give back as much as you take.
Do you have any writing tips? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser? Do you think you could write 10000 words a day? Let me know in the comments below. And good luck if you’re working on your WIP! You’ve got this! And if you don’t, I’ll gladly share a glass of wine with you.