Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ten Thousand Words A Day

On Monday, December 16th, I was feeling feisty and I decided to write 10,000 words a day for a week. Well, feisty isn't really the right word, mostly I was feeling like a loser because I hadn't been writing nearly as much as I thought I should.
Monday morning I worked out, then ran some errands and did some Christmas shopping. I had lunch with a friend and then came home to clean. By the time my son got home, at three, I still hadn't done any writing. I helped him study for his midterms, made dinner. (Actually I probably hit the drive-thru.)
Now keep in mind I still thought I could pull this off. I had a coke at around 5:30pm, told the kids it was going to be a late night for me and asked them to set their alarms for the next day. You know, in case I wasn't able to get up in the morning on account of all my hard work:)
I put the kids to bed at 8:30 and finally sat down to write. My husband was out of town so it was very quiet in the house. I didn't really like it. I started a movie, just for some ambient noise.
It was actually a really good movie,  I decided to watch it until 9:00pm and then I would turn it off.
At nine I turned the movie off, made myself some (caffeinated) hot tea and sat down for a long night of writing. I felt like I was in college again, pulling an all nighter. Cool!
Wait. No! All nighter's were so NOT cool. I would be completely exhausted the next day, I wouldn't get anything done! I decided it would be much more practical to write 20,000 words on Tuesday than it would be to write so late at night! (Yes, I really did think this made perfect sense!)
I closed the computer, watched the rest of Catch and Release and ended the day with zero word count.
What's the moral of the story?
You've got to just DO it!
I did write on Tuesday, but not ten thousand words. I did write on Wednesday, and Thursday too. Friday I went car shopping from dawn to dusk and Saturday was the same, but my total word count for last week was 7,409 words.
WHAT? I know, right. Where did that even come from? It's far from 10,000 words a day, but it's still pretty good.
Here's what I learned.
When trying to write ten thousand words a day...
-You can't separate your work into chapters or scenes or anything, just write one huge, long story.
-Don't look back to see what color your character's eyes are, or what their names are. You can fix all of that later, just keep writing.
-Don't Google anything. You wanna know how tall the Eiffel Tower is? Who cares! Check it later, just keep writing.
-And last, but not least, if writing is the last thing on your "To Do" list, it will not get done. Put it up there at the top off you list. Or better yet, don't make a list at all, just DO it!

For the new year my resolution (of sorts) is to put my daily word count into a calendar (photo above). I'm going to try, scratch that, I AM going to take a picture of the book and keep my blog updated with my progress. Hopefully 2014 brings lots of words...and maybe at least a few of them can form an actual novel.
Happy Christmas to you all! May 2014 bring you peace, good health, and joy...and maybe a best selling novel:)


  1. 10,000 words per day is a pretty tall order. Maybe you should start a little lower with, for example, 2,000 words per day and see if you can build it up from there? Good luck with your writing in 2014! :)

  2. yes, 2,000 words a day is a MUCH more manageable number! I am forever trying to do too much, and I end up doing nothing!! Maybe in the new year I'll get real:)

  3. Firstly, hope you had a nice Christmas. Secondly I think you are pushing yourself too hard. I agree with Laura. Start at around the 2000 mark, which I plan to do when the whole xmas and new year thing has come to a finish, then if one writes more than the 2000 it will feel so good.

  4. I know, you guys are 100% right. I'm going to try and set a more reasonable goal. I always set it too high and then feel like a loser when I don't hit the mark!
    Let's see if I can chill out in the new year:)
    Hope you're having a great holiday and thanks for the advice!!