Ready to write more words every day?
As an author, you probably experience days when the words flow onto the page effortlessly, and other days where writing even a single sentence feels like climbing Mount Everest. Frustrating, isn’t it?
Such inconsistency can make meeting deadlines a stressful ordeal and slow down the overall progress of your writing projects. Building a successful writing career, whether you’re a novelist, a journalist, or even a blogger, hinges on your ability to churn out quality words in a consistent and efficient manner.
I know what you’re saying.
“But I care about quality, not quantity.”
Then you’ve already lost the game. To succeed, you must produce quality in high quantity.
The ability to write more words every day is a practical skill every author should aim to develop. Not only does it help you become more productive, but it also enables you to fully express your ideas, delve deeper into your stories, and create a richer experience for your readers.
If you’re a novelist, the best promotion strategy for your latest book is to publish your next book. No joke. Take it from me, a six-figure author known for advertising and marketing strategies. Publishing trumps all advertising techniques.
In this article, I’ll give you14 practical strategies to boost your daily word count. These tips are designed to enhance your writing productivity, minimize distractions, and create a writing routine that works best for you. By the end, you will have a variety of tools at your disposal to help make every writing session more fruitful.
Oh, and don’t worry if you find any of these tips confusing. I’m only an email away. I encourage you to join my high-performance writing community, where I discuss tips writing for quality AND quantity, book marketing, AI, and much more.
Let’s dive in and explore how you can start writing more today.
Discover Your Most Productive Times
To increase your daily word count, one of the most effective strategies is to identify and utilize your most productive times. These are the hours when your mind is most alert, focused, and creative. For some people, this might be early in the morning, right after waking up. For others, it could be late at night when the world is quiet and distractions are minimal. Some authors find their productivity peaks in the mid-afternoon. Everyone’s internal clock, or “chronotype,” is different, and understanding yours can be a game-changer for your writing productivity.
Start by observing your daily patterns over a week or two. Notice when you feel the most energetic and when you gravitate towards work or creative activities. You might consider keeping a log where you record your energy and focus levels.
After you identify your productivity peaks, arrange your schedule so your writing aligns with these times. This might require some adjustments, especially if you have other commitments, but even a small shift can make a significant difference. For example, if you find that your mind is most alert in the early morning, wake up an hour earlier to dedicate that time to writing.
Set Daily Goals to Write More
Now we’re cooking.
I owe my productivity and success to goal setting. By forever striving to improve, you reach heights you never thought possible.
Having a clear target to aim for each day provides direction and helps you maintain focus and motivation. When beginning, ensure your daily goals are realistic and adaptable to your individual writing style and schedule, but push yourself just beyond your comfort level.
Start by setting a specific word count goal for each day. This could be as low as 500 words or as high as several thousand, depending on your current writing speed and available time. The key is to set a goal that challenges you but doesn’t feel insurmountable.
The goal is consistency over perfection. Some days, you might exceed your goal, and on other days, you might fall short. What matters is that you’re writing regularly and increasing your productivity. As your writing habit strengthens, you can reassess and increase your daily word count goal. This is how I went from 500 words per day to over 2000.
One effective way to track your progress is to keep a writing log or use a writing app that counts your word. Seeing your progress can be motivating and helps you stay accountable. Looking back at your log will give you a sense of accomplishment and a clear view of your improving writing habit.
Goals work best when coupled with rewards or positive reinforcement. Consider treating yourself whenever you hit your daily or weekly targets. The reward could be as simple as a cup of your favorite coffee, an episode of a TV show you love, or a walk in the park.
Minimize Writing Distractions
Distractions are only a click away, and for writers, they can be the ultimate productivity killers. From the constant barrage of emails and social media notifications to the noise around your writing space, these interruptions hinder your ability to write more words. Learning how to minimize or eliminate these distractions is key to boosting your writing productivity.
Identify the common distractions that disrupt your writing. Is it the chatter of the TV in the next room? Or the incessant ping of your mobile device?
If digital distractions are a problem, consider turning off your internet connection during your writing sessions, or use apps that block distracting websites during your writing block. Silence your phone, or better yet, keep it in another room. This removes the temptation to check it every few minutes.
For noise distractions, create a quiet, dedicated writing space. If that’s not possible, noise-cancelling headphones can be a great investment. Alternatively, you might find that certain types of background noise, like ambient sounds or instrumental music, can help you focus better. I wrote for 9 years with a box fan providing white noise before I taught myself to pen thrillers to old-school alternative rock and horror soundtracks. Yeah, I’m a different kind of cat.
Not all distractions are external. Internal distractions, such as stress, anxiety, or preoccupation with other tasks, can be more disruptive. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, or brief breaks for physical activity clear your mind and improve focus, allowing you to write more words.
Harness the Power of Writing Tools
Today’s digital landscape offers writing tools designed to assist authors in enhancing their productivity and word count. From word processors and grammar checkers to distraction-free writing apps and time management tools, these technologies streamline your writing process, help you stay organized, and boost your daily word output.
Let’s start with word processors. While Microsoft Word is a classic choice, there are other alternatives like Google Docs that allow for easy access and sharing across devices, or Scrivener, which offers advanced features tailored for authors, such as outlining and chapter management. For the record, I’ve been a Scrivener guy since 2014. Love it.
For those struggling with distractions, apps like Freedom or Cold Turkey block disruptive websites during your designated writing time. Distraction-free writing apps such as FocusWriter or OmmWriter provide a clean, clutter-free interface for writing.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good grammar checker and editing tool like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. These tools highlight grammatical errors, awkward phrasing, and overused words, speeding up your editing time.
You might wonder how many minutes you should write before taking a breather. Believe it or not, science has the answer.
You can’t go wrong using the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for a set amount of time (usually 25 minutes) then take a short break, repeating this cycle several times before taking a longer break.
It will take some trial and error before you find the tools that fit your unique writing style. But once you home in on your optimum process, you will write more words every day, making your writing sessions more efficient and enjoyable.
Write More with Sprints and Marathons
If you want to break out of a rut and shatter your word-count records, writing sprints and marathons will do the trick. Rooted in the idea of focused, uninterrupted writing, these techniques boost your output, destroy writer’s block, and make the writing process a fun challenge.
A writing sprint is a short, focused burst of writing with a set duration—often 15, 25, or even 50 minutes. During a sprint, the goal is to write without stopping. Don’t worry about editing or perfecting your words. The emphasis is on forward momentum and generating a volume of ideas and content. Once the sprint is over, you take a short break before starting another, or use the time to review and edit what you’ve written.
Writing marathons are longer, intensive writing sessions that last a few hours hours or an entire day. Like sprints, the aim is to write without stopping and resist the urge to edit. These marathons can be useful when you need to make significant progress on a project or when you’re riding a wave of inspiration.
You might ask, “How do I choose between a sprint and a marathon?” The answer depends on your writing style, available time, and the nature of your project. If you’re someone who thrives on short, intense periods of activity, writing sprints might be perfect for you. If you prefer immersing yourself in your writing world for longer periods, a writing marathon could be more up your alley.
Writing sprints and marathons are meant to be flexible techniques. Feel free to adjust the length and number of sessions to suit your needs. Remember, the goal is not to exhaust yourself but to create a rhythm that helps you write more words and generate better ideas.
Freewriting is a powerful strategy that will help you write more words and complete projects in record time.
The premise of freewriting is simple yet effective: you set a timer (say, for 15 or 20 minutes), start writing, and don’t stop until the time is up. You write whatever comes to mind, without worrying about grammar, punctuation, or whether what you’re writing makes sense. Let your thoughts flow without hindrance onto the page (or screen).
Freewriting is beneficial in multiple ways. First, it’s excellent for overcoming writer’s block. By forcing yourself to keep your pen moving and your fingers typing, you bypass the internal editor that hinders creativity and productivity.
Second, freewriting can act as a warm-up exercise before you dive into your main writing project. Just like athletes stretch before a game or musicians practice scales before a performance, writers benefit from a warm-up routine. A quick freewriting session can help shake off any stiffness or hesitations and prime your mind for creativity.
Third, freewriting will boost your writing speed and daily word count. Because the goal is to write continuously for a set period, you naturally end up writing more words. Over time, this will translate into faster writing outside of your freewriting sessions.
Use Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are an invaluable resource to boost your daily word count. They act as a springboard for your creativity, providing a starting point that will help you overcome the initial hurdle of the blank page. By giving your mind a specific focus, prompts jump-start your writing process and lead to increased productivity.
There are countless sources of writing prompts available. Books, websites, and social media platforms like Reddit and Pinterest offer a wealth of prompts in a variety of genres and styles. Better yet, create your own prompts based on things you observe in your daily life or ideas you come across in your reading.
When selecting a prompt, choose one that resonates or challenges you. The goal is to stimulate your creative thinking and get your words flowing. You can write a short story, a scene or chapter, dialogue, or even a poem based on the prompt. The form and length don’t matter as long as you’re writing.
By integrating prompts into your routine, you will write more words while enhancing your creative skills and expanding your range as a writer. It’s a win-win situation!
Write More with Project Goals
Goal setting is a powerful tool. By establishing clear, measurable goals, you can focus your efforts, track your progress, and stay motivated throughout your writing journey.
Start by defining the goal for your writing project. Perhaps it’s to complete the first draft of your novel in six months, or maybe it’s to write a certain number of blog posts each week. Whatever your overarching objective is, write it down. Visual reminders keep your goal at the forefront of your mind and provide motivation.
Next, break down your broad goal into smaller, more manageable daily or weekly word count targets. Does writing a 60,000-word novel seem intimidating? What if you could accomplish this task in only three months? You can by setting daily goal of 667 words. This makes the larger goal seem less daunting and provides you with regular milestones to work towards.
Take the advice of high-performance coaches and ensure your goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Be realistic about what you can achieve given your life commitments and writing speed. There’s no point setting a daily target of 5,000 words if you can only feasibly write 500 in a session, unless you’re a glutton for punishment.
Track your progress towards your goals. You could do this in a simple notebook, a spreadsheet, or use a writing app with built-in goal tracking. Celebrate when you hit your targets and use any misses as opportunities to reassess and adjust.
Consider sharing your goals with a writing buddy or a supportive friend. Making your goals public will boost your accountability and provide you with motivation to write more words and complete major projects.
Join a Writing Community
There’s nothing like the camaraderie and support of a writing community. Joining such a group can provide motivation, encouragement, and constructive feedback, all of which can help you write more words each day. Just ensure you join a community that fosters positivity. Joining the wrong forum or club is worse than not joining one at all.
Local writing workshops or clubs, online writing forums, social media groups (on platforms like Facebook, Reddit, or Discord), and national writing organizations are all excellent starting points. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has a vibrant community that supports each other in writing 50,000 words in the month of November.
The best writing communities are those where members support and inspire each other. Look for a group where you feel comfortable sharing your work, and where feedback is constructive and respectful. The idea is to foster a sense of belonging and understanding that can fuel your writing process.
If you to join my writing community, I’ll send you weekly motivational articles and tips to write better and faster, and market your books like a pro. Whatever challenges you face, believe me. I’ve been there, done that.
Can’t find the perfect community? Create your own.
All you need are a few writing buddies, especially high-performing authors who will push you out of your comfort zone. Join forces and decide on a regular meeting time.
Integrate the previous methods we discussed into your writing community. Perform challenges, sprints, and marathons. These activities inject a fun, competitive element into writing that motivates you to write more.
Observing others’ progress and triumphs will spur you on. When you see fellow writers hitting their word count targets, you will want to do the same.
Exercise and Meditate
Exercise and meditation might seem like odd suggestions for writing more words, but these activitieshave a profound impact on your mental clarity, energy levels, and overall productivity—all of which can enhance your writing career.
Physical exercise is known to have several health benefits, including improved cognitive function. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering oxygen and nutrients essential for peak performance. By incorporating a routine exercise regimen—be it a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a full-blown workout—you may notice improved concentration, creativity, and endurance during your writing sessions.
Meditation is a powerful tool for calming the mind, reducing stress, and enhancing focus. By meditating, you learn to tame the chatter in your mind, enabling you to concentrate on the task at hand—writing. Even a 10-minute meditation before you start writing clears your mind and prepares you for a productive session. Apps like Headspace or Calm provide guided meditations suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
“But, Dan. I don’t want to meditate. It’s too woo-woo.”
Oh yeah? I start every day with a brief period of meditation, followed by 20 minutes of intense resistance band training. And I made over $500,000 in book sales, page reads, and audiobook downloads last year.
In addition to mental benefits, exercise and meditation improves your physical health and well-being. Writing is a sedentary activity, and long hours hunched over a keyboard can lead to various health issues, such as back pain or eye strain. Regular exercise and moments of mindfulness counteracts these issues, making your writing practice sustainable in the long run.
So, lace up those running shoes, roll out the yoga mat, or sit in silence for a few minutes each day. As you nourish your body and mind, you’ll find your writing practice flourishing too, leading to more words written each day.
Even if your buddies think you’re woo-woo.
Write More with Dictation
Want to write more words in the same amount of time? How about doubling or even tripling your word count?
Consider dictation—speaking your thoughts aloud and having them transcribed into written text. This method is useful for those who think faster than they type, as it allows you to capture your thoughts in real-time.
Getting started with dictation is easier than ever. Several dictation software options exist for writers, from built-in tools on most smartphones and computers, like Apple’s Siri or Windows’ Voice Typing feature, to advanced software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Many of these tools are accurate and intuitive, learning from your speech patterns to provide better transcription.
Before you dictate your novel or blog post, practice speaking in a way that’s conducive to writing. This includes pronouncing punctuation marks and new paragraphs, as well as using a clear, steady speaking pace. It may feel odd at first, but after a few sessions, you’ll find it becomes second nature.
Like any new tool, dictation comes with a learning curve. Don’t be discouraged if your initial attempts aren’t perfect. Give yourself time to get comfortable with the process. But prepare yourself for incredible results. Some authors report doubling or even tripling their word count in the first week by using dictation.
Additionally, dictation offers the benefit of mobility. You can dictate while taking a walk or hiking in nature, making it a flexible tool for busy or on-the-go writers. Dictating also gets you away from your desk.
But don’t dictate while driving. You don’t want to wreck your car and explain to the responding officer that you were writing a murder scene on the way to work.
Dictation is a game-changer. I love it.
Leverage AI and Write More Words
In this era of rapid technological advancements, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another tool you can harness to increase your writing productivity. AI has the potential to revolutionize your writing process, providing idea generation, editing, and proofreading tools.
Here are ways AI can help you write more words:
- AI Writing Assistants: AI-powered writing tools such as Grammarly, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Sudowrite, and others generate ideas, provide writing suggestions, and improve your grammar and style. These tools use machine learning algorithms to understand your writing style and offer personalized recommendations.
- Automated Research: AI tools like Frase and MarketMuse conduct automated content research, providing you with relevant information and resources based on your topic. This can save you hours spent on research and ensure your writing is informed and accurate.
- Text Predictive Tools: Tools like Google’s Smart Compose predict and suggest the next words or phrases as you type, based on your writing style and the context of your content. These suggestions speed up your writing process and help you overcome writer’s block.
- Editing and Proofreading: AI-powered editing tools provide real-time grammar, punctuation, and style suggestions. Tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid catch mistakes and offer improvements, helping you produce polished, professional-quality writing. I like ProWritingAid so much that I purchased a lifetime license.
- Distraction-Free Writing Environments: Some AI-enhanced writing applications offer clean, distraction-free writing environments to help you focus. Others include features like goal tracking, writing statistics, and personalized writing insights.
- Transcription Services: As mentioned earlier, dictation is a game-changer for increasing your word count, and AI significantly improves the accuracy and usability of speech-to-text software.
When used properly, AI can be a writer’s best friend, enhancing your creativity rather than replacing it. AI frees you to focus on what really matters: telling your unique story. Always remember that AI is a tool to supplement your efforts, not a substitute for your creativity and voice.
Still unsure about how to leverage AI? Join my high-performance writing community, and I’ll send you weekly tips on how I write more words and market them to readers.
Set Regular Writing Rituals
Finally, establish regular writing rituals to enhance your routine and boost your daily word count. Writing rituals are consistent actions you take before or during your writing that signal your brain that it’s time to write. They trigger your creative flow and build positive, productive writing habits.
Here are a few awesome writing ritual ideas:
- Dedicated Writing Space: Have a specific place where you write. It doesn’t have to be a home office; it could be a particular spot at your kitchen table, your favorite armchair, or the local library. The important thing is to associate this place with writing.
- Setting the Mood: Some writers find that certain atmospheric conditions foster creativity. This might involve lighting a scented candle, playing a specific genre of music, or making a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.
- Pre-Writing Warm-ups: Engaging in a warm-up activity will get your creative juices flowing. Exercise, woo-woo meditation, brief freewriting, doodling, or even solving crossword puzzles are fantastic for enhancing your productivity.
- Time of Day: We discussed the importance of writing at a certain time of day. If you’re consistent with this habit, you will train your mind to hit a flow state during your predefined writing block.
Writing rituals are highly personal. What works for one writer may not work for another. It’s important to experiment and discover what rituals work best for you. Once you’ve found them, be consistent. Over time, these rituals will signal to your brain that it’s time to write.
Increasing your daily word count isn’t about quick fixes, but about adopting sustainable, productive habits. With these 14 strategies in your writing arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to consistently write more words each day, bringing you closer to your writing goals. Happy writing!
Conclusion: Build a Sustainable Writing Habit
Boosting your daily word count isn’t about magic tricks or overnight transformations; it’s about fostering sustainable habits that fuel your writing over the long term.
It’s crucial to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Writing is all about finding what works best for you, adapting these strategies to your unique writing style, and cultivating a routine that you can maintain and improve upon.
It’s okay to start small and gradually build up your daily word count. That’s what I did.
The key is consistency. With time, patience, and persistence, you’ll be surprised at how much your productivity and word count will increase.
Put these strategies into action, and let the journey to writing more words begin.
Here’s to your writing success!
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