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How I wrote 10,000 words in a day

Updated on February 13, 2012

I decided to write this post to encourage other writers to push themselves. To some this may not be a lot but to me this is a great achievement. The reason I write 10,000 words or more in a day is because I’m such a procrastinator. I will do anything except start writing. I will dust, clean, surf the net, just about anything except start writing.

A few years ago I was commissioned to write a short play for theatre and radio. We had a deadline and things had to be done a certain way. The rules were that we were to finish the first draft in one day. It’s called a lock down. Basically you go into the theatre to write and you don’t go home until you’ve finished that first draft. The start time was 10am and I finished at 8pm with a completed first draft and a splitting headache. This was the first time I understood what serious writing meant and what it felt like to have a deadline. I’ve kept this with my own writing and it has helped me to bring out a few novellas.

Like I said earlier that I’m a procrastinator, but when I get an idea I execute it. I make up my mind to do it all in one go. This way I know I will finish what I started and I’m serious about it. Below are a few tips that have helped me and I hope it helps someone else. You don’t have to achieve ten thousand words, set your own achievable goal, but it must be a goal that will force you to do a lot more than you usually do. The point is to start writing and finish.

Set aside a specific time

I work 9-5 Monday to Friday. At lunch time I write a hub. In the evening after my daughter is in bed I upload my Hub. The weekend is when I do the bulk of my writing. On Friday night I make sure I do all my cleaning so I’m not distracted on the day or find an excuse to procrastinate. I also make sure I go to bed early so that I’m up early the next day. I treat my writing like a job. I’m up, washed had breakfast and finally sitting down at me desk at 9am.

Keep writing no matter what.

When I sit down to write I do just that. It’s the first draft so I don’t worry about perfection. You will find that new ideas will spring to mind. The story takes you on a journey you didn’t expect. New characters surface that you weren’t expecting. It starts to become enjoyable. To me it’s like running. The first twenty minutes when you start to run are the hardest, just trying to get going is hard and sometimes you feel like giving up. Then suddenly you feel you can go further and further and that dragging feeling subsides. This is what happens when I begin to write, after about twenty to thirty minutes the words begin to flow. It’s like suddenly there is a release and everything makes sense and the story begins to unfold. I hope this is making sense because this is exactly what happens to me when I start writing and stick with it, before you know it you’ve written ten thousand words.

Always take a break

You might feel that you’re slowing down a bit and feel as though you’re forcing the flow of words. This means that the brain is tired and needs a break. Stop and go make yourself a cup of tea. Walk around, go outside for some fresh air. Take a break that isn’t too long because this will stop you from going back altogether. It has to be enough to rest your brain for a bit but not too much that you can’t be bothered to go back and write.

Snack

Probably not the best advice but I snack a lot during this time. It can be a healthy snack. You could have nuts, dates or whatever you fancy. I tend to have some crisps, skittles etc. Like I said not the best advice but it keeps me going. It’s probably the sugar that keeps me buzzing. There is a limit to what people will do but this really helps me. I’ve read that some people have a soundtrack they listen too, depending on the type of book they are writing. Give yourself some boost, something that makes you feel good while you write, it could be music or a bag of crisps.

You will discover that you will be buzzing by the second hour; you will feel that you can and must go on. You will feel a sense of achievement that gives you a sense of empowerment. It’s an amazing feeling when you stop at the end of the day knowing how much you’ve achieved. It feels the same way I felt when I got to the end of a race. Awesome! You will realise how much you are really capable of. Goodluck!

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    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks CJAndrews for your comment. 10k does seem like a lot but once you get into it you do it. It's amazing what you can train yourself to do. I think working with the theatre really helped me.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your comment and for voting up JamesPoppell. It's great to have a goal it moves us forward. All the best with your writing.

    • CJ Andrews profile image

      Chris Andrews 6 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Mike Stackpole gave me the same advice a few years ago. And 10k words is pretty big - that is his minimum for a day and he talks about how fast of a write he is. He wrote a book in something like 6 weeks because the original author was failing his/her deadline. But great job - that is a lot of writing. And solid advice too.

    • JamesPoppell profile image

      JamesPoppell 6 years ago

      Wow, that is a lot of writing in one day. I have a daily goal of 1,000 words. Most days I reach my goal but some days I don't. Thanks for posting. Vote up.

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