I’m a very big fan of a great writer named Richard Webster, who is well known for his 2000 words a day story. In short, he visited the home of a famous author many years ago, and read on a plaque that this author was himself famous for a discipline of writing a minimum of 1000 words per day. However, Richard mis-read the plaque and thought it was 2000 per day and so committed himself to that level of output then and has maintained that ever since. With more than 150 books in his catalog so far, that’s a process that has certainly worked well for him.
I’ve been fortunate to have met and talked with Richard Website on many occasions and have been inspired by his books often. But I am also greatly inspired by this commitment to being a writer and try to always work in 2000 word sessions. However, having last month committed to the NaNoWriMo challenges (National November Writing Month which is actually International these days) I learned a few hard truths about my own writing ability – mostly that:
- I can write to a deadline – even really big ones like 50,000 words in one month.
- If I write to such a deadline I can encourage my writing muscles to grow and grow…
- There’s no such thing as Writer’s Block when you just write – regardless of what you write at times.
- Starting and finishing a whole novel in 30 days is an extraordinary thing to do – and I know my writing in general improved from the exercise.
Your writing gets better the more you write. The more you work with Editors, the better your own style and technical skills improve. And the ability to trust the words to flow is great – for works of Fiction – but that Non-Fiction is a totally different thing.
Non-Fiction requires more structure, planning, and yet just as much research, editing and polishing goes into both.
I had tried a ‘write 3000 words every day for a month back in March and certainly got a lot out of that too, And sometimes, as a ghost writer I get to exercise my abilities to write in other voices, increase my interview and research skills, and learn about new and interesting subjects.
What ever you do, as a writer, if you are able to keep sharpening that saw you owe it to yourself to do so, Regardless of whether you are a full time writer or someone who writes blogs weekly for yourself or a company you work for. But what does it really take to do this?
- Decide the best time of day for you to write.
- Have a list of topics, ideas, and resources you can access easily.
- Set your alarm for regular breaks, but always ensure that whatever you say you’re going to do, do it.
If you cheat yourself on that last one you’re going to have to keep making up lost time. For example, last week I had two days where I had to write 5000 words a day – just to come in at the finish line. Those were hard days in many ways. Nothing much else got done – and I was mentally tired. BUT, I did it. And – I was able to therefore fully appreciate the need to write my 2000 word chunks every time I sat to write. And those chunks flowed so much more easily.
Next year, what are your goals, deadlines, and personal challenges as an author. One book or three? When are you starting, and when are you launching? Why not post your objectives for the year in our FaceBook Group and let us all in this community help you remain accountable to yourself.
If you’re not yet part of our FB Group – check out the group here. And if you need any other guidance and help for your book projects in 2019, don’t wait until then to start – talk to me know if you need some encouragement, mentoring, or hands on guidance.