Writing 1K a Day

If you’ve ever had a go at writing fiction, short story, flash fic, full-blown novel or otherwise, you’ll know how difficult it can be to maintain a good pace. By that, I mean it’s not only hard to write something every day, but also to write enough every time you put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard. I know I struggle with both and for the last six months (at least) I haven’t really been that serious about my writing. Various events are to account for this (birth of my son, getting married, getting a new job) and, when I realised that, I gave myself some slack.

But now I am back in the saddle and ready to write. And not just write, but write and FINISH a novel. I know, right? Who would have thought I hadn’t ever achieved that in twelve-ish years of writing.

So, with this new goal firmly in my sights I got thinking about how much I should be aiming to write a day. It’s different for everyone, but I have the very specific desire of finishing a novel within the year. I’ve waited for long enough and I need to get something finished and in my hands so that I can finally say I have written a whole novel. I’d read various articles on writing quickly and even one from Michael Moorcock about writing books in three days. I thought, “I can do this. It may not be pretty at first, but I can storm through and put some words on paper.”

To that end, I am now aiming to write at least 1000 words a day. If I can maintain this pace, I will have finished a novel in three months or so. Again, if I maintain the pace, that would be pretty damn impressive. So far today, I have written 175 words. I believe if I use the half hour or so I get free tonight, I can get to that magical 1K milestone.

To help inspire me and inspire the readers of this blog, I want you guys to pitch in and tell me how you go about your own writing. Have you ever attempted to write something as quickly as possible? What tips would you give? Just drop a comment below!


9 thoughts on “Writing 1K a Day

  1. Kira Lyn Blue 05-Apr-2013 / 20:18

    I sincerely doubt you’re alone in having started many novels and never finished them. I’ve started four books and only one has anything remotely resembling an ending at this point. Starting a book is easy (relatively speaking), writing the end and tying everything up neatly is HARD! So is revising.

    It’s just not as much fun as starting fresh when all your ideas are shiny, new, and exciting. I try to combat that by taking breaks to work on something fresh. Like blog posts!

  2. Kenechi Udogu 05-Apr-2013 / 21:06

    I set myself a deadline of five months to finish the first draft of my 40 – 45,000 words novella sequel, which works out to about 2,000 words a week. It was the most realistic deadline I could set for myself because I work full time and still want to maintain a social life. Three months in and I’m 4,000 words ahead! Woohoo! This way I can go on holiday and still be on target.

  3. evangelinexx 05-Apr-2013 / 21:18

    I must say, for me NaNoWriMo was the best thing ever to happen to my writing. Because of it, i finished my first ever novel (i won by the way), in my first ever participation. I also managed, with that drive, to do the first draft, and i plan to do the second one soon. I did get distracted, however, by writing about 40k on a new story in about two months.

    One thing you should always do with fast writing; kill you inner editor. Because it is so hard to get to the end, you need to leave the fine tuning to the editing process. Sometimes when you hit a wall, you have to just push through it, no matter if the solution is not perfect.

    I gave myself some slack as well for writing (not doing as much these days) because i recently started university.

  4. Lauraducky 05-Apr-2013 / 21:21

    Hi James. Well done on your target. I know from personal experience that a goal like that can be difficult to keep up when you have other commitments. When I have holidays I can manage a cracking NaNoWriMo pace, but otherwise…. I have found the most motivating thing for me is to creates spreadsheets to track my progress. If you like, I have some posted on my blog. It keeps me in a NaNo mindset even through the rest of the year. Though that reminds me, I haven’t done any work on my novel in about a week. That’s okay though; I’ve been doing a short story.

  5. Zacharias O'Bryan 05-Apr-2013 / 21:30

    Hi James– I wish, in fact, that I could net 1,000 words daily. That would equate to a 100,000 word novel in five months, even if I were to take weekends off. A full-length novel takes me more like a year for the first draft. That much said, I’ll mention my best trick. It allows me to come up with something, even when the brain is running on empty.

    Either early morning or late night, whenever I’m having a tough time sleeping, I’ll sit up in bed and I’ll focus on a wall-shadow or bit of infiltrated light. I’ll do meditational (slow, intentional) breathing until my mind leaves the here and now. Very dependably it finds its way into the story I’ve been writing, and it starts living the characters’ lives. When I come out of the meditation, I write enough of a note to remind me that I’ve solved the problem. Then, when I sit down at the computer, I can simply begin typing.

  6. captainwafflez 06-Apr-2013 / 00:02

    I’m a busy bee. There are never enough hours are there? And I am constantly plagued by these fictional characters that my brain conjured up, demanding some air time.. Or brain to paper time?

    I think setting goals can be helpful. But for me, it’s just not possible. I write as much as I can, when I can. In between shifts, before bed (whihc usually stretches out to OHMYGODIT’SNEARLYDAWN, in little scribbles on my phone (I even send texts to myself about plot points and snippets of dialogue.)

    If setting a target, and working to that pressure, works for you then just keep on plugging away at it. Just write, write, write. That’s all there is to it, I guess.


  7. jezzarath 06-Apr-2013 / 11:14

    I think the advice that Evangelinexx gives about killing your internal editor is a vital piece of advice. I spent so long going over and over and over my 1st and 2nd chapters that I have never got anywhere else.

    Then last week I did a little random free writting, managed 800 words in 15 mins, it was purely random and was to get the creative juices flowing rather than add to my novel, but short of the spelling mistakes, what came out was a respectable if ridiculous short story, where as normally I wouldnt have got past the first few lines due to editing them over and over to be “just right”

  8. tmso 06-Apr-2013 / 17:12

    NaNoWriMo. It works. You may not have anything good by the end, but whatever it is will be finished. I’ve written two novels with NaNoWriMo and will write many more with or without it now that I know it can be done.

    It can be done.

  9. mebel-of.ru 30-Jul-2013 / 17:07

    When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the
    idea of a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.
    Therefore that’s why this piece of writing is perfect.

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