Saturday, July 28, 2012

1500 Words a Day

I'm always on the look-out for writing methods. It fascinates me to learn about the way others write. No two are the same. What works for one writer, doesn't always work for another. But, that doesn't mean a writer shouldn't try new methods, just to see if maybe it might work for them.

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I read recently that Stephen King writes between 5-10 pages a day, everyday. If I calculate 250 words per page, that’s between 1250-2500 words a day. Doesn't seem like a lot. (HA!) Many days I average about 2000 words. Then on some days whatever talent I possess has been drained from me and I'm lucky to have 400 shoddy words to prove it. I don't write every single day either. I tend to work on my project and obsessively finish it, or sometimes get stumped and set it aside for a bit (I hate doing that) and find something else to work on. But I take breaks in between. I work on editing. I read a lot. Many articles about the writing craft and the business side of writing. I also do research for my stories. So, even when I'm not producing word counts, I'm still working on my writing, just from a different angle. 

At times it seems a bit difficult to get back into the writing part of it if I linger away for too long. I often hear writers preach that you must write every day to keep the writing muscle strong. For writing is like working a muscle, isn't it? If you don't exercise, it gets a little sloppy until you get back into the swing of things again.

Since I do a lot of research into the way other writers work, I thought I'd try an experiment. My method of writing seems a little laid back. I have three young children between the ages of 22 months and 6 years. They take up a lot of my day. I have a flexible writing schedule, doing most of my writing in the early morning hours and at naptime. I don't like to stress myself, but I do like to push myself to try harder, so that's what I'm going to do now. I'm challenging myself.

I going to write 1500 words. Every. Day. 

Starting today, I'm going to strive to reach a word count of 1500 (or more!) every day until school starts at the end of August. Then I'll re-evaluate my writing schedule and see how well I've done.

Am I insane? I'm not sure yet. I've never given myself such a challenge before, but I do enjoy challenges. However, because I hate to stress myself, I have given myself an easy way to out. No, I'm not going to quit.

I'm going to write 1500 words every day, but they don't necessarily need to be part of a manuscript. Aha! No one said my writing muscle needed to be a fiction writing muscle. So, if I feel stumped with my characters for the day, I might give them some breathing room. Sometimes I need a day or two to figure out a solution to whatever has stumped me. So on those days (hopefully there will be very few!) I'll write a blog post or two. I'll look up writing prompts and try those for some exercise. I'll write about my day in a diary-like fashion. Or I'll write about my kids. I do have their journals I need to catch up on. I'll write about any little thing, as long as I get 1500 words (or more!) a day.

Look here! I'm counting this blog post as part of my word count for today! See, it's working!

When I look at it this way, it seems completely do-able. After all, there are 24 hours in a day. I can certainly sneak an hour or two away for solely myself and my writing. I've done more in the past, I can do this, too.

I'll check back in near September with my results. Hopefully, I'll have some positive things to say about my experience. Wish me luck!


  1. I wish you luck! I don't write everyday either, and it's funny when I try to make myself do's so freaking hard. Some days I'm totally inspired, and others..well, let's just say it's not so easy.

  2. Thank you, Angela! And, I know exactly how you feel. The muse is so fickle.

  3. it's possible. i write 1500 a day and sleep 12 hours a day lol. he only thing that has stopped me is being sick or my daughter being sick. happy writing!

  4. Thanks, Shannon! It's encouraging to know that this is possible to accomplish!