How to get Writing

I read an interesting statistic the other day, about which self-published authors are most successful. Among other criteria (paid editor, paid title picture), one criterium was words written per day. And the top earning writers spend a lot more time writing per day than the average self-published author. The top writers also put in an average of 2,047 words per day (I’m quoting Catherine Caffeinated here). That’s some serious writing. In fact – for comparison – that’s more than the daily average needed to finish NaNoWriMo.

So, how does one get some decent writing time in? Preferably every day?

It isn’t easy. I’m not managing that at the moment, but I want to change that. I’ve managed it during NaNo a couple of years. I always do NaNo with the aim of 2,000 words a day. One year I finished NaNo on November 25th. Yep, I kept to my average, and it worked out well. For one single month.

Now, I just learned a new trick. It’s so simple that it’s stunning. Yet it’s working for me. Not yet every day, but more often than not: I use a timer. A very simple kitchen timer. Right now, it’s totally annoying with its loud ticking, so I’m planning on getting something better and possibly silent.

The trick is to set the timer and do nothing, really nothing else but writing while it runs. No internet. No mail. No chat. At the moment I manage half an hour, and write about 800 words during that 30 minutes. Logic tells me I should be doing about 80 min to get those 2,000 words down. That is the plan. I’ll tell you whether I manage – probably not every day, as I’m holding a job and running a business, aside from writing. But at least three to four days a week, it would change my writing result drastically.

And it could change your writing habits. I challenge you to do it at least on three days this week!

About Hannah Steenbock

Hannah Steenbock is an author, dreamer, and coach. She has published several short stories in English and German, as well as one novel in German. In 2013 she started self-publishing her work. In 2014, she has won two awards for her short story "Sequoia".
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2 Responses to How to get Writing

  1. Audra says:

    Yep. daily writing can be hard to work in. I usually write for an hour or two in the very late evening. 9pm to 11pm is my writing time. I don’t always get it done, but I try. Some nights everything is flowing so well, I find myself still writing at 1am. 1500 words is on the low side for me. Somewhere in the vicinity of 2000 to 2500 words is my average.

    • Wow, that’s a great daily average! I think I only managed that on a regular basis way back when I was first writing my Lar Elien novels. I’m struggling to get back to writing on a daily basis at the moment.

      Can’t wait for you next novel, I so much enjoyed your first one.

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