by | Sep 8, 2021 | Writing | 0 comments

My writing motto is Just Write the Next Sentence.

And I’m a write-every-day kind of writer. I track my words, and can tell you how many I wrote on any given day since April 2016.

I’ve learned that when it comes to writing, math is your friend. If you write even a little every day, it piles up. (That’s also more or less the core insight of The Ten Minute Author by my buddy Kev Partner.)

So, let’s do some simple math to get a sense of what I mean.

The Purple Haze, book one in my series, is 125,000 words long. All of the books in the Western Lands and All That Really Matters series are more or less that length.

If I write 1,000 words per day, then I’ll write one of those in 125 days.

But, to be honest, I’ve never come close to that. I don’t usually write that fast. A thousand words is a good day for me, but many of them are less. Sometimes a lot less. (Then again, sometimes it’s a lot more, but 2,000 words is a very, very solid day for me.)

100 words per day means it’ll take me 1,250 days or about 41 moths to write one of my books. For me, this is too slow, but that pace might work for what you write.

250 words/day is 500 days. Closer, but still long for me.

500 words per day is 250 days for a 125k book. That’s more like it. Less than a year.

But lets flip this around and think in terms of words written over a year, rather than time to write a book. I keep a number of stats:

  • Words each day
  • Words each month
  • Words each year
  • How many days in a row is my current streak
  • How many words are in my current streak
  • How many days over 2k words this month
  • How many days over 1k words this month
  • How many days over 685 words this year.

That last one might look a little weird. But if I write that many every day, then that’s 250,000 words in a year, or about two of my fantasy books. It’s a good goal for me.

So here’s my suggestion: set yourself a low goal that you can meet, and consistently write that every day. Track your progress in a spreadsheet. Challenge yourself to write just a little more. And let math be your friend as you accumulate a book’s worth of words.

And remember, just write the next sentence.


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