If you’ve chosen to write a novel, you might be wondering the age-old question: How do I stay on track? We hear everyone talk about hitting a certain word count each day, from your peer group, to the writing group, to best-selling authors like Stephen King. But how do they do it? Read on to find out! We’ve provided some tips below for you to keep in mind as you establish how to stay on track.
Establish a routine.
Whether it’s getting up with a cup of coffee and writing your full 1,000 words, or writing small chunks throughout the day, having a routine is the best way to stay on track. If you miss a day? Calculate it into your future daily writing goals, as you shouldn’t let yourself miss a day without some type of punishment; otherwise, you might let your whole routine slip.
Carry a notebook.
If you’re out and about, at the coffee shop, or even at work, be prepared for inspiration to strike. If you usually write on a computer, you can put it in whatever processing program you use later—after all, if you have an idea, you want to make sure you get it on paper right away! This can help you get into the habit of writing words down outside of your scheduled time, too.
Let’s face it—phones are distracting. If you find yourself drifting to your social media during your writing time, it’s time to turn off your phone. If you’re writing on a laptop or computer, you might want to consider using an internet or social media blocker to keep yourself from browsing there, too. You might be surprised at how much faster you write!
Now, this doesn’t mean giving yourself half an hour of phone time for getting out 200 words. It should be reasonable, after all. This might be taking a break for five minutes of Twitter, getting a snack, or even buying yourself something nice after a particularly good day of writing! Doing so will help you train yourself to hit your daily goal without a hitch.
Remember: Figuring out how to hit your daily word count isn’t some big secret that you need to access before you succeed. It’s about knowing yourself, encouraging healthy writing habits, and most importantly, actually sitting down to write.