Have you been finding lately that you just aren’t getting as much writing done as you want to? Here are 8 ways you can increase your daily word count:
1. Limit distractions. Sounds simple right? There are a lot of ways to do this though. During writing time, turn your phone off. Silence your phone and put it in a drawer. Turn your internet off or use apps like StayFocsd to limit the amount of time you spend on Time Suck websites. Shut your door. Tell your roommates or your family that you will be writing for the next hour and you don’t want to be disturbed. Whatever it takes. Make sure you are giving yourself uninterrupted time to write.
2. Silence your inner critic. Recently, I was working on my current novel, and I was feeling discouraged. I asked my playwright friend if he ever looked at what he was writing and felt like it was dumb. “All the time,” he said. “You just have to write through the dumb.” Shut up your inner critic, and if you can’t do that, just write through the dumb.
3. Set your alarm clock. A lot of people get more done when they are on a real or imagined deadline. If you set your alarm clock to go off in one hour and you are trying to see how many words you can write in one hour, you will be more likely to focus and get some writing done.
4. Participate in word sprints. Word sprints are short, timed challenges that more than one writer participates in. They usually take place on Twitter and other social networks. Or you can do them in person with a writer friend. Or even via text message with one or two writers. As previously discussed, word sprints give you a deadline, but they also make you accountable. You will be more likely to get increase your word count if you’ve tweeted that you’re going to be writing for the next hour.
5. Write out of order. If you really want to write a scene that takes place later in your novel, but you’re not quite there yet, it’s okay to write out of order. Write about whatever excites you most. When you get closer to finishing, you can put all of the pieces together.
6. Wake up 30 minutes earlier. Wake up 30 minutes earlier and just write for those 30 minutes, before you do anything else. Before you check your e-mail. Before you take a shower. Before you drink coffee even. 30 minutes is not that long.
7. Take breaks. You will be more productive and more focused if you take frequent breaks to give your brain time to recharge. Get up and move around. Go for a short walk. Drink some water. Drink some tea. Have a granola bar. Run around and act like a crazy person. Whatever you want to do!
8. Keep going! Even if you follow tips 1 – 7, life happens, and you are bound to get interrupted. Things will go wrong. But the key is to get back to the computer and keep going, even when you do get interrupted. Don’t give up on a whole day of writing just because you had to pause to take the dog out and it took him a lot longer than you thought it would. Keep going! Keep writing! Go! Go! Go!