2 Rules for Writing 30,000 Words a Month
Seems like once a week I get an email from a subscriber who's amazed that I can crank out these emails so consistently, day after day.
How are you so disciplined, they say.
I've wanted to blog consistently since, oh, about 2009.
Back then I was a programmer, and my goal was to write 1-2 in-depth technical blog posts per week.
And up until last year, I STILL couldn't seem to force myself to write more than a post every couple of months.
Since I'm not a naturally prolific writer, I've had to experiment a lot to find what works for me.
And the most important discovery I've made is this simple rule:
“Once a week” = “never”
That's why when I get emails asking how I can do this every day, I just chuckle.
Because my dirty little secret is, the only way I'm able to produce anything at all is because I do this Every. Single. Day.
It's either a daily habit, or it doesn't get done at all.
And an important corollary to that is:
So here's what my daily routine looks like now:
First thing I do every morning when I sit down at my computer to work is flip over to my writing app and pound out 1,000 words.
Usually I start off by blasting out a rough draft of one of these emails, usually between 300-500 words, to get my creative juices flowing.
Then I'll dive into another project, like copy for a landing page or lately, the outline of my upcoming email courses product.
That 1,000 words a day adds up fast—30,000 words a month, 365,000 words a year…
I've been writing daily for going on 10 months now, and since making this commitment I've noticed a couple of major improvements:
First of all I find that my writing drafts have a lot more life and color to it (especially the first drafts).
And the biggest positive has been my “writing endurance.”
I've mentioned before about how I sometimes have days where I write 4,000 words and feel like I'm flying—only to crash and burn and struggle to write anything at all for days afterward.
My “1K a day” is like going for a daily run, training my creative muscles.
It's not all that unusual for me to write 2-3K words a day now, and while I still feel drained, it's nothing like the way my brain would turn to Jell-O before.
Should everyone write 1K words a day like this?
That depends on whether you're serious about becoming an excellent and productive writer.
My experience has taught me that the only way to make real progress toward a goal is to create a habit that I practice daily.
If I'm not willing to commit to that—well, it's time to face up to the fact that the “goal” isn't really all that important to me.