I regularly stay up until 6 AM so it’s quiet. I’ve got a 2-year old and that can be distracting. Of course this means I’m tired much of my writing time. I get up a lot and take breaks, sitting down to write a few hundred words here or there. It adds up by the time the day is finished.
Before I go to bed I always write down a goal list for the next day. Sometimes I put word counts next to it, such as 500, 750, 1000, or 1500. Not much more than that, if even that. Sometimes I reach the word count goals and sometimes I don’t. Some days I write more and some days less. I find smaller numbers are easier to cross off the list than larger.
I used to put 3 to 5 items on my list but now I put 7 to 8. This gives me more choices to work on throughout the day, and more things to cross off. And they’re not all work-related; I’ll have editing for myself, multiple fiction works in progress, and 3 blogs I can tinker with. Sometimes I put easy things on the list like ‘start 2 chapters’ so I can cross something off.
That’s the thing – the more you’re crossing off the more it seems you’re getting done. As the day progresses and you see those items ticked off you know you’re making progress. When I finish something completely I’ll write the exact word count at the bottom of the list so I can tally it at the end of the day.
I also skip around. If I don’t want to do all the boring transition stuff between chapters I just jump right into the next action scene in my mind. Sometimes those will be at the back of a book even. I like putting on track changes halfway through and seeing my edits and small additions to clean that up.
Both of those things can keep me going when a tough spot appears that might have slowed me down.
Make spreadsheets with your word counts. I started this on February 20 and that’s how I know where I’m at for the year, month, week and day. Break things into small parts. Get up for a drink, sit down and write 300 words, then get up again. Don’t get up until you do something.
I don’t know, I have my internet on all day, listen to jazz or classical, and routinely interrupt myself to do things. I put in a lot of time each day every day too, however. I have to. I’d say that I spend a good 10 to 12 hours a day at least working on stuff off and one. It really adds up and that’s how I can get up to the 150,000 word range or higher each month.
This blog post was something on my list today, so there’s one more thing. I urge you to try lists as well if you want to write more and write faster.