One thousand words a day! That was the goal I had in mind when I decided to start writing a lot more.
This plan won’t easily become a reality, though. I’d never been consistent or productive in my writing, because my usual routine was to merely write sporadically, i.e, when I had time, motivation or a good feeling for it.
Let’s just say that didn’t happen often.
As a result, I wasn’t publishing a lot of content and my website was stagnating.
I decided to do something about it and to write much more than I had done thus far. Instead of writing from time to time, I would write every day and I would write at least one thousand words.
Why 1,000? (or sometimes 750). It was a random choice, only justified because this was the advice saturating the Internet. I decided to go for the most challenging. I also knew that writing 1,000 words a day would directly solve my problem of not publishing enough.
However, making this decision wasn’t enough. I’d already tried it in the past and failed.
The difference this time was an article which gave me a big kick in the ass. This article was written by Bamidele, and was entitled How to Write 5,000 Words a Day. In the email that accompanied the post, he was basically saying that writing 5,000 words was simple. Wait, simple?
I was crying like a baby about writing 1,000 words, and he was telling me that writing five times more was SIMPLE? It wasn’t even something possible – in my mind.
But that was the kick I needed. I replied to him (and committed to him) that I would write 1,000 words a day. NO MATTER WHAT. I wanted to commit to someone, so that one month later I could say “Yes, I did 1k a day, easy peasy!” I also hoped that this public commitment would make me write more, to avoid the shame of having to hide behind failure.
And indeed, one month later, I wrote to Bamidele. Here is what I wrote:
Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed in staying consistent with 1,000 words. That was too much for me. I felt my creativity was exhausted after a week.
Uh… I failed miserably. In fact, I could not even hold the rhythm for one week, and I didn’t write at all the following week.
I felt so bad, but I didn’t stop there. Yes I failed, but I could learn from my mistake. You can learn too.
Don’t Make The Same Mistake
My mistake was that I had been too greedy. As I said, I was just a casual writer, writing from time to time, when I felt like it, and I wanted to burn every step – all the way to 20,000 words in a month.
Bamidele could write 5,000 words a day because he was a seasoned writer. I couldn’t write 1,000 because I was a beginner.
Creativity is like a muscle, and I was a skinny guy trying to lift too much weight. After a few days, my muscles were so sore that I wasn’t able to write another word.
If I wanted to lift more, I would need to start with light weights and slowly increase them as I got stronger.
Creativity works the same way. If you want to write thousands of words on a daily basis but you’re writing only hundreds today, start small. Build your level, and slowly increase your daily output until you reach your target.
I wrote 500 words every day for one week. The next week, I wrote 600 words every day. I could barely see the difference. Then, I went for 700. Here is what my daily count looked like:
(My daily writing in May, after miserably failing to write 1,000 words a day)
Notice I wasn’t that consistent. The second week, I only wrote for three days. But it was fine, I wasn’t looking for perfection but consistency over time. If I could keep writing this way, it was perfectly fine.
Still nowadays, I miss some days. In fact, I missed yesterday because I went to sleep too late the night before, and so decided to skip writing to have enough sleep. That’s fine. I try not to be too hard on myself.
What if you take a break?
After the 700-word week, I took a 2-week break during which I didn’t write at all.
How to get back to writing then? Well, remember the analogy with muscles and lifting weight. If you leave the gym for two weeks, what do you do when you get back?
You start again at a lower point, to re-train your muscles. So I didn’t keep increasing my daily output, but instead restarted at 500 words a day.
Yes, it took me a few weeks to reach 1,000 words a day, and I could have been there faster, but eventually I got there, and that’s what matters anyway. I’d rather write 500 words a day than exhaust myself and not write at all for two weeks.
How to Go From 0 to 1,000 Words Per Day in Three Weeks
With time, I refined my technique to increase my daily output after a break, so that it feels easy and incremental, without being too slow.
Suppose you’re not even writing ZERO word per day, but you want to write one thousands words. If that’s your case, then simply follow the coming framework by the letter, and you will be able to achieve your goal in only three weeks. If you’re already a somewhat seasoned writer, then feel free to skip a few steps, but make sure you don’t replicate my mistake. Don’t be too greedy.
Week 1: Write every day
In week 1, we will simply try to write every day. It doesn’t matter how many words you’re writing, as long as you sit and write something (even one sentence).
What’s important in this step is to find a good time for writing. Block off this time in your calendar to make sure you won’t be distracted.
This is the most important part. If you can write every day, if you can be consistent, then you will be able to train your creative muscles and slowly increase your daily output.
Once you know when to write, simply do it. It can be in a journal, an article for your blog, for a client, anything! Write at least one sentence.
It may sound stupid and easy but:
- Most people actually aren’t able to find a consistent time for writing, which makes them virtually fail even before they try to increase the amount of words they write on a daily basis.
- One sentence is the minimum, but feel free to write more. When writing, the hardest part is to get started. Once the flow is going, it’s easy to write hundreds of words without even realizing it.
Week 2: Increase to 500 words a day
Now we’re getting serious. In week one, you started a habit and found the ideal time for writing. Now that you’re slowly getting used to writing every day, you can increase your output.
Here is my recommendation for every day of this week:
- Day 1: Write 100 words.
- Day 2: Write 200 words.
- Day 3: Write 300 words.
- Day 4: Write 400 words.
- Day 5: Write 500 words.
Slow and steady. Writing 100 words should not be a problem, but writing 500 may stretch your muscles a little bit. It means you’re making progress, so keep going and embrace the difficulty.
Week 3: Get to 1K a day
Surprisingly, week 3 is the easiest week. If you’re able to write daily, and if you’re able to write 500 words, then jumping to 1,000 will be surprisingly easy.
In fact, you might have noticed that the hardest part is writing the first 100 words. Once you have started, once you know what to say, it gets much easier to keep going.
Here is an example of what Week 3 could look like:
- Day 1: Write 500 words.
- Day 2: Write 500 words.
- Day 3: Write 750 words.
- Day 4: Write 750 words.
- Day 5: Write 1,000 words.
And you’re there! 1,000 words a day, yay!
Week 4 and above
These three weeks needed some hard work. Don’t ruin your efforts by not keeping up the pace. Remember that even if your daily output decreases a little bit, it’s not a problem. The most important thing is to keep showing up every day.
Once you’re happy with the number of words you’re writing per day, you might start facing new problems, such as:
- What do to if you encounter writer’s block
- How to get enough ideas about what to write
- How to write something that is compelling for your readers
Don’t worry! I’ve got your back and wrote an extensive writing guide called “Write 1,000 Words a Day and Produce Remarkable Content“, which is intended to answer these exact questions.
If you have any issue with writing 1,000 words a day, the guide will most likely cover your problem and bring a solution, so make sure you check it out. If you don’t find a solution, then please let me know by writing a comment.
Charles Bordet is the founder of Become A Top Performer, where he helps online entrepreneurs and bloggers to write more consistently every day, so that they can produce more content, get more traffic and more subscribers. He is the author of “Write 1,000 Words a Day and Produce Remarkable Content“, an extensive guide to get the writing done.