How to Write 100,000 Words in a Month

100k Words in 31 days requires: ~3,226 words a day, every day. If you do that for a year, you’ve written 1,200,000 words.

So how do you plan for success, to hit 100k words in a single month?

The three factors are: Writing Speed, Writing Time, and Planning.

200 (5)

WRITING SPEED

To maintain a decent speed, I know ahead of time what scenes I am writing and what needs to happen. I use a timer to do nothing but focus on writing for 30-minute bursts, so I do my best to stay in the zone and let the words spill and tell the story.

What to do: Find your writing speed. Write solidly for a length of time (ex. 30-minute bursts) and figure out how many words you are actually writing per hour. That will be important to decide how much time you need to set aside every day to write.

WRITING TIME

More than speed, writing time is likely the most influential factor to word count. You have to have the time to set aside to achieve an average of over 3,000 words. Let’s assume you can really focus and get out 1,000 words in half an hour. 90 minutes is going to be almost in the zone. If you write slower, you’re looking at two.

If you do happen to write slower than this, daily writing is daily practice. You will get faster. If you measure your speed daily, you’ll see it.

Dedicating your time to writing might feel like a chore at times, but the payoff makes it all worthwhile. Think of what you can do with 100,000 words in a month as a writer: 1-2 novels, OR 5 20k novellas (perfect for serials), OR 10 10k short stories, AND for you short-short story writers, a potential of 20 5k length stories.

What to do: Take your writing speed and multiply it by the number of days in the month to see what you will accomplish. If you aren’t going to write every day, take that into account. Knowing what you can accomplish if you make the time is a great motivator to getting started on those days you don’t want to. But we’re chasing 100k words, right? You need to average that 3,200 words a day. How long is that going to take you?

PLANNING

I put planning last, though you need to know your projects before you even start. I have it last because Writing Speed and Time decide what you’re going to accomplish for the month. Planning also takes into account your goals. Use loose outlines to track your scenes. Keep a list of projects that you want to release within a certain time frame and a list of potential projects for the future.

What to do: Take a look at how many words you think you will write and decide what you’re going to write for the month, what you want to accomplish. This will help you maintain your momentum after each project. Always be ready to move on to the next book.

 

Note: This is a rewrite of an older blog post, making it less about my own writing and more about technique).

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