This is kind of like the “counter-article” to the “how to take a break” article. In that one, we discussed when breaks should be taken and for how long, and to what extent. In this one, we’re going on the opposite track: we’re going to discuss what will happen if you commit a relatively small amount of time and write like a madman.
If you’re like me, you probably have a set amount of words that you must reach each day. My personal goal is no less than 400 but I usually shoot for the 500-word mark. Sometimes it’s a little over that, but whatever. Now, having a set amount of words to write a day can be beneficial, but to some, it’s a detriment.
Some people resent guidelines and to-do lists. To some people, the question “have I written today” is a simple yes or no, depending on whether they spent fifteen minutes or nine hours. To them, it’s one and the same. I don’t blame that sect of people: however, as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and months turn into years, “have I written my three words for the day?” eventually replaces “have I written today?”
You’d be surprised about the effect of hours of will-sapping writing can to do someone. As much as you may enjoy writing (I know I do) it’s still work. Many times, it’s hard work. Maybe you want to put down the pen or keyboard and go buy a beer at the local bar. Maybe you want to fire up a video game, or watch a movie.
This is understandable. Everyone needs a break, every once in a while; this is the case even if you write only for thirty minutes a day. However, with any job, you have to understand the following fact: more gets done in a few long sessions than in a bunch of small sessions.
I’m not one to underestimate the value of small habits: a mere 100 words a day is 36,500 words a year. In two years of almost no work you’d have a large novel in your hands. If you just increased the count of words written to 200, you’d have a 73,000 novel within the year. That’s three quarters of a hundred thousand words. Small habits are underestimated, and often criminally.
Imagine that you had more time. I’m sure you have free time on your hands, and that is precisely why you’re reading this article (why thank you, you’re too kind). Imagine that you had even more spare time on your hands. Imagine that all your work, school, hobbies, sleep, entertainment, and everything could fit into the space of one hour. What would you do with all that time?
But that’s not the point. The point is this: if you had 23 hours a day to spend on something, the thing will obviously (given time) become very high-quality. In the end, the greatest writers are the ones that spend a lot of time writing. If you wanna be a great writer, you have to write a lot.
But you know this. So why not have a taste of that greatness?
I’ll explain. What if you took a day off from work, took a summer day while school’s out, stayed away from the theater for one day, and then took that day and wrote your book like your very life depended on it?
The application is simple. You just wake up, grab breakfast, and then write for nine hours on end. There’s nothing more to it. think of the work you could get done. Think of being a professional writer for nine hours. Forget the fact that you’re a college student, working road construction, or a casual gamer. For nine hours, be a writer…and nothing more.
You’re going to get a lot done. You’re probably (probably) going to have a lot of fun. You might feel a renewed urge to write. So mark down a day on your calendar, and don’t dread it. Make your Write-A-Thon (too bad I coined that term near the end of the article) worth every second of that day.
Good luck, and happy writing!
Be sure to check out my latest novel, Book 1 in the Praetors of Lost Magic Series, and our Publications page. Until then, writers!
2 thoughts on “Committing a Day to Writing”
So good! Thanks for the idea!
Thanks for the idea! it’s great