Last night, I passed the 200,000 word-mark for this year. I began tracking my writing when I began attempting to write every day, back on February 27. Since February 27, I have now written 200,266 words of fiction (with a tiny fraction of that–about 5,500 words or so–being nonfiction). This does not include my blogging.
It seems rather remarkable, considering I generally don’t write that much in any given day. But I think that helps illustrate the power of writing every day. As of today, I have written 219 out of the last 221 days. On average I’ve written just over 900 words/day. Given that I can write about 1,500 words in an hour, 900 words represents about 36 minutes of writing every day.
I cannot stress the significance of this enough. If you can find roughly 30 minutes a day to write, and you write every day, you can produce a lot of words.
Let me put his into some kind of perspective. 200,000 words of fiction is more than I have produced in total in the last ten years. (I probably averages something less than 20,000 words a year for each of the last ten years.) And given that the year still has several months to go, it is likely that I will come close to hitting 300,000 words before the year is out.
I’ve managed to do all of this writing despite having a full time day job, and two little kids. Most of the time I write after getting the kids into their PJs and reading them books, but before they go to bed. During this period of 20-40 minutes, they are watching cartoons and I am sitting in the room with them, squeezing in my writing. This discovery–that I could write anywhere–coupled with the discovery that I don’t need to block out large chunks of time to write, has been a revelation to me. The real trick is planning ahead, putting my butt in the chair, and writing every single day.