It Only Takes 3 Days to Write 10,000 Words — Here’s How

It’s possible — and you might learn something.

Whether you’re preparing for NaNoWriMo or just want to boost your output, you’re capable of writing way more in a day than you think you are.

Here’s a challenge: try writing 10,000 words in just three days. Can you do it? Your initial answer was probably, “No way!” But I want to prove you wrong. Let’s do this together, shall we?

Day 1

Your first day, you’ll only write 2,000 words. Now, with a goal of 10,000 words in just three days, that probably doesn’t make much sense. Why would you make such little progress the first day, and leave yourself with 8,000 more words to write over the next two days?

The problem here is that you’re thinking too big! 10,000 words is a lot to write in a short amount of time. But the key to Making It Happen is to start small, break up your word count, and chip away at your progress a little at a time until, before you know it, you’re there.

There’s this thing I like to informally call the 500 word rule. If you have a hard time sitting down and getting started right away (it happens to me, too), this trick will change your writing productivity forever. Trust me.

Day 2

Today you’re going to make a big jump — from an easily attainable (maybe?) goal of 2,000 words to an end-of-day goal that might sound terrifying: 5,000 words.

Really, it’s just 500 words … 10 times.

Writing 500 words really doesn’t take that long, once you get going. You just have to do it a whole bunch of times until you reach 5,000.

There’s no law that says you have to write your entire word count all at once. You could, if it’s easier for you, write 500 words at a time, spread throughout your day, to make it a lot less … painful? Unless that would completely drive you nuts. Then don’t do that.

What’s much more likely to happen is that you’ll aim for 500, maybe write 600-700 … and then decide 700 is sort of close to 1,000, you might as well write 300 more words …

And it just keeps going, until — BOOM. You’re going over your word count goal for the day, and have to stop yourself before you go too deep and neglect all your other responsibilities (writers: do not forget to eat, sleep, shower, play with your pets, remind your friends and family you are still breathing).

Interested in writing 5,000 words in a day more often? Here’s how to do it.

Day 3

Yesterday, you wrote 5,000 words. That was a lot, and chances are you probably won’t be able to do that two days in a row. So you don’t have to. Today you will write 3,000 words, which two days ago, seemed like a lot, probably.

But remember: yesterday, you wrote 2,000 more words than that.

Today, 3,000 words will feel … easy? Almost. Easier, maybe.

And now that you know the 500-word rule, you’ll find it much easier to start writing. Once you really get going, and you enter a flow state, you might even find it nearly impossible to stop once you reach your ultimate 10,000-word goal.

You’re probably going to feel tired, and a little brain dead, after all this is over.

BUT LOOK WHAT YOU DID. LOOK WHAT YOU CAN DO.

It’s rare you’ll have to write this much of the same project in such a short amount of time. But it can be done. You can write more than you think you can. Sometimes, unnecessary deadlines are excellent training tools to help you practice how to write faster.

Try it. You (probably) won’t regret it.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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Return to Your Reason: A Writing Challenge

Don’t remember why you started writing in the first place? Not sure where you want to go next? This challenge is for you.

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Have you ever, even just for a moment, forgotten why you write?

Whether we get paid to write or we don’t, whether we write only for ourselves or to make an attempt to share our work with other people (whether they pay any attention to it or not), sometimes we get caught up in a production loop.

I wrote this article today. I wrote this blog post and sent that email and tomorrow I’ll do it all over again, because I am a writer.

But why? Why did you write that article? Why did you write that blog post?

Why are you a writer?

Every aspiring writer has a mission statement, whether they know it or not. Every writer wants to accomplish something.

And if you’ve forgotten what that something – your something – is, it’s time for a change.

No. A challenge.

You need a place, and an excuse, to look deep into your past writing accomplishments, so you can find what you’ve forgotten: the reason you started writing, and the reason you still are.

You need to return to that reason, so you can keep moving forward, and enjoy writing, no matter how much or how little time you have to do it.

You need our very first week-long writing challenge. No, seriously. You really do.

Return to Your Reason is a series of small daily challenges that will help you restore your focus on your life as a writer.

Stepping away from traditional one-sided blog posts, this Facebook-exclusive challenge is part writing, part socializing, part growth.

By participating, you will:

  • Make new connections with writers who share your passion for words and ideas
  • Push yourself to achieve small, but worthwhile, writing goals
  • Share small pieces of your work in a safe, constructive environment
  • Exchange literary wisdom with fellow writers
  • Encourage other writers to write to their full potential and receive that same encouragement in return

Your time is limited. You’re busy. But these fun, interactive challenges will help you realign your writing goals, focus on the most positive elements of your previous writing experience, connect with others who have ambitions similar to, if not identical to, yours.

But most importantly, it will help you find your way back to the reason you started writing in the first place, and give you the confidence and reassurance you need to continue reaching toward your aspirations.

Visit our Facebook page for new challenges every day this week, and the chance to interact with fellow writers who are also joining the fun.

Image courtesy of  Caleb Roenigk/flickr.com.

Project HEAL to Receive Royalties from February’s Novella Concept Story

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, all royalties earned through sales of February’s novella will go to Project HEAL.

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I know you haven’t heard much about any of my (many) projects lately, and I apologize for that. (Newsletter subscribers, however, are probably sick of hearing about them by now …)

I am always 120 percent dedicated to helping you live a more awesome writing life. Sometimes that means I have to keep most of my more personal updates to myself so I don’t spoil any surprises (and so I have enough energy to keep dishing out tips and all that motivational stuff everyone loves so much).

In addition to book writing and freelancing and people-managing (and school, and petting my cat, all equally important things), I have been working on my second novella of the year. And hopefully by the time this goes up, I will be done with the first draft (fingers crossed).

Which means I can officially announce the title, release date AND donations recipient for February’s Novella Concept story. EXCITING!!

For those of you who are just joining us, here’s a rundown of what’s going on. After Project for Awesome 2015, I was inspired to start my own ‘movement’ of sorts, a way that I (and anyone else who wanted to join me) could raise money for different causes all year round by writing stories.

The Novella Concept is an experiment. Each month in 2016 I’ll be writing and self-publishing a novella, and the royalties earned for each of those novellas will go to different charities to support the causes addressed in that story. Pretty cool, huh?

Last month we published our first novella, and will be donating every cent we make from that novella to This Star Won’t Go Out. So if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, you still can!

February’s novella, Skin and Tears, will be available online starting February 23. In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, all royalties earned through those sales will go to Project HEAL, a nonprofit that provides funds and hope for those seeking recovery from eating disorders.

I am really excited to share this story with you, but more importantly, I hope you will be able to find some way to support The Novella Concept and all of the charities we will be supporting for as long as people continue to purchase these stories.

How you can get involved

Set some money aside for future novellas. They cost less than $10 because I want everyone to be able to afford to contribute, but if you want to buy more than one copy for your friends and family, you are more than welcome to do that. The more copies you buy, the more money we can give to those who really need the support.

Join our Facebook group for updates and more discussion about The Novella Concept and the causes we’re supporting through this effort.

TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW about The Novella Concept. Getting the word out is probably the best thing you can do to help us out right now. The more people that know about this opportunity, whether they want to write too or just want to support these causes, the more of a difference we can make together.

Thank you so much to those who have already donated and supported this idea. My hope is that we will be able to grow a little more each month and really show how powerful words can be.

If you have any questions about The Novella Concept, I will be more than happy to answer them.

Happy writing!

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Project HEAL.

Introducing The Novella Concept, Our 2016 Writing Challenge

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So I’ve been doing some thinking lately. Dangerous, I know.

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. Obviously. About how, as much as we all would love to get paid to write (and many of us do), that’s not really why we do it. We simply want to be able to do what we love while making a decent living doing it.

But here’s the thing. I think we can do better than that.

I think there’s a way we can all accomplish our overall goal – to write as much and as often as possible – while contributing to something much bigger. A cause, or multiple, that satisfies much more than our desire to put our ideas into words.

Friends. Fellow writers. I think we can take it a step further, and turn our words into actions. To promote change, just by sitting down and writing.

That’s why I’m taking a risk this year. Not for myself, but for hundreds of thousands of people I’ve never met. You can join me, if you want. Here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to write 12 novellas this year. You read that right: 12. One novella per month. Each covering a different topic. Each addressing an issue that needs attention, the kind of attention only storytelling can  gift.

I’m going to take those finished novellas and self-publish them on Amazon throughout the year. And I’m going to donate the money, every cent, to 12 different charities, each representing one of the causes I address in each of my novellas.

That might seem like a lot of work to do if I’m just going to give the money away.

I don’t see it that way.

I see it as a chance for me to give something to someone in need when I have nothing to give other than my ideas and my words.

I’m telling you this so I don’t brush this idea off to the side like we’ve all done so many times before. It’s been rolling around in my head ever since Project for Awesome, in that way good ideas do. I waited for it to go away and it hasn’t. So that’s how I know this is meant to be. And I hope, if you are willing, if you have the time and words to spare, you will join me, and write at least one novella this year to contribute to the cause.

There will come more info as the month goes on about how we can make this more of a community effort. I will probably start a Facebook group as a place where I, or a few of us, can share our finished work with one another and help promote this totally awesome (and terrifying) idea I’ve come up with.

For now, check out this page with more general info about The Novella Concept.

I’m not asking you to make a commitment to writing one novella or 12 or anything in-between. You have your own goals to achieve in 2016. I am asking for your support. There will be periodic updates, because to be honest, I’m a bit terrified this will not actually happen. I can write a lot in a short amount of time, but I’ve never done anything like this before.

Then again, it’s not about me, is it? It’s about everyone else. I’m not just donating to charity. I’m using my words to make a difference, which is all I’ve ever wanted to do anyway.

I don’t know. I think it’s a great idea.

I’ll keep you updated.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.