At 70,000 Words, I’ve Learned a Few Things About Writing Daily


It’s very rare that I self-implement a goal to write every day when it’s not November or July. But that’s what I’ve been doing over the past month or so: writing daily, working on a novel I started brainstorming three years ago.

I just passed 70,000 words today, and yes, I’m exhausted. It has not been an easy journey. Sometimes I just want to take a day off.

But I don’t. Because even though there are days I hate what I’m writing and I just want to do something else instead, there are also days I’m reminded why I write as often, and as much, as I do.

I’ve learned a few things since I started writing daily. I wanted, in my current state of mental exhaustion, to share them with you.

 1. The 1K you wrote today might be harder, or easier, than the 1K you write tomorrow.

There are days you’ll crank out a thousand words, or whatever word or page count goal you’ve set for yourself that day, before you’re ready to stop writing. Those are the days you have to train yourself to hold back, to move onto another priority and save the next chapter for tomorrow.

Then there are some days working toward your goal is almost painful. You might struggle to punch out every single letter of every single word you write. But getting through those days is ten thousand times more satisfying than the easy days. If writing were easy all the time, you might not find as much fulfillment in it as you do right now.

 2. Some days, meeting your goal will take you 30 minutes; other days, it will take you three hours.

Making time for writing can actually be considered a skill we can all work on refining as we embark on our respective writing journeys. It’s hard. Some days, though, you’ll sit down to write 500 words and do it without looking at your clock once. These days, it’s easy to check writing off your to-do list and (hopefully) move on to the next task.

This won’t always happen, though. There will be days you write 50 words, check Facebook, watch five YouTube videos, write 100 more words, check your email, feed your cat, maybe even forget about going back to writing. It doesn’t all have to happen at once, but sometimes when it doesn’t, the struggle is real and it’s starting to bring you down. Expect to have these days. Plan for them. If you don’t end up meeting your goal for that day, it’s okay. Try again tomorrow.

 3. There will be days writing does not feel like work. Embrace them.

When you’re first starting out as a writer, you’re not getting paid to do what you enjoy. Even years of experience don’t always pay off the way you secretly hope they will. You’ll have days where this reality really starts weighing heavily on you. Why am I not good enough? You’ll ask yourself. Don’t I have something important to say?

You’ll also have days, however, where being able to sit down and write, even if only for a few minutes in the evenings, is a dream come true. So it’s just a hobby right now. That’s okay. Allow yourself to enjoy those moments where it’s just you and your art, and the joy and satisfaction that comes with it. It’s okay to have fun. It’s okay to let yourself escape into a world you created and explore.

I hope these reminders can encourage you to keep working toward your goals. Even if your only goal is to write a haiku, my hope for you today is that you make some progress. Writing is not always easy or fun or rewarding. But sometimes it is. And it’s those moments that make it worth it.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and health. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi, Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink. Follow Meg on Twitter. 

Tales of a Highly Caffeinated JulNoWriMo Enthusiast – Day 11

Have you ever thought about how much education kills trees? Take this afternoon, for example. I probably printed out over fifty pages of PowerPoints to bring to class with me so I can take notes during lecture without falling asleep (not because it’s boring, but because it’s been a long week and no amount of coffee could possibly fix this exhaustion).

Is it possible to have a “green” education? Yes. It’s called laptops and iPads.

Do I have an iPad? Not yet (but I will in a little over a month, thanks to the music department). And my Macbook Pro is a 17-inch, so lugging it all the way to class and back just isn’t ideal. I recycle bags full of paper left over from each semester I endure. It’s a sad fact, really.

3d recycle

The good thing about writing is, it’s not practical to do it on paper (for me, anyway). This mostly goes for full-length novels, of course – there’s nothing wrong with scribbling a poem on the back of a napkin, necessarily. I haven’t written out my stories since high school, and even then it was a pain to write it all out and then type it all up later (and I wonder why my GPA was so humiliatingly low).

If you’re keeping track of word count, Word and other programs are basically a necessity. Did they care about word count before computers? I don’t know. But I’m a much faster typer than I am hand-writer. And even though my micro professor just complimented me on my handwriting the other day (apocalypse is imminent), it’s not readable. It’s just not.

Writing is green – environmentally. I suppose you could make your font green, if you really wanted to – but why would you want to?

If there’s any literary significance, you win a prize.

Love&hugs, Meg<3