I often hear from writers who are struggling to find time to write. Many of us lead busy lives with families, day jobs, and everything else life throws our way. How do we make writing a consistent habit? There is a way to increase word count using a simple, free tool which you can download by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2ifSgdR
It’s not an app or a new software tool that you have to learn. I created this simple word count tracker using Google sheets. You can view it and download it for yourself. This tool lets you track your daily word count progress across the year. Because I’m a visual person, I threw in graphs for you. Believe me, it’s satisfying to see your numbers go up month over month!
“Great,” You’re saying. “One more thing to keep track of. Thanks for nothing.” I hear you. These days we’re told to track everything from our writing to the steps we walk to the calories we eat. It can be exhausting. How badly do you want to increase your word count? What if you could finish that novel you’ve been working on? What if you could finish two books this year instead of one?
How powerful is this tool?
This tool, as low-tech as it is, has changed my writing life. Consider my three-month progress below. In October, I struggled to write 10K words because I was not sticking to my daily writing habit. It was only when I created this tool and tracked my count every day that I started learning how powerful it was to get words on paper every day and see my progress over time.
November was NaNoWriMo and I pushed myself to meet my word goals so I could finish a novel. My routine stabilized in December and I’ll hit 30K words for that month.
My three-month progress
What did I write in December? With my daily writing habit, I wrote a 10K word eBook, weekly blog posts, two email newsletters, rewrote the opening to my novel, and I’m 6700 words into a new non-fiction book.
Compare that to before when I struggled to create one newsletter in October. Things have certainly changed! If I stick to 1,000 words per day, I’ll achieve 365,000 words in the next year. That’s four novels (each 80K words) or 730 blogs (each 500 words).
How do you increase word count and boost your writing productivity? Do you want results like this?
The trick to increasing word count is to carve out a time chunk each day that you devote to writing. Choosing the same time of day works best. I wrote about the benefits of having a morning routine.
Are you serious about writing? Do you want to finish your novel or book? What will you give up to achieve that? All of us can find 30 minutes to one hour a day to commit to writing.
It’s hard, you say. I know. I struggled with this for a long time. It finally took me making a promise to myself to get my butt in a seat the first thing each morning. Before I allowed myself breakfast, email checking, showering, exercising—I must have written for an hour.
When you track your word count daily, the magic begins to happen.
First, the longer you write first thing each day, the easier it gets. On a recent vacation, I wrote a 1,000-word blog one day. Something like that would never have happened a few months earlier.
Second, your word count begins to add up and it becomes fun to see your progress over time. I’ve been inconsistent over the years with word count tracking. And that’s why I struggled to find my writing habit. I would track my progress for a month while I worked on a first draft. Then I would abandon tracking while I went on to edit or market the book.
That was a mistake for me. I broke the habit. Now, I write every day, even if it’s only 200 words in a journal. I don’t want to break the habit again.
Tips for increasing word count:
Along with using the tracking tool, here are several tips that have helped me become a more productive writer. I hope these help you, too.
Set a timer on your phone. This is your focused time to write.
If you feel stuck and can’t think of anything to write, use the time to journal. Or, write about a childhood memory. Trust the process of immersion. Since I started writing daily, I never run out of ideas.
In his latest book, Tools of Titan, Tim Ferriss says that 80% of the successful people he interviewed have a daily mindfulness or meditation habit. Before you write, try repeating a daily mantra to yourself ten times, “I sit down to write and words flow effortlessly.” Your brain will start to believe it. Trust me on this.
Share your writing goals with others to stay accountable. Find a buddy or mastermind group where other like-minded authors gather and push each other.
Have fun with this. Too often, we take writing so seriously and we feel down if things don’t seem to be happening fast enough. Whether you want to become a full-time author or get your first novel done, remember this is a journey of personal growth. What seems scary now, will go away once you face the challenge. A year ago, I was petrified of putting my writing out in the world and being called out for errors or bad grammar. This is a common fear with new writers and I assure you that it lessens over time. Practice goes a long way.
Writers write. My hope is that this tool will help you achieve the results you want. Whether your goal is to write 300 words a day or 3,000, I wish you the best in your writing endeavors.
What are your writing goals? Did you find this tool useful? Have suggestions to improve it? Reply in the comments below. Happy word count tracking!
I’m Courtney Kenney, author and book launch consultant. Like you, I’m on the author’s journey. My focus is to improve my craft, learn new marketing techniques, and sell more books as I grow my authorpreneur business. I want to share what I’ve learned to help you become a more productive and prosperous author.
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