One of the toughest challenges of sticking to your word count goals is to maintain momentum day after day. Below are some tips to help keep your writing sprints in high gear.
Know where you’re headed.
It’s difficult to arrive at your destination when you have no idea where you’re going. Having a detailed outline, scene-by-scene notes, or at least a general plot plan will get you farther faster. Sketch out a vague plan between writing sessions and you’ll have more to work on when it’s time to actually write.
Make it a priority.
Your day is likely broken into tasks and as such can get away from you before you’ve gotten them all done. If you want to keep your word counts high, make writing one of the first things you do. Even if it’s a short sprint, it’s progress, and if your schedule gets derailed, you’ll still have at least that much done.
Leave yourself a jumping off point.
A great way to leap right into writing, is to quit your previous session with a leading sentence. Don’t end one chapter with no idea where to begin the next (and then stare at your screen blankly when you sit back down), but leave a sentence or note that leads your plot into the next scene.
Everyone has different methods to be more productive, but finding your best motivation starts with you. Figure out if you need the stress of a deadline, a reward system, or accountability. Work with what works for you. Maybe writing with a friend will inspire you, maybe the ping of a reminder app on your phone, maybe stickers on your planner or a spreadsheet that counts your overall progress.
Set realistic goals.
Know who you are and what you’re capable of. Challenging yourself is great, but don’t add unnecessary stress by day after day expecting to output 10,000 words. Do what works for you and let yourself be proud of the progress you’re making over time.
Recognize productivity traps.
If you’re struggling with word counts because your day is filled with time sucks, find and destroy those. If you’re spending more time than you want on social media, schedule a block or set a timer and only allow yourself there during that allotted time. If you’re spending too much time responding to messages that aren’t important, allow yourself to answer them after you’ve written.
Make it your happy time.
Don’t approach your desk like it’s a chore and challenge you dread. Remember that you love writing. Make yourself comfortable. Get a hot tea, plug in your headphones, sit beneath natural light. Do the things that make it enjoyable and keep in mind that writing can be fun (if you let it). You’ve set this goal because you want to finish. Because you want to reach the end. Because writing and publishing are something that satisfies you.
What works for you? Let us know your productivity tips in the comments and check out our post on Five Quick Tips to Keep Your Word Count High.