For the current year, my goal is to achieve 2,000 words per day. It has gone a bit slow this year thus far, but I am still working hard at it. Right now, my best day this month was around 1,000 words. So, half of what I wanted to do, but it has been better than nothing. However, there are a few things that I am doing and have done that I will continue to implement throughout my year to see what works. At the end of the year, I will follow up on this and list what worked the best.
These are probably the best methods that I have used and know my average from them because I do them so well. For a 15-20-minute sprint, I can push around 300-500 words depending on how into the scene I am. Now, these are so much better to do with a group of friends and fellow writers, but you can do these by yourself as well.
If I do ones by myself, I have to be mindful of myself and keep track of the time. It’s not always as engaging for me to have one by myself as I can’t compare myself and attempt to beat someone else, but it can work.
Here are a few ways you can do word sprints by yourself to reach your writing goal
For those who love video games and having a narrative that drives you forward to write, the website 4TheWords is amazing. Instead of having specific times like 15 minutes, you get a bit more of a buffer, and in that time, you have to write a certain amount of words that can range from under 100 words to 2400 words. Each of these is accompanied by a monster that you are defeating.
There are also a few quests and a full storyline you can follow that gives you challenges to defeat a certain amount of creatures. During certain times of the year, 4TheWords also contains events with other quests in them
Above all, my favorite thing is I have an avatar in the game which is customized the further you get into the storyline and events.
If you join 4TheWords with my code, you get extra crystals to use toward your subscription
This is an iPhone/iPad app that I use as well. When I got it, I was thankful it was a one-time charge, but if you actively use it, it is so worth the monthly subscription. I use it to track my daily writing and goals. So, if I am working on a project and need to write every day, then I know I need to write a specific amount of words that day because of that app. It even celebrates when you hit your daily goal. Right now, I have about four projects on there running and have about 6 others that I have completed through it.
The only piece that I don’t use in the app is the timer which I feel I should start using more often. In the app, it can time you either counting down or counting up and when you stop the timer, you input how many words you’ve written or what your total word count is now, and it will put this all into the project for you and then also include how long it took you to write the book.
My favorite thing about the app is that it even tells me how many total words I have written and implemented into the app. Seeing that since I have owned the app I wrote 449,000 was amazing and awe inspiring to me because it means I am almost halfway to writing a total of 1,000,000 words which is where so many people state you are perfecting your craft.
If you are a person who likes to do writing sprints by yourself and wants something with little bells and whistles, think of using a focus based app. Focus To-Do is on iPhone and Windows (I’m unsure of other platforms) and has a big red timer for about 15 minutes on 5 minutes off. You can set these to go for as long as you want.
If you want something a bit more based on helping the ecosystem, Forest – stay focused is a great app to use. There is also a chrome extension. Both promote you not to touch your phone or the internet so you are forced to work on something. Through doing this, you can also have a tree grown because of your focus somewhere in the world.
Other Methods I will implement
This has been something I have worked hard to conquer. It is difficult when I have a bunch of people around me. However, when I am home alone, I turn on Dragon Dictation and start cranking out as many words as I can. I ignore as many grammatical mistakes as I can and keep going. Sometimes it doesn’t work out when a word isn’t recognized, but it also forces me to say a sentence that flows easily.
I do not recommend getting their microphone. Instead, get something like a Yeti microphone that is high quality that will help the program catch your words easily, and then if you ever get on a podcast or other live event, you have something that will make you sound clear.
Leaving The House
Alright, I cannot do this right now, but I hope we all will eventually be able to do this again. I used to leave the house often just to get some words written. This was amazing when I was alone with my son. We could run off to McDonald’s or a local indoor playground area like Chuck E. Cheese and he would run around while I pumped out some words because he wouldn’t bother me nearly as much.
So what are your plans to get your own writing goals out?