Last week, I wrote about the importance of setting goals, and how setting word count goals is better than trying to write for a duration of time. Word count goals gives you a quantifiable result that cuts out any perceived productivity that occurred while staring at a blank page or out of a window. Today, I’d like to suggest a word count goal that can help you improve as a writer gain a little momentum with your work.
Aim to write at least 750 words per day.
750 words might seem like a bare minimum to some and a near impossible feat to others. If you’re in the former, that’s outstanding, but you’re not off the hook. I encourage you to consider increasing your word count goals to an attainable but challenging level reflecting your current writing speed to achieve the results we’re hoping for. The goal here isn’t to simply hit that 750 mark for its own sake. We want to force ourselves to put a little more thought into what we write and get into the habit of pushing ourselves to improve each time we sit down (or stand – I’m looking at you Hemingway) to write.
Most of us can get out at least 250 words without much mental exertion. 750 words, for one reason or another, seems to be around that magic point at which we start to think about what we’re writing a little deeper. It takes a little more effort and the results are often worth it. When we push ourselves to overcome obstacles, our writing improve, our readers will benefit, and we’ll be stronger writers – making it easier to reach our word count goal each time.
After editing, you might find that your 750 words have been trimmed to 250, but those remaining 250 words will be much better than the original 250 words you would have stopped at without any extra effort (likely resulting in a word count of zero after editing.)
Writing is easy. Writing well is hard. Only by challenging yourself and overcoming obstacles will you truly develop your skills and find your unique voice.
What’s your average daily word count and what will your goal be?
P.S. For anyone still thinking that it’s too difficult to write 750 words in day, remember back to high school or college (two big thumbs pointing right back towards me) when you were able to push out that 3-5 page paper a few hours before class. It’s possible.