It's the holy grail of every author. To be able to write that elusive 10,000 words in a day. But it's hard. Like really hard, and most days, it doesn't happen.
There's a formula that if you get it right, will allow you to accomplish that huge goal. I've found that there are seven basic steps, and they all have to align perfectly in order to achieve the desired result.
Time. No matter how fast you type, writing ten thousand words will take a long time. So if you decide to do it on a day when you have a lot of other things to do, guess what? You're literally setting yourself up for failure. Even if you are a panster like myself, a ten thousand word day really does need to be scheduled in order to have a chance of attaining it. I write an average of 1,000 words per hour, so I require a minimum of ten hours, but more like twelve if I calculate in time for meals and other breaks.
Focus. Distractions are your enemy. Social media, kids, pets, partners, family, even the neighbor's barking dog are all things that can break your focus. A lack or interruption in focus, is a waste of precious time, that you could be writing more words. Invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones or use a great sound machine to help you stay focused and in the zone.
Flow. When you are in flow, your fingers type seamlessly and without stopping to think or overanalyze anything. This means that you need to know your story and your characters inside and out. They must be a part of you and you a part of them, otherwise, flow will not be achieved, and anytime you stop typing, is time you're not writing to get to that elusive goal of 10,000 words.
Plot. One of the key elements of staying in flow is knowing your plot and being confident in it. If your plot is not fleshed out, or if you are a panster who has not developed confidence in your decision-making abilities regarding your story world, then this will block you from writing your fastest. Speed is essentially key when trying to write 10,000 words in a day.
Passion. If you don't absolutely love your story, to the point that you'd rather be living inside it than in your real life, than you are missing the passion you need in order to become so entranced in it that you simply don't want to tear yourself away from it. When we are passionate about our story, that is when we are able to reach ultimate flow, and that is when authors often say that the story is writing itself. This is when it will be easiest to achieve that 10,000 word day.
Vision. It has been said that when readers engage with a great book, the words often create moving pictures in their minds, similar to a movie. This is what must happen in your mind as you write your story. See your world, feel our characters, live through their eyes and be in their bodies as if it is your own. In a way, writing is a lot like method acting. If you can imagine yourself as your characters, in their world, then your fingers simply transcribe what you are feeling and seeing, instead of what your brain is desperately trying to conjure.
Breaks. While time is definitely of the essence on a 10,000 word day, it is imperative to take much needed breaks. Food, sleep, restrooms, short walks, and even a few moments to interact with others in your home are not only recommended but required in order for your mind to regroup and figure out the best way to proceed after finishing a long chapter or writing out a drawn out argument or battle. Do not underestimate the power of rest, and the refreshing feeling of coming back to your manuscript after a relaxing ten to fifteen minute break.
All in all, ten thousand word days are possible, though not every day, and most likely not even on a weekly basis. It takes a lot of physical, mental and emotional stamina to achieve such a huge word count in a twenty four hour period. However, it is not impossible. I have done it myself, only because I was able to implement every single one of the tips above.
Have you ever written 10,000 words in a day? Maybe you've written more? I'd love to hear how you did it and if you have any additional tips.
Thanks for reading, and if you'd like more writing tips and updates on my writing process, follow me on Instagram and don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to get exclusive updates on book releases, early chapter releases, and more.