So if you follow me on Twitter or have liked my Facebook page, you might have seen this tweet enter the world of the internet a couple of days ago:
Wow. Friday's post is going to be my 200th blog post. O.o
— Avalon Jaedra (@Ava_Jae) August 1, 2012
I did the math, and figuring that every blog post averages somewhere around 500 words, that means that after today, I’ll have written somewhere around 100,000 words in blog posts, and it really got me thinking. Because I almost didn't start this blog. I almost talked myself out of publishing that first post and announcing it to my (then) 100 Twitter followers.
I almost missed out on an opportunity to add 100,000 words to my writing experience in a relatively simple way.
It really got me thinking, because writing 500 words three times a week is really not that difficult—sure, choosing a topic isn’t always butterflies and rainbows, but the actual writing part of putting 500 words to paper? Not so hard.
It really got me thinking, because 100,000 words is longer than some books—and it’s definitely longer than most of my WIPs.
It really got me thinking, because I’ve often heard people say things to the effect of, I’d love to write a book, but I don’t have the time and truth be told? Time isn’t really an issue when it comes to writing a book.
Let’s just say that you’re working full time (like many writers) or going to school full time (like many writers) or have children (like many writers) or all of the above and you only have a couple hours of free time every day. That’s fair. A lot of people are busy and aren’t really swimming in an ocean of time to spare.
But there’s this misconception that writers must be drowning in extra magical free time because it takes hundreds of hours to write a novel, so if you’ve written a novel, you must have hundreds of hours to just throw around. But truth be told, most times writers don’t have that much more time than anyone else, and the dirty little secret is that you don’t need it.
|Photo credit: Wiertz Sébastien on Flickr|
Because all you need is enough time to write a few hundred words a day, and if you keep at it, before you know it you’ll have a novel sitting on your hard drive.
Let’s look at the math:
If you write 500 words a day five days a week, that’s 2,500 words a week or 10,000 words a month. At that rate, it’ll take you anywhere from six to ten months to finish the first draft of a novel, depending on how long your WIP is. If you write six days a week, you can finish in five to eight and a half months. That means if you write 500 words a day and take a one or two day break, you can get that novel written in less than a year.
Let’s up the ante. If you write 750 words a day five days a week, that’s 3,750 words a week or 15,000 words a month. At that rate, it’ll take you roughly four to seven months to finish first drafting. At six days a week, you’ll be finished in three and a half to five and a half months. Not bad at all.
Writing 200 blog posts has really reminded me about the power of working in small doses. You don’t need to put in ten hours a day every day to accomplish something great. All you need is enough discipline to chip away at that novel or whatever it is you’re working on a little every day, and before you know it you’ll be looking back in awe of what you managed to accomplish with thirty minutes a day.
And let me tell you—it feels pretty good.
How do you manage your time? Do you have a specific daily writing goal or some strategy to help you progress with your WIPs? Share your experience—I’d love to hear about it.