Setting a daily word count goal and actually reaching it is sometimes the easiest thing in the world. But sometimes it’s like pulling teeth. Here are three ideas to help you write more words to reach and maybe even exceed your goal:
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1. Increase Word Count by Listening to Music
Did you know stores play fast or slow music depending on how fast or slow they want customers to shop? (No, really! Read point #4 here.)
If music can affect shopping speed, it’s likely it can affect writing speed. I have found this to be true for me. I write my very fastest when playing high-speed Irish jigs and reels in my earbuds! Your music tastes and mileage may vary, but I recommend listening to something without words.
Unless you’re a genius.
If you can have song lyrics bouncing around in your head and still construct sentences on a page—good for you! I certainly can’t!
2. Increase Word Count by Having a Word War
Don’t worry; word wars are more friendly than they sound. Also known as “sprints,” they add a little competitive motivation to reach your goal. All you have to do is grab a writing buddy—in person or via text message or online chat—and set a timer.
15 minutes, 1 hour… it’s up to you!
Then each of you tries to write as many words as possible before the timer finishes. At the end, you compare notes on the number of words written to see who won. It’s super fun and a great way to turn off your inner editor and see just how fast you can write.
3. Increase Word Count by Writing Distraction-Free
Let’s face it: distractions are the nemesis of word count. It’s so easy to give in to the Facebook or Pinterest black holes especially when we’re already feeling a little uninspired. Luckily, there are some great solutions to cut the distractions and force ourselves to get to work.
Programs such as FocusWriter and Ommwriter (I’ve been loving this one! Dana I for: Mac, Windows. New version: Dana II)* allow you to make your writing completely fill your computer screen so there’s nothing distracting in sight.
One of my favorite ways to cut distraction is to use a very cool piece of older tech. It’s a tough, portable word-processor called the Alphasmart Neo2. It runs forever on 3 AA batteries and from what I hear (I haven’t tested this), it holds up really well to being jostled and bumped while on the go.
When you’re ready to transfer your writing to your computer, simply hook it up with a USB cable, open your document on the computer, and press a single button on the Neo. It will type everything you’ve written into the computer document as if it’s an external keyboard.
Super low-tech but effective!
If you write by hand or on the Neo but are distracted by notifications popping up on your phone, try silencing it (all the way if having it on vibrate is still too distracting) or putting it into Airplane Mode.
Those are my top 3 tips for increasing word count! I hope they’re helpful!
What are your favorite ways to increase word count?
*Download programs from the internet at your own risk.
Perry is a 20-something author with a lot on her plate. She’s wife to Tyler; mom to four little boys, two dogs, one cat, and 12 chickens; and author of five little books. She’s the admin of this site, as well as a freelance book designer and the creator of the WriteMind Planner for authors. She lives in the sunny southwest.
Offers: cover design and the WriteMind Planner at perryelisabethdesign.com