'm actually a few days in to my thousand word a day experiment, and it has now occurred to me that the first day's writing probably should have been about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. Better late than never.
I listened to good interview with Chris Guillebeau, and he said that he sets his daily writing minimum at a thousand words. Stephen King prescribes the same amount to start, and then recommends graduating to two thousand words eventually. Up until now I haven't had a daily writing minimum-I just write whenever inspiration strikes me, or if it hasn't stricken, Sunday or Wednesday nights.
I consider myself to be serious about blogging, but my writing output doesn't really support that consideration. How serious can I be about something that I don't even do every day?
So now, a thousand words every day. It can be a blog post or writing that contributes to another project like a book, ebook, guest post, or the next blockbuster screenplay. Emails don't count, of course.
My average blog post is around seven hundred words, which means that at my new clip, before bumping up to two thousand words a day, I'll be writing about ten blog posts per week. I intend to pick the best of the bunch each Monday and Thursday, which I hope will raise the average quality of my posts. In addition, this lets me tackle more difficult subjects or longer stories that may or may not come together. If I'm writing the night before a post is "due", I tend to play it a bit safer.
Besides Chris G and Stephen King, I was inspired to do this after reading the talent books. In fact, those books were also the inspirado for doubling my posting to twice a week rather than once a week. Between the two books, I've been convinced that the more you do something the better you'll become at it. So besides having a larger output of work, which is a good thing, I'm hoping that I'll learn something in the process.
Talent is Overrated makes a big point that while repetition is important, it's not enough. You have to work outside your comfort zone. This is why, for example, experienced doctors aren't any better than rookie doctors. They aren't engaging in "deliberate practice", generally; they're just operating within their comfort zone.
So along those lines, I'll come up with little missions for myself, like trying to write a post with a lot of humor in it (I joke around constantly, maybe excessively, in real life, but all of my posts are serious for some reason), or trying to rewrite from memory someone else's post that I liked.
I think of writing as this laborious, time consuming process, but after timing the first couple thousand words, I realize that I write about four thousand words per hour. That means that it only takes me around thirty minutes per day to do my mandatory writing. What's embarrassing is that I consider blogging to be my profession, or at least an integral part of it, yet I clearly wasn't writing a full thousand words per day on average. Even when I get up to four thousand words per day-- a two hour workday-- while not as catchy as a four hour workweek, is pretty manageable.
You might want to integrate this habit in your own way. I was telling an artist friend about it, and she told me that she does marker drawings first thing every morning. Another friend told me that her actor friend free-writes every morning, because he wants to some day write plays. The daily habit is a powerful one and doesn't have to take a ton of time.
I know I mentioned that I was going to have a travel post today, but I need to do a tiny bit more legwork before posting it. Probably Monday.
Have I mentioned that I'm going to Japan in November? I got a good ticket that has a 24 hour stopover in Beijing on both ends, so I'll also get to check Beijing out for the first time.
Question: any interest in paying a small fee ($5-10) per month to get way more blog posts emailed to you? With this 1000 words per day thing I'm writing way more than I can publish here, and paying customers would be good motivation to keep it up.
This is kind of cosmic I just put up a blog post yesterday about living outside of the box and today I was looking for some kind of online "1000 words a day" support group. ... cheers
Hi Tynan, have you ever heard of the 'incubation period'? It is suggested that our best ideas come up in a period of relaxation after a period of hard work. So you may want to schedule times when you write nothing at all, like a week every once in a while.
I've been thinking that I need to undertake a similar project for myself. Either create a painting a day, or a daily drawing (since I'm note really aspiring to be an author).
I've tried this and the results were fantastic- your writing skill increases tremendously.
But here's a thing- It's not a good idea to post everything you write, because most of it won't be your best works. Post only the best of your writing- people are morewilling to read some high- quality stuff, instead of tons of mediocre articles.
I've written one book, but I've written about a thousand pages before that, and still writing a lot of stuff that will never get published or posted.
When will you be in Beijing? I'll be in China from the 10th till the 24th of November with various days in Beijing.
If you want to write that much, but not use it for blog posts, I'd recommend putting the time towards a larger project (like an ebook). I don't think many people will end up wanting to pay for your posts that you evaluate as less valuable (by not posting them), and ending up with something tangible like a book has various long term benefits.
no, wouldn pay
r u silly, so youll offer crap on this site and then your good stuff you will charge 5 bucks for.
Sounds like your material is cheap and not worth more than 5 dollars and that your website will be crap.
Bad idea, but its good you asked first. Gonna go with Peter. You should work on your writing and then write a book or take your old posts and add more detail and descriptions and such to make something ublisher worthy, By then maybe you will also have some recognition from a Publisher before you present your work to them as well.
Good luck, dont just go for the money. If this is what you love, your "passion" then dont shoot for the money just now.
I said Seth Godin but I meant Malcolm Gladwell. Maybe you should get into print magazines.
Personally, my unqualified self thinks sponsorship or affiliate links is the way to go. Steve Pavlina makes like millions off of special deals/affiliate links.
These days, everyone just considers information free. As Godin would say, what's rare is personal interaction.
This post might also be interesting to you too.
Day9 is a Starcraft commentator who does daily hour long videos with 6k+ live viewers. But apart from donations he doesn't make any money. This guy suggested a ton of ways with sponsorship being the main.
If you've been reading for a while, you may have noticed that I almost never swear. I tend to think that there's a more accurate way than swearing to express anything, but today I couldn't think of a more fitting word.
What is bullshit? Well, it's watching TV. It's browsing the internet mindlessly. It's partying. It's doing busy work. It's hanging out with people not so much because you like them, but because you don't want to be alone. It's eating for the sake of filling time.
Now, none of these things are pure evil. That's what makes this tricky. You can watch TV and learn something interesting, or enjoy the relaxation it brings. You can stumble upon cool sites that you wouldn't have found if it weren't for mindless browsing. You can meet new people while partying. Busy work leads to a paycheck sometimes. Occasionally those random low-key hangouts whose primary purpose is to avoid loneliness elevate into great conversations. And hey, you've got to eat sometime-- why not now?
These silver linings are blessings and curses. They embed some merit into otherwise bullshit activities, but at the same time that merit gets over-inflated and allows us to engage in these sorts of things without the mental repercussions that may come from something like, say, smoking crack. Even now, I imagine that your brain is objecting by saying, "Well, I met ____ when I was partying, so he's wrong about that one. And the other day on Reddit I learned about ______, so that sort of browsing is fine."
"I feel stronger." Years later, the line still randomly comes to me, unbeckoned.
It was from one of the most odd and intriguing video games ever made -- Planescape: Torment. You woke up in the morgue as a scarred and battered man who didn't know his name. When you got killed, you would… wake up back in the morgue. You were immortal. You couldn't die. Your goal was to figure out how this happened, who you are, and what you should do about it.
It was beautiful, well-written, and immersive. But the point that still stands out to me is that line.
"I feel stronger."
It happened when you leveled up. The levels up weren't something you chose; they just happened when you accumulated enough experience. It's an interesting metaphor -- you wake completely ignorant, but as you accumulate experiences, you feel stronger. Not "I am stronger." I feel stronger.