I’ve had people ask me how I write so much. Generally, I write around 2,000 words a day, but on a good writing day I can get up to 6,000. I try to write every day, which would make my average writing week 14,000 words.
According to these numbers, that would mean that I write about 60,000 words in an average month. This could be true if I didn’t take any days off from writing. As all writers know, though, it can be hard to find the time.
I’m lucky to be a homeschooled writer, so I have more opportunities to write than people who have busy jobs or school days. Of course, this won’t last long. I’ll be starting online college at the end of the year, and I’ll actually be going to college in 2021. I’m hoping to get a job this year or next, so things will just continue to be added to my daily schedule.
I’ve been writing as much as I can recently because I want to release my first book before I start college. To make sure I hit my word goal each day, I’ve been having my Mom wake me up when she gets up so I can write until it’s time to do my schoolwork and chores.
I wake up at 6:15 AM, no matter how exhausted I am and how much I want to go back to sleep. I just do it, not because I’m great at making myself get things done (I’m not), but because I know that the version of Carynn who doesn’t lack sleep wants me to get it done. I do it not because I want to write, but because I know that I will want to write, and because I want to be a step closer to finishing my book.
As Louis L’Amour said, “Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Here are my three favorite things about waking up early to write:
- The darkness. When I’m in my room at my desktop with a pair of headphones on, listening to the Hobbit soundtrack on Spotify, surrounded by darkness, I can focus on my book. I can let the music take over, look only at the screen, and fully immerse myself in my own little world.
- I’m free. Who will need me to do something for them before 7 AM? Everyone’s asleep besides my Mom, who does her daily workouts at this time (I don’t know how she does it; exercising my body is a lot harder for me than my brain in the early hours…). I can just relax, knowing that nothing will be asked of me for a while, and write.
- If I write early, I don’t even remember what I wrote later in the day. You know how sometimes you want to read your writing from someone else’s point of view so you aren’t biased? So you read it like all of the information is new to you so you can fairly judge it? Well when you write just after you’ve woken up, you’re just letting the words out onto the paper. When you read it again later, you may have a vague idea of what you wrote (like the events that happen) but certain lines and descriptions will seem almost new to you. I think this makes it a lot more fun, like it’s a special treat to reread it a few hours later.
I’ve heard people say that they can’t write when they’re tired because then your writing sounds really bad. Truthfully, I’ve never had this problem. In fact, I like my early morning writing better. If it’s the opposite for you, keep in mind the wise words of Jodi Picoult: “You may not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
If you don’t feel like writing, just remember how it feels to want to write. This is very helpful to me because I realize that ‘not being in the mood’ doesn’t stop me from being a writer. And what do writers do?
I hope this was helpful. Share your own writing techniques in the comments!
Until next time,