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How to Consistently Write 1000 Words a Day

One of the secrets of the most successful bloggers is that they are prolific. Writing 1000 words a day is like brushing their teeth. It’s just part of a morning routine. While it may sound like a lot, once you get into the habit it’s really not that difficult. Every writer has a different way of producing their 1000 words. These are the ways that have worked really well for me.  

1. Distraction Free Writing  Tools 

At the core of my daily writing routine is a distraction free writing tool called MacJournal. When most people write, they get caught up in editing, formatting and all sorts of other things that have nothing to do with the content. This slows everything down. Distraction free writing tools have minimal functionality allowing you to focus on just the writing.  MacJournal provides you with something that emulates a simple terminal (a black screen and green text). This post was written using it.

2. Use Activation Energy

In his book The Happiness Advantage Sean Achor talks about a concept known as activation energy. The basic premise is that the less effort it takes to do something the more likely you are to do it. For example, if you put your workout clothes right by your bed before you go to sleep, you’re more likely to work out in the morning.  In the case of cultivating your 1000 word a day habit, setup your journaling software the night before you go to sleep so the first thing you see in the morning when you sit down at the computer is a black screen with green text.  As a result the first thing you’ll do is write.

3. Free Write 

Free writing is something that people have talked about forever but not nearly enough people do it. The concept of free writing is to write whatever comes to your mind.  You’ll often find that it’s complete gibberish. But sometimes this is how the best ideas emerge. Out of your 1000 words, 200 could be the seed for a much bigger idea.   I came up with the idea for this post based on the last 100 of a free writing session.

4. Write Blind 

We have a tendency to judge our words when we can see them. While you’ll make plenty of typos using this method, it doesn’t matter. You can always go back and fix those. When you write blind, by turning off the screen, you let your words just flow. You don’t have time to react to what you’re seeing on the screen and the natural tendency to delete and doubt disappears.

5. Use Writing Prompts

If you’re truly stuck, you can always turn to some writing prompts. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

  • If this was the last post you could ever write, what would you say? 
  • If you were writing a letter for your kids to read when they grow up what would you say? 

Kindle Highlights

If you read books on Kindle, one of the features is the ability to highlight quotes, sentences, and paragraphs. Grab one of your highlights, paste it into your writing software and riff on it.  Another way to use the highlights is to look at the “most highlighted” passages in business books. It’s clear that those are topics that lots of people are interested in.

Highlights from other posts

Another place to look for material is other posts.  Write something in response to a post you read. Write something in response to a comment on another blog.  Material in other content provides an endless amount of fodder.

6. Create Outlines 

When I’m really stuck , i’ll just create an outline for an idea. This post started with nothing but an outline. I wasn’t sure what I’d write, but the next morning I woke up and the words just flowed.  Do that regularly and you’ll have a steady stream of ideas for new content.

7. Plant Seeds for Ideas 

Seeds can be planted in the form of words, sentences or paragraphs. You need to be ok with incomplete ideas and false starts if you want  be a prolific writer.

  • Carry Notebooks:  Use a notebook so you can jot down ideas.   
  • Use Evernote: If you’re completely opposed to pen and paper, use Evernote and jot down ideas. 

Planting seeds only works if you make it a point to plan them. Otherwise your ideas vanish into thin air.

Writing 1000 words a day is like any other habit. It takes time to cultivate. However once you make it a habit, it becomes much easier, and you’ll often find yourself writing more than 1000 words a day with ease.

 How to Consistently Write 1000 Words a Day
Srinivas Rao is the host and cofounder of BlogcastFM where he's interviewed over 300 bloggers, authors, and entrepreneurs. Pick up his free guide on How to Repurpose Content for Profit and Fame.

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21 thoughts on “How to Consistently Write 1000 Words a Day

    1. Siegfried,

      To be clear the post is titled write 1000 words, not write a 1000 word article. There’s plenty of stuff that you write that gets cut. Talk to any author who has written a book and they have content that never went into the bok.

  1. Great list, and I love point 3.

    I’ve been using ‘Free write’ for years – It’s a great way to write down your thoughts to spark an idea, which can then be rewritten to form a blog post or web content.

    1. Steven,

      I’ve found that has really opened up my words. I end up writing a ton of gibberish because of it, but then the good stuff gets out. I use the good stuff to move on to the next thing.

    2. Great post Srinivas! Consistently writing on almost any topic which strikes ones mind will definitely help him/her to become a good writer. This will arouse a person to write more on the subject he likes and have an in depth knowledge on.

  2. Thanks for the push to write more, Srivinas — as well as good tools to make it happen. I needed that! By the way, I sent here via a Brian Clark tweet.

    1. Well I’m honored that Brian found my post tweet worthy :). I know he has high standards. So that’s awesome. As I said, writing is a habit. AT this point it’s like brushing my teeth. I can’t not write.

  3. Number 6 is by far my favorite approach to writing content. I just jot down ideas for posts along with a list of main points I wish to cover and find it’s just a case of filling in the blanks at a later date.

    Joining in forum discussions, I’ve also found, is also a great way to improve my writing and post ideas. It’s a good way to get into the habit of writing daily, as well as helping you keep your posts short and concise.

    1. Paul,

      It’s funny that you bring up jotting down ideas. It’s something people know they should do but don’t. So much of my work starts as fragments and false starts.

  4. Great list! So much has to do with being motivated enough to actually sit down and write. Just need to be sure you are using your time wisely and avoid getting distracted.

    Here is a list of great tools to improve your content creation strategy – http://www.blueglass.com/blog/content-creation-toolbox/

  5. I really like the bullet on activation energy and writing blindly. Although I have never done it in the past, it is something I am willing to try. Blogging is such a part of marketing campaign execution that I will try anything to become more prolific.

    1. James,

      The activation energy component is awesome. It can be used for all sorts of things in your life. If you want to make something harder like getting distracted online, bury all your apps that distract you in multiple folders. That’s another I learned from that book. Becoming prolific is simply about doing the work every day. It’ s not about having the highest standards fo everything you write.

  6. 1000 words a day!! I’m lucky to get 1000 a week. As a beginner blogger the most difficult thing for me to decide on is exactly what I should be blogging about. All of the ideas mentioned above are tremendous and I’ll be implementing them immediately, but #5 really speaks to me. I have been using the “blog for your kids to read later” approach lately and the words really flow from my head to the screen. Also, I love the idea of getting ideas by looking at what is highlighted on kindle and other posts. That is a really smart way to decide on what other people find interesting. I appreciate the words of wisdom. Thanks.

  7. Great piece. I love free writing and use that all the time.
    I also use the “walk away” which is to step away from something I’ve written, do something else and then come back to it with fresh eyes. I always see improvements, ideas or mistakes that I’d missed while I was deep in the details just trying to get it typed out.
    I’d never heard of the activation energy concept before. It’s like playing offense with your distraction and procrastination tendencies to ensure you spend time where you should be. I’ll have to read that book.

  8. This is a topic that every writer is concerned with and the usual response, one that is parroted around, is to simply sit down and write. But it’s a habit that is notoriously hard to construct, mainly due to the fact that once out of ideas it becomes counterproductive to try and push against the wall. “Just sit down and write” is a complete fallacy that people repeat “just because”.

    What you suggest here is slightly different, more holistic approach.
    I for one use some of these techniques albeit never paying attention to categorizing and labeling them. You did that in a very neat way.

    Here is what I use the most. (Not in the order of importance)
    Activation energy is a very powerful, very effective way to make the words flow. This, I tilt towards on days when nothing seems to come up as an idea upfront.

    Another thing is browsing content and then constructing something out of it by taking a different approach, different angle, correlation with another topic maybe (this is a very powerful content creation technique at lest from my experience). As you said, we always have to say more as a response to an already written material.

    And finally, planting seeds is what made almost every other article possible. Especially the bigger ones. I completely agree with you here- a sentence, paragraph, but sometimes even a phrase- all of that can grow into appealing and captivating content.

    “Writing 1000 words a day is like any other habit. It takes time to cultivate.”- Spot on; but how we do it dictates whether or not we will escape the exercise in frustration, and the rate in which this habit is to establish itself.

    I just started reading your articles here, great job my friend. Keep doing this great work!

  9. Srinivas, Thanks for the inspiration to write more and set a goal of at least 1000 words. The timing was perfect for me and the fresh ideas are amazing! I will try writing blind blind while on my next flight!

  10. Whenever I read a 1000 word article I’ve written it seems like nothing. It should be no problem at all to write 1000 words a day, yet it always ends up being exceedingly difficult.
    I like the idea of writing blind. Rereading every sentence ten times while writing is my biggest problem and slows me down so much I end up losing any motivation I had. I’ll be trying that one on today’s article…as soon as I finish reading a bunch of posts, checking me email, playing a quick game or two of sudoku….

  11. … my biggest distraction? … without a doubt viewing and answering threads in various networking groups that I subscribe to!!! … however, that said… “IF”… I didn’t keep-up my mailbox would be overflowing within a couple of days putting me further behind than ever. :)