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?
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.