In 19 days I have written just under 14k words, 6k of them in the last week (7-day timeframe) alone. Here are the two tricks I’ve used to make writing quicker and easier.
500 words a day is a magic number
That’s not my actual goal for the day, but that’s the minimum I want to try and achieve. Your magic number may be higher, it may be lower, but for me, I’ve found that when I try to write 500 words, I usually can’t help but exceed that. This isn’t a universal rule; especially early on, there were a few days where I barely made it to 7 or 50 words. The real secret here isn’t in how much you type, it’s in how frequently you try. Every day I try, with the belief that even one solid word is more than I had the day before. The other secret to the 500 words a day is that I no longer try and carve time out for them.
What?!? No, it’s true. 500 words is barely 15 minutes of work most days. I try and squeeze that into my lunch break, sometimes forcibly by shutting the door to my office at work and turning off my mail and jabber client, but if that doesn’t happen, its a goal I can still achieve when I get home at night. The funny thing is, the actual 500 word mark ends up being mid-sentence most times. So I feel compelled to at least finish the line. Or thought. Or paragraph. And then you stop, your fingers tired and sore (I’ve actually started feeling an ache in my knuckles), and my word count is well past 500.
Typewriter noises do wonders
Of all the stupidest, dumbest mental tricks I could stumble on, this is the one that just makes me gasp in astonishment. I’m old enough to remember the sound of typewriters in an office. Maybe not my office, but that’s beside the point. The thought of creating a story as a child was always associated with the corresponding sound of a typewriter banging out the letters one key at a time.
For those of you on no budget, I highly recommend FocusWriter (http://gottcode.org/focuswriter/). Not only can you find some amazing themes for this project, but it comes with typewriter sounds bundled in (optionally enabled, of course).
If you already have a favorite writing tool, like maybe Scrivener, I highly recommend something like NoisyTyper for the mac (I got it here - http://fffff.at/noisy-typer-a-typewriter-for-your-laptop/). While running, every key you type has a corresponding typewriter sound.
I know its an anachronism, but there is something about the sound of a typewriter as you pound the words to your next story that’s both comforting and nostalgic. You can just hear your words forming on the page. Magic!
OK, enough distractions for me. I’ve already met today’s minimum goal and it’s our youngest’s birthday, so I’m off to see if I can help with some birthday bonanza planning.