Last Tuesday I did something I had never done before. I wrote 10,000 words in one day. Sure, over the summer I edited about 12K in one day (it was a mix of writing and editing), but this was the first time I had created 10,000 new words in one day. Now that I’m on the other side of this process, I’m ready to do it again, but it’s a long, and hard, process. So today, I’m going to share what I learned and prep you for how to write 10,000 words in one day.
To make the most out of your 10K day, you need to do some prep work beforehand. Depending on how fast you can do the prep, you’ll want to start planning during the week before, but some of these things can be done the night before.
1. Outline beforehand
I can’t stress this enough. If there’s ever a time to outline beforehand (besides maybe NaNoWriMo), your 10K day will be the day. Writing 10,000 words is an endurance sport, not a sprint. My biggest problem during the day was not knowing exactly where the story was going. When I didn’t know, I slowed down, got distracted, and my quality of writing went way down.
2. go to Sleep Early
I said it before, but writing that much in one day is a sport. You may think spending all day in a chair isn’t hard, but it’s a mental workout. And maybe a little bit of a physical workout for your fingers if you type quickly. But it’s mostly mental. And you’ll be surprised how easy it is to tire when mentally working out like this. Go to bed early and get some rest the night before.
3. Wake Up Early
If you’re like me, you probably hate waking up early. Unfortunately I’m having to do it more and more as I start looking for jobs and go to networking events. The earlier you can get started on your 10K day, the better. Want to write 10,000 words in one day? 7 tips to help make your journey a little easier. Click To Tweet
4. Set Little Goals
If you have Scrivener, you can set a session target. I like to set this in increments of 500. Once I write 500, I up it to 1000, then to 1500, 2000, and so on. When you’re at 9500 going for 10000, that little sliver of leftover space is hardly noticeable.
5. Pace Yourself
10,000 words is a lot of words. In a published book, that’s almost 30 pages. Don’t rush it all in the morning. Ideally, if you want to stay at a good clip, I’d say anywhere from 1.5K-2K per hour is a good range. You’ll have peaks and valleys throughout the day where you’ll write 500 words quickly, but the next 250 words take half an hour. Don’t get discouraged by this, it’s natural.
6. Take Breaks
I tried to take at least a mini break every 1,000 words. I’d go to the bathroom, get something to drink, or go take my lunch break. At first, these breaks will probably happen closer together, but at the end of the day you’ll go much longer between breaks.
7. Have Fun!
Writing is supposed to be an exhilarating process, but you need to enjoy it. You’ll be exhausted, but have fun with it.
Writing 10,000 words in one day is a big thing to do, but little steps like these will help you prepare and make the most of your day. If you don’t hit 10K on your day, that’s okay. Sometimes you have to be able to build up to these things. 10K is a lot, and most writers can’t hit that. But, I do think it’s a great goal to aim for, especially if you’ve been feeling detached from your manuscript. Spend 10,000 words with it and you will be right in the middle of it.
Do you have any tips for a big writing day?