With a daunting task like writing a book, It’s hard to see the finish line. That can often be difficult and demotivating. That’s why it’s helpful to set daily writing goals. You’ll start feeling accomplished at the end of the day, and before you know it, all of your little moments of word count will add up to a whole book.
Put writing in your calendar. Especially if you want to write every day, find a slot in your calendar where you can fit writing in, whether that be before work, after work, during lunch, or on your commute. Find a slot, even if it’s only half an hour, where you have promised yourself you’d sit and write.
Carry around a notebook for moments when you can write. Maybe you have a certain word count goal you want to get to at the end of each day. Those words don’t need to all happen at once. Write in free moments, work breaks, or before bed. You might find that there are plenty of opportunities when you can take your notebook out, for example, if you’re meeting someone and they’re late, or your train is delayed, or you’re stuck in a line to pick something up.
Accountability partners. Some people are better able to reach their goals if they have other people pushing them. Find a friend who can remind you to write, or who writes themselves. Make yourself accountable to them.
Writing Groups. One great way to create an accountability relationship is to join or start a writing group. Meet up once a month or once a week and have specific dates where you need to send in completed work. That way, you have a due date to send chapters or words to a group that’s relying on you.
Writing Sprints. Writing sprints are timed writing sessions of 15-60 minutes where writers try and write a certain amount of words or as much as they can write in that amount of time. NaNaWriMo and Jami Attenberg’s 1000 Words of Summer are good tools to get into sprints, but there are also some fun writer games on the internet to encourage your sprinting.
Tracking your progress. It’s up to you to figure out what system will keep you writing, but tracking your progress can be helpful. You can track it by word count, time spent writing, or chapters written.
Reward yourself for your progress. Rewarding yourself with a break or a nice warm cup of tea can also be a great motivator to get your writing goals finished for the day.
Tip: Sometimes distractions get in the way of us getting our daily writing goals in. Scrivener has a focus mode that can be helpful for writing without distraction, but if you don’t use Scrivener, there are also some great apps specifically to help you focus.
Write Room is a full-screen writing environment that allows Mac users to write without distraction.
Time Out encourages breaks and tracks your activity on different apps
Stay Focused limits the amount of time you can use on time-wasting apps
Focus Writer is another distraction-free writing environment
Writing forums are a great way to connect with other writers. Pitchwars applicants join a forum where plenty of writers are seeking beta readers and critique partners and NaNoWriMo also has a forum for connecting with other writers.
Many writers find their beta readers on Twitter. Search the #writingcommunity hashtag or ask one of your mutuals if they know anyone looking for a beta reader.
Join writing groups on Facebook and post about your search for a beta reader, or search the group walls for other people seeking beta readers.
All writers have their own processes, but hopefully some of these tips can improve your word count and eventually get you to your big goal, finishing that first draft!