Super-Goal: 500 Words a Day


This one's a no-breaking-allowed rule. 500 words every single day for the next "forever until I've finished the first draft". That's massive. Can you imagine? A 90,000 word novel every six months!

I'd been mulling the idea over in my head for a while, but it wasn't until this morning (about 3:00) that I spontaneously wrote out these plans for possible ways to tackle it.

The first one was very simple.

Holidays Plan
- No internet until 500 words.
- 500 words -> First thing in the morning.

The second, for when school was in, was relatively complex.

Extreme School-Time Plan

Night  [ 9:30pm: Mini-outline for morning.
before [ 10:00pm: Sleep.
- 6:40am: Wake up -> Load up laptop -> Coffee
- 6:50am: Write or Die, 300 words -> 5min break
- 7:25am: Write or Die, 200 words
- 7:45am: Prepare for school
- 4:00pm:
Editing morning's work

- 9:30pm: Mini-outline for morning.
- 10:00pm: Sleep.

Fridays and Saturdays are free-rein.

[I made a note reminding myself that I was thereby sacrificing "late TV shows".]

The alternative came to me a sleepless hour later.

Not-So-Extreme School-Time Plan [Note to self: Very easy to adapt to.]

- Home from school: NO INTERNET until 500 words done.
- 4:00pm: 300 words Write or Die -> 10min break
- 4:40pm: 200 words Write or Die
- 5:00pm onwards:

Weekends: NO INTERNET until 500 words done. Writing first thing before leisure.

Note to self: No sacrifice, plenty of leisure and homework time.
Note to self: 15,000 words per month = 90,000 words every 6 months.

So you can probably guess that, at this point, I've chosen the second option.

As far as the holidays go, last night I wrote 600 words. Today I plan to write 1,000. We'll see how this goes. If I can make a daily routine out of this...

...then I believe I will deserve at least three pats on the back.


Shannon said...

Write or Die ... is that the program that starts deleting your words if you don't type at a reasonable speed (set by you) so if you pause for too long it'll start deleting it?

Ryan Sullivan said...

That is the "strictest" possible setting. I couldn't deal with that, because I always think everything out in some detail.

The first "mode" is "gentle mode", which simply makes the screen turn red if you haven't written for a time. The second mode is "normal mode", which is the one I choose, and if you don't write for a set time, the screen goes red and bad or irritating music/sound plays (eg. Rick Astley; babies crying; scratchy, discordant violins). The third and final mode in the free version is "kamikaze mode", which deletes words if you don't write for a set time.

So my words never get deleted, as every word is precious to me.

Then, of course, there are three options for "grace period". The "stricter" the option, the less time you can stop typing before the screen starts to turn red. Options are Forgiving, Strict and Evil.

I always select "Normal, Strict". My first few times I set it to Forgiving, though.

So don't be afraid if you want to give it a go. It's helped me to get my stuff down onto the page. All depends on how you roll. I'm a contemplative person, so I always write slowly, which is why this program has helped me so immensely. Of course, it's free if you use the on-site version. :D

Shannon said...

I tend to write in spurts and then get distracted by other things so I'd probably get a page or two done and then get distracted and come back to it being deleted or a VERY angry screen (depending on setting).

Ryan Sullivan said...

Without it, it could take me an hour to get 200 words done. With it, I can get 200-300 words done in 20 minutes.

It really depends on the person and how you work. :D

Jean Davis said...

500 words shouldn't be a problem. Just don't expect them all to be awesome words. :) Good luck!

Ryan Sullivan said...

Thanks! I'm definitely saving the "awesome words" for the editing part.

Regardless, the stuff that comes out is generally moderately good.

I'm on 900 words so far today. :D

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home

Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

If he does, bribe him with cookies.

Mailing list for new books by Ryan Sullivan

Click for Amazon page!

Three Bridges

Total Pageviews

Recent Comments