How to Write 10k in a Day (Or Just a lot of Words)

In January 2016, if someone had asked me to do a 10k day I would have scoffed and told them it was impossible. However, last year, something happened.

I had goals, motivation, and a competitive spirit that I didn’t have before. I somehow found myself able to type fast, create longer stories, and use my writing time wisely. I surprised myself this NaNoWriMo. I hit a slump halfway through, and then all of the sudden I wrote 70k in a month and ~15-16k on the last day. (However, my priorities were a bit out of order, but I’m caught up now).  Here is my guide to maxing out your potential and discovering what you can do 10k in a day.

1. Assess yourself

Take this test. Once, as fast as you can. The next, a bit slower, however fast you usually write. For example, my fingers can type 90 wpm, but to take the time to think and stop procrastinating I usually write 60 wpm. Whatever you get, be happy with it because whatever you write, they are words. For any area in life, generally don’t compare yourself to others and accept where you are.

2. Start Early

So, say it takes you about 45 minutes to write 1000 words. Wake up an hour earlier than you normally do and don’t do anything until you’ve written that amount (no email, no phone, etc. Only writing music. It’s a great motivator). After this, you’ll feel motivated with that 1k under your belt and the curiosity to see how high you can get it.

3. Priorities

I’ll admit, I did fall behind on things like homework during NaNo. So, after this 1k thing, see if there’s anything else you can get out of the way. For my homeschooled readers, this means doubling up (at least some) the day before and finished the rest today. Unfortunately, 10k will be very hard if you’re trying to do it while at public/private school/co-op, unless you have a very high writing speed to catch up the rest of your night.

4. N-O P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N! 

During your writing time, don’t stop. Keep going until there are no words left in you, and when there aren’t, keep going anyway. Pretty much all of my plot twists come naturally as I’m writing (is that bad?) because I have to keep going. However, please don’t use all of your free time to write. This leads me to the next point.

5. Creative Breaks

Take a walk, read a book, lie down for a minute, drink some coffee. Do what you need to do to stay creative. Otherwise, you’ll feel drained and writing won’t be fun. Writing should be fun or you’re doing it wrong.

So those are my tips on getting to 10k, and you should still have time for things (like school, choir, and youth group) while getting a lot done. What are your tips for getting a lot done in a day 10k in a day?

15 comments / Add your comment below

  1. That’s it, I’m gonna do it! Just when I’ll do it, I have no idea how. Maybe next week. I seriously want to finish my novel, and fitting 10k in would finish it up perfectly. The most I’ve ever been able to write in one day was 3k, and even that was in a span of 5 hours and I’d have multiple 20-minute sessions of just staring at the screen wondering WHAT THE TACO SHOULD HAPPEN NEXT. It was fun, though. XD When should you take the creative breaks during your writing time and how many would you suggest?


    1. YAY! I HAVE INSPIRED SOMEONE! I’d say to take a creative break when (a) you’ve reached a goal, for example if you have ten hours to write and you want to get 1000 an hour and (b) when you have writer’s block. Take as many as you need, as long as you’re not using up all of your day on a claimed “break”.

  2. One of my goals this month was to write 15k for my novel before February first, but had only written 11k as of this afternoon. Deciding that I’d write 4k today, I read this post beforehand and felt so inspired and ready to go. I didn’t end up writing 4k, but in one hour and three minutes wrote 1,516 words and finished up the very last chapter of my very first novel! I stopped there, flabbergasted that I had actually completed it at 122k. I want to say thank you so much for being such a huge writing inspiration to me, Josie! I’m can’t wait to begin editing my rough draft – the only problem is that I really don’t know how. XD

    1. YAY! Congratulations! Sometimes the end of your novel sneaks up on you. 122k is the perfect length, I think; you have enough words that when you go to edit you can cut out as many as you need and still have a good length story. Your first novel, too! I’m really glad you were inspired– it means a lot to me for you to say that. Editing can be hard, but I’m sure you’ll make it.

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