Anyone who wants to be successful at writing 1000 words a day for an extended period of time will have to put aside time each time to reach that goal. The question becomes, when is the best time to set aside writing time each day? While many will say to set the time aside when you enjoy writing most, I’ve come to the conclusion that’s not necessarily the best approach when you are trying to increase your writing productivity.
As I mentioned earlier, I take a walk each morning which is an important aspect enabling me to be a productive writer. Upon my return each morning, I sit down to do a minimum of an hour, and as much as 3 hours of writing. The actual amount of time I have each day to write depends on what other things I have to do, but I make sure I have that minimum of an hour to write each morning. Since I have already outlined what I want to write in my head during the morning walk, I usually can hit my 1000 words during that hour.
I think it’s important to set aside time in the morning to write even if you don’t happen to be a morning writer. I feel I can make this claim because I’m definitely not naturally a morning writer. I used to do all my writing late at night, and I still do a good amount of my writing during the evening hours. What I’ve discovered over time, however, is if I only set aside time in the evening to write, I fail to reach my writing goal much more often than if I set aside time in the morning.
There is a simple reason it’s important to put aside time in the morning if you want to be successful writing a certain number of words on an ongoing basis. Life happens. There will always be unexpected events which will make it impossible for you to write during your designated time no matter how faithfully you plan. This is especially true when you first begin a project like this and haven’t yet established it as a routine. It takes time to carve out a specific period of time each day that’s devoted solely to writing, and one should expect hiccups while in the process of establishing this time (and even afterward, although not as often).
When something happens and I’m not able to write during my planned time in the morning, I immediately realize I missed the time I was supposed to writing. I instantly begin to figure out when I can make up that time and squeeze in writing so I can still reach my 1000 word goal. I have the rest of the day to make up for the unforeseen event and still reach my goal.
When I was writing in the evenings, if something unexpected happened, it was much more difficult to make up for life impeding on my writing. There just isn’t enough extra time in the day to reschedule for missed time when it’s already in the evening, and the day is almost over. Due to the time factor, scheduling your daily writing period in the morning will give you a much better chance to reach your word count goal when you take up a challenge.
Another huge factor that came into play for me is energy level. The amount of energy I have at the end of the day depends on a lot of factors which happen during the day that aren’t always in my control. The result was that even when I had the time set aside, I was more likely to be tired. Many times I didn’t have the energy to concentrate on my writing the way I should so even when I was writing, the quality wasn’t necessarily the best.
If you’re not a person who usually writes in the morning, this change will be difficult. I know because of how difficult it was for me to adjust. Even today, I don’t feel as comfortable writing in the morning as I do at night, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it over time. More importantly, I have seen how much more productive I have become by beginning my writing early in the day rather than toward the end.
For anyone who has the goal of writing 1000 (or more) words a day, it’s worthwhile taking the time to figure out how to set aside time in the morning. That doesn’t mean you can’t write in the evenings as well. I still do on a regular basis, and as I’ve stated above, I actually enjoy writing in the evening more than I do in the morning. Creating morning writing time will greatly increase your chances of hitting your word count goal each day.
(Photo courtesy of Michael Coghlan)