7 Tips for Writing 1,000 Words Each Day

This is a guest post by Jim DeBellis, a freelance writer for Criminal Justice Degree Schools.

The curse of daily or weekly deadlines can turn even the joyful luster of creative writing into just another job that eats your life away.

Don’t worry—creative juices never dry up; they just become harder to access from time to time. Your creativity truly is a bottomless supply of blogging and writing fodder, as long as you keep drilling new wells to tap into your pool of inspiration.

Try these tips to keep yourself writing 1,000, 2,000, or even 3,000 words everyday.

1. Just Start Writing

Stop staring at a blank page, and just put some words on it—any words. One word leads to the next, and one thought always inspires another.

  • Put down something you’ve been meaning to tell your significant other.
  • Write down what the people on TV are saying.
  • Write a synopsis of the last movie you saw.

The mind is a miraculous thing, and it will lead you onto a train of thought in short order. Good writers say that most of their ideas and inspirations come from the writing process itself, and not from the research or preparation.

2. Keep a Notepad

Never go anywhere without a pocket-sized notebook and a pen. Have it with you in your car, on your nightstand when you go to bed, and even outside your shower. You never know when inspiration will strike.

It might be a single thought or phrase or a whole new take on a major topic or theme. We always think we will remember our enlightened thoughts, but they often get lost in the hectic jumble of real life. Your notepad will be a solid and dependable resource to consult when you get ready to write.

3. Breathe New Life Into Old Ideas

Great ideas never grow old and can be given new life with new words. It might be something that you wrote years or months ago, or it might be something that caught your attention on the Internet or in the blogosphere.

Rearranging your old furniture, painting a dull room, and refurbishing an old desk really do bring new excitement and create a new and personal outlook on familiar fixtures. Your creative style can do the same for a familiar topic.

4. Clear Your Mind and Set the Mood

Preparation for writing should be taken at least as seriously having a nice meal at home or going out on a date. There needs to be something that differentiates the beginning of the creative process from the chaos you were involved with in the previous moment.

Before you eat you wash down the table and set the plate and flatware nicely. Before you go out, you clean up and change your mood. Before you write, try relaxing with a warm bath or shower, a nice change of decent clothes, and maybe an energy drink. Clean and unclutter your work area and your mind, put on Handel’s Water Music, and get to work.

5. Exercise

A healthy, vigorous body really does keep the mind clear of toxins, relieve stress, and get the heart and mind pumping with new clarity and energy.

Too many people have a mental image of bloggers as lazy couch potatoes living in their mother’s basement, lounging in a recliner in their underpants with a bag of Cheetos between their knees, one hand on an Xbox controller, and the other on their keyboard.

You probably aren’t like that, but it never hurts to be reminded that a good jog and a healthy diet are still the best ways to keep your mind fresh and active.

6. Read

You’ve got your computer right in front of you, so take an hour everyday to keep up on the news in whatever areas interest you. Keep up with your favorite blogs through an RSS reader. DVR an hour of MSNBC, Fox, the View, and Oprah so you can quickly skim through them to see what the world is talking about today. Keep you mind engaged in the dialogues of the day, and the ideas will naturally happen.

7. Let it Flow

During those times when the ideas and words are in abundance, write an extra article or blog and save it for a rainy day.

Newspapers, TV programs, and magazines always keep a file of “evergreen” stories that don’t hinge on a timely news item, so they can be used any time. Develop a file of evergreen stories and ideas that you can call on when the well is dry.

The Key Point

The key point to remember is to approach your writing as a discipline and develop your own methodology—but be flexible when necessary.

Turn off the radio or TV, change your clothes, go into a different room or outside or to the coffee house. The words are there, and you are just the medium that channels them onto the page. Healthy habits and a regular routine will keep you tuned into the inspiring forces all around you.

When all else fails, change up your routine. If you generally outline your blogs or articles before writing, try winging it, jotting ideas for the next paragraphs as you go. If you usually wing it, try writing notes first. Switch it up, and let the inspiration begin!

Your Writing Inspiration

When you need to get some writing done, what do you do to inspire the words to flow? Share your tips for bloggers and writers everywhere!

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Comments

  1. says

    Jim, great ideas here and I know this is possible because I have written extensively when I focus just a little. I write my 1200-1500 word posts in under 2 hours and the rest of the time is polishing, formatting and cleaning it up. The ideas come to me, to your point, when I am cycling – moving! – or driving and I have no doubt exercise is key to a mind poised to create and to write. That and meditation, which I need to do even more. When the mind is calm and quiet, the ideas come gushing forward and I don’t believe there is such a thing as writer’s block anyway….we just have to prepare the mind to flow with ideas….and JUST write, again to your point. Thank you!
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  2. says

    Anything I can do physically without putting a lot of thought into it can help me get in the mood to write. Walking my dogs, doing the dishes, etc. Anything that lets my mind wander. I always finish up with a ton of ideas and the desire to get them down.

  3. says

    Many of your points are very good, especially like the other commentators say about the notebook and the pen. But I always think a fresh brain and good condition is very important for to be creative.

  4. says

    Excellent advice Jim.

    To expand on #2, I suggest that people use a digital recorder to capture ideas. Mine is the size of a cigarette lighter and easily fits in my pocket. It has 5 different folders for different categories of ideas — and I use one just for notes I learn from listening to teleseminars — and it doubles as a 2 gigabyte thumb drive.
    John Soares just posted Why Freelance Writers Should Specialize

  5. says

    You’re so correct about needing to write it down immediately. I always think “it is too brilliant to forget!” or “it is too obvious to forget!” and then two hours later I’m asking myself, “What was it I was thinking about….?”
    Raederle Phoenix just posted Article Blog Panic Attacks

  6. says

    Thanks Jim for the great tips. One thing is common in each and every writing tips or advice I read, they always tell to keep a notepad or notebook and a pen with you at all times. It is quite effective because sometimes, inspiration or idea comes into our mind randomly and in a unexpected time or situation.
    Ron Leyba just posted After Christmas Sales 2010

  7. says

    Several great tips here Jim. I use many of them myself. I also find that I write best early in the morning after a good night of sleep when my mind is fresh. It also helps if everyone else in the house is still sleeping so that it is quiet.
    Kidgas just posted Earning Two Dollars Per Day

  8. says

    I wish I could write 50 words but usually don’t know where to start lol. 50 words a day would take 10 days to create an article and then it may be too late to publish it. With 1000 words per day you need a writing talent, otherwise you may sit there for hours which also beats the purpose.

  9. says

    I’ve had a lot of trouble writing lately, mainly because I don’t have time or ideas. This is some great advice, always looking for these sort of tips.

  10. says

    Start with an idea. Then think of a story that highlights the concept that you want to explain. Then just start free writing and put your story onto paper. Do your best to tell the story in a way that someone can visualize the scene you are setting. I think storytelling is probably the easiest way to write out a longer post.
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  11. says

    If only I could get the exercise part down… I carry a notepad and a pen everywhere, often with a book tucked under my arm.

    Must… break… stereotype!

    When I have writers block I usually take a shower. I make sure to eat something that my body will use efficiently as fuel for my mind. I begin to just write down titles. Then I write one or two sentences for the titles. Then usually one of those sentences turns into a paragraph and I have a new entry. I save that entry and start the process again until I have three really rough drafts. Then I take a break. Breathe. Sleep. Maybe do some research depending on what interests me the most out of the three, come back and write a full blog. This happens over a period of one or two days of course.

    Being a daily blogger is rough for me without planning. I love people that can wing it all the time. But I might try to blog everyday straight for a month for 2011 just to practice my winging skills.
    Walls Blank just posted Nourish the Soul

    • says

      Walls blank,

      I like your method. When I get brain drained, I usually just write outlines – nothing but series of words. Then I’ll do something else. When I come back and see the words form into some idea, I write them down too. If it no good still, I let it be then read it the next day. Usually, something decent comes up for an article from those notes.
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  12. says

    Jim – I have read a lot of articles on how to avoid writer’s block and come up with ideas to write compelling articles. However, you have a few tips here that are new to me and I am ready to try out for myself.

    Like your number 4 is a great tip because I have noticed I can write a pretty long and compelling article much easier after I have had a relaxing cup of tea. I also find that some relaxing Jazz music helps me to start writing very fluently.

    So I agree, preparing/clearing your mind and setting the mood is a great way get the creative juices going and start writing. Thanks for the other tips.
    John just posted Beginning Acoustic Guitar Lessons

  13. says

    Totally agree with you. Great article. Always bring a notepad indeed because wherever you will go, you will still be thinking and you’ll never know, something valuable might come out of your head out of nowhere and you might forget it soon. THanks!

  14. says

    This is a great post. Writing can sometimes be a chore for people, but once you get into the habit of writing, it can be a lot of fun. One thing that I like to recommend to people is to write just to write. Don’t worry about SEO or keywords. Don’t even worry about your niche.

    I recently wrote a 1500 word article on “How to Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich” just to practice attention to detail writing. I actually wrote it, and had someone follow it to see if I left any steps out. Its a great exercise to write about simple things that you do, and practice teaching how to do something through your writing.
    James just posted How to Discover Your Passion

  15. says

    Jim, solid ideas! I write for clients all day long, but writing for yourself seems to be much more of a challenge. I just created my own blog last week and I began to wonder how I am going to come up with new content on a regular basis. I completely agree with exercising before you write. After a game of basketball, or a good workout, I’m much more motivated and my head is clear.

    @James How did your peanut butter sandwich turn out? ;)

  16. says

    Hi Jim,

    Very nice tip to write a good 1000 words article a day. It’s what I am practicing and training myself to do so. Basically, I found each person has his own timing during a day that the brain works best. For me, it’s in the morning from 8:00am till 10:00am. So, I always draw my notepad out and write like crazy man. That actually works! Just something that I want to share with every one here :)
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  17. says

    For me it’s very difficult to write the definite number of words daily – I can write about 10 000 words one day but the other day no word can be written. It depends on my mood and nothing else matters, at least for me.

  18. says

    “Let it Flow”, This terms actually i liked most! I usually saved my article as drafts and as soon as I got new terms related with that i put on it and just shoot ( Publish).

  19. says

    Great tips! I was reading the book The Art of Non-Conformity and Chris Guillebeau talks about how he commits 1,000 words per day. Taking into account days off, this results in 300,000 words per year or 100 blog post, 20 newspaper columns, 20 guest articles, 3 information products and 1 book a year.

  20. says

    I write my ideas in a long list of potential blog topics. I’ve probably got over 50 blog post ideas ready to go right now.

    The other thing I’d suggest is looking at your Analytics and Webmaster tools keywords that people used to find your site. People have found my site by typing some great keywords that I didn’t have a topic for yet. The good news is that you know you can rank for that term because you’re already ranking for it even without the blog post written.
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  21. says

    Nice list of tips! One of the ways I found effective for establishing any habit other than just writing consistently every day is to make it a routine. If you like writing in the morning, stick to that. Associate the act of writing to a particular event, time of day, or place.

    We’re creatures of habit. Once we find our groove, we can’t let go.

  22. says

    I like the tips you give in your post, Jim. Your third point is something I’m in the process of doing now with my blogs. I’m going through my older posts and sprucing them up some, updating the information where needed, and purging some of the stinkers. It’s an interesting process and I see how I’ve already changed as a blogger only two years into it. What I’m finding as I go through these old posts is that they are igniting many ideas I had forgotten about – posts I forgot to pursue. It’s a lot of great fodder for writing my 1,000 words a day. ;)
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  23. says

    Dear Jim

    Thanks for the tips.

    I like to put on my bose noise cancelling headphones and type away. I find this very helpful. If I am trying to come up with an outline then, I will sometimes turn off the music to think.

    I have had a long list of topics but just spent 20 minutes brainstorming today and came up with 71 post topics! I used what @Marcus Sheridan recommended in a recent blog post of writing down the top questions that consumers ask you for 10 minutes and then spent another 10 writing down all the things that I am passionate about within my field or that I think would add value for my readers.

    Cheers,
    Rajka
    ExpatDoctorMom just posted Cyberparenting: The New Parenting.

  24. says

    This was an awesome read! I have a journal that i’ve kept for the past couple of years from traveling to different places, and experiencing different things that i’ll be posting to my blog soon, and two of the things that’s helped me the most are in this article (Step 1: Just start writing, and Step 6: Read).

    Those two are IMO the most important steps into not only creative writing, but in writing in general. Sometimes i’d get lazy, or experience slight amounts of writers block, and I noticed that whenever I sat down and read something (I read alot of magazines on current events due to traveling) it would always inspire me to jot down some of the things that I was experiencing, no matter how immaterial it seemed.

    Audrey Niffenegger (The time travelers wife) had some very interesting ideas that she disclosed to me after a book signing on what she did to get over writers block, and for the most part it was the same things that you’ve written in your post.

  25. says

    It would be great if I could train myself and my 3 out-source people to write 1,000 words articles EVERY day. Client tasks and other system demands have prevented this, but your tips make me think, I’m being a slacker and should/could remedy this.
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