Friday, March 02, 2012

Writing 700 words

Can you write 700 words per day?

You'll soon find as you seek freelance work or create a platform, that 700 words is about the average size of a an editorial, a guest blog post, a newsletter piece, a website article, or a magazine column. Some are longer, but few are shorter, and if they are, no less than 500 words. But if you can master this size writing . . . daily . . . you'll be amazed at the evolution of your productivity as a writer.

700 words per day. Wow, you say. You don't think you have time for that. I disagree. You do. At first you may write it in two hours. Then you realize it takes 90 minutes. Then an hour. This progression may take months to achieve, but it does occur. The more you write, the easier the words fall into place. But time isn't your goal. Just the 700 words.

Of course there's editing, but how hard is it to edit 700 words? Today you edit what you wrote yesterday, or three days ago. Of course you know better than to submit a first draft of anything, and allowing it to percolate over a night or two keeps you from submitting mistakes. Now you need markets. 

What if you don't have enough markets for a daily dose of 700 words? Then blog. You see, writing this amount of copy takes not only the ability to mesh words together, but to formulate ideas to write about. That is the first trick.The ideas. You sit and think, ponder and curse, but you don't get up until the 700 words come to be.

Soon you are jotting ideas for unwritten pieces when you aren't writing. Your notebook has a dozen little stars beside snippets of themes as you try to keep up with your daily quota. Of course you want to place them in a paying publication, so you search for markets.Those you don't use to query with, you place in a blog.

What you may be seeing here is a trick to turn you into a serious freelancer. Because not only do you have to be able to write, but you have to create ideas, AND you have to find markets for them. It's a balancing act.

Writers complain about not having time to write. But if they can't find time to write, they darn sure don't have time to think of unique ideas, much less market them. Commitment. Diligence. Consistency. There are no substitutes to these traits in the evolution of your talent.

In summary:

Write 700 words.
Edit 700 words.
Create ideas for more 700 words.
Submit 700 words to a market or blog.

If you master 700 words, per day, you soon learn how to juggle some serious wordage and put them to work for you . . . putting you on the fast track to writing for a living.


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Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

Something I heard at a writer's conference at the beginning of my career has always stuck with me. The author said: "If you write a page a day, by the end of the year you'll have a book."
Writing even that one page was agonizing for me when I started out. Like all things, though, writing becomes easier with time. Soon that page wasn't so difficult, then it expanded to two pages a day.
Now that I'm a full time professional writer, I average about 2000 words a day. That includes blogging (both professional and personal), history writing, and fiction.
Some days are better than others, of course, and one type of writing may fall by the wayside for a day or three while I focus on a particular part of my output. The key, though, is to keep writing, and having a variety of projects helps keep you going.
Just write, and keep writing!

Sioux Roslawski said...

I read of one writer's technique to ensure they wrote every day. (His name was not one I was familiar with, so I don't remember it.) He would wake up, and write one page before he voided for the first time. He said sometimes it was a very FAST page--the urge to pee was sto strong--but it worked for him.

Gdub said...

First, congratulations on your book release. I will add it to my reading list. Your blogs, words, always of value. Working now on the rewrite of my first draft, novel.

Hope Clark said...

Thanks for the congrats! Wow, waiting until we wrote to pee? That's different. LOL

Leah said...

Dear Hope,

Thanks for motivating me to think of my writing as a profession and not a little something I do until I am discovered. I already write at least 700 words per day, I edit 700 words, and I always have ideas for 700 more words, but I have not been marketing my 700 words in order to make a livable income. With your four simple steps, I know I can and I will. Thanks again for the encouragement.



T. Powell Coltrin said...

Nice!!! I'm learning that a few words at a time--builds.