May 27

How to Crush Your Word Count


Are you struggling to complete your current writing project? 

Every writer knows what it’s like to be on fire, crank out hundreds or even thousands of words—and then hit a wall. Whether you’ve been motivated lately and making progress on your book or you’ve been stymied and can’t seem to make progress with your word count goals, we want to help you move forward. After all, you have a message to share with the world, and the only way you can do that is to push through your writing blocks! 

We’ve put together some tips to help you crush your word count goals.

1—Keep challenging yourself to hit your word count.

It’s a tried and true practice to set aside a certain amount of time to write every day—or a specific daily word-count goal you’re trying to reach. Even if it’s only 15 minutes per day or 200 words per day, that is still progress. Even if you miss a day or two, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to give up. Keep challenging yourself to pursue your writing dream—keep going.

2—Use your software and tools to your advantage as you continue to write.

If you’re challenged by technology as many authors are, take some time to learn new things about the software or tools you’re using. There may be something out there you don’t realize can help you along your journey. For example, if you’re working with Microsoft Office, you can use Excel to track your writing sessions. If you have a Google account, use Google Calendar to schedule out your writing time.

3—Familiarize yourself with writing terminology for your genre and subject.

After all, you don’t know what you don’t know, and you will put yourself ahead of the class if you take time to educate yourself. Take this mini-quiz to test yourself (check yourself in the answers below):

  1. Do you know when to use a hyphen, en-dash, and em-dash?
  2. How long should a quote in a nonfiction book be to be styled as a blockquote?
  3. What is an epigraph?
  4. How much of a copyrighted lyric can you use in your book without getting permission?
  5. What is a fleuron?

4—Designate an accountability partner to keep you on track.

Our own inspiration can only take us so far. Sometimes it’s enough, but other times, we need a healthy support system to keep us on track with our goals. We are all in this together—that’s why it’s so important for us to see our writing friends as allies rather than competition. Check-in with your partner once or twice a week to make sure you stay on track, but you should also take great care to check on their progress as well. For some of us, we have one or two friends that keep us on our toes. Then there are larger communities that can inspire us, even more, to keep going, like the global Igniting Souls community.

5—Learn from the masters.

What author—living or deceased—inspires you to keep writing? Take some time at least once or twice a week to seek out their wisdom through interviews they’ve given, books they’ve written, or inspirational quotes they’re known for. A great place to start is to do a search on YouTube for your favorite author. You’ll probably find tons of videos of speeches and talks they have given in the past. Maybe you’ll even find a writing class or two they’ve recorded.

6—Participate in a writing sprint at least once a week.

If you’re not familiar with these, it’s when a group of authors come together at a certain time—either online or in person—to commit to writing for 30 minutes, an hour, or more. In days past, we used to do this at coffee shops, but now we can easily do them virtually through social media, video conferencing,or watch parties on Facebook. This isn’t necessarily about the word count; it’s about gifting yourself with the time to focus on your dream of becoming a writer.

7—Take care of yourself.

What good is it to work toward the future if you’re not living in the present? This is really important for writers because we often work, work, work with no end in sight. Some of us forget to eat, shower, or reach out to friends and family because we’re so focused on our goals. Take some time every day to give yourself a chance to breathe and an opportunity to enjoy your life. If you have to, set an appointment on your calendar to do something that you enjoy that doesn’t involve writing. Do that one thing for yourself that you’ve always wanted to do but never given yourself enough time for.

Working toward your dream of becoming a successful writer has to be well-rounded if you’re going to achieve your goals. Here’s our challenge to you today: Take one of these tips and put it into action. Comment below to let us know what you did and what the result was. We’d love to hear from you!


goals, softwaretools, wordcount, writing

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  1. I agree in writing goals. They help to hold you accountable and productive. Personally word counts are my reward for staying in flow. I think that as long as you have goals with at least weekly accountability success is within your reach. Nice article.

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