How would your life change if you could write 1,000 words a day? or even more?
Whether you’re a freelance writer, a journalist, or an online entrepreneur looking to ramp up your niche site content, performing well when it comes to expressing yourself on a blank page can be critical to your career and business.
- Important Note: English is not my native language, so you’ll probably find (many) mistakes within the article. Don’t take them into consideration as that is something intrinsic that happens in my particular case because of lack of knowledge. Writing more and constantly should not be related to a loss of quality 🙂
Writing 1,000 words per day can change your life
It may seem to you that 1,000 words a day is not enough.
But if you do simple math, you’ll see that the long-term results are indeed pretty attractive.
- 1,000 words x 365 days = 365,000 words per year.
- Or, if you don’t want to write on weekends: ~260,000 words per year.
To put this in perspective, and leaving the weekends of:
- The book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear has about 80,000 words. Writing 1,000 words a day would allow you to write 3 books of the same length (and it has been sold millions of times)
- A quality blog post/article usually has around 1,500/2,000 words, so writing 1,000 words a day would allow you to publish something between 130/170 articles per year. More than enough for making a (good) living thanks to Adsense/Mediavine earnings, Affiliate Marketing, or simply using content to attract more customers for your services.
Great writers like Chris Guillebeau (author of the $100 Startup) use this technique to nourish their blog with new content every day and publish new books and articles constantly.
Something as simple as writing 1,000 words a day can really change your life.
Step 1 – Find your purpose/goal
You’ll see many tips for improving your writing speed along with this guide (among other things)
But there is something very important you should be aware of from the beginning:
Writing 1,000 words IN A DAY it’s not difficult (technically), the hard part is doing it CONSISTENTLY.
You wouldn’t have any problem writing 1,000 or even 2,000 words today without following any particular method.
You could even do the same tomorrow and even the whole week!
But if you don’t have a purpose in mind, eventually, you’ll fail.
I know it sounds like the typical advice for noob entrepreneurs, but in this case, I can assure you that it’s 100% true.
You need to have a clear purpose and goal for your writing.
Writing 1,000 words a day for the sake of writing is a recipe for failure.
You need to find something exciting like:
- Finish your novel in one month: NaNoWriMo is a good example of this purpose applied correctly.
- Publish 100 articles on your blog in 3 monthsin order to join Adsense and generate a new income stream for you and your family.
Writing is like working out, you need a plan, you need to do it consistently, and you need a strong goal in mind (like running NY’s Marathon)
Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before you fail.
Step 2 – Optimize your writing
Optimizing your writing is usually the easiest step to apply and the one that will get you results faster.
Almost all the techniques you will see in this article boil down to one simple goal: write faster.
Improve your typing speed
This step is very obvious, but I had to add it.
If at this point you are still typing with two fingers or looking at the keyboard to find the z or n key, you have a problem.
Take any good typing course from Udemy or your favorite learning platform and improve your technique until to get at least 50 wpm (words per minute).
Don’t get frustrated if you are slow.
Typing speed won’t be your bottleneck (otherwise, with only 50 words per minute you would be able to write 3,000 words in 1 hour!)
However, is a basic skill, as it will allow you to write more comfortably, make fewer mistakes, or write looking at notes you have elsewhere.
Use Text Expanders
One of the easiest ways to be able to write more every day is simply to write faster.
Once you’ve peaked at your words per minute you don’t need to go crazy and start writing in a Dvorak layout.
There are more elegant techniques to speed up your typing.
I’m talking about text expanders.
This is something as simple as installing an app on your computer that converts certain abbreviations into full words.
For instance, you could use:
- imho, so it gets automatically replaced by “in my honest opinion”
- ppal to be replaced by “PayPal”
- Or “beautifull” to be replaced beautiful.
As you can see, using text expanders you’ll be able to write faster (adding phrasal verbs or common phrases), write strange words easier (this is super-useful for brands, like PayPal, ScreenFlow, etc.), and even avoid your common mistakes (beautifull vs beautiful)
Text expanders save you keystrokes.
If you plan to write 1,000 words every day, for weeks, your fingers will thank you.
Next actions for you
Get a text expander for your favorite OS and start adding the classic words that you repeat constantly:
- On Windows, you can use Breevy or PhraseExpress.
- On Mac, you can use TextExpander, the text replacement tool included in macOS (System Preferences > Keyboard > Text), or Alfred (my favorite tool, as it will allow you to do many more things, like installing powerful workflows)
Step 3 – Improve your Writing Area
I will never tire of talking about the great impact that a bad working area can have on your performance, and even more so when it comes to writing.
That’s why, if you want to achieve your writing goals, you must take care of both, the physical, and the digital writing area.
Physical Writing Area
Would you be able to write a 1000-word article on a camping table next to a music festival in the middle of summer?
Maybe, but you’ll agree with me that it’s not the best scenario.
This seemingly obvious example has similar effects that are repeated on a smaller scale when your writing environment is less aggressive, but still not perfect.
Throughout this guide, you will see that creative block is one of the biggest obstacles that you’ll encounter every time you want to write.
Everything around you has an effect on you, so this is a detail you need to be aware of, starting with the visual aspect of it.
If you have a desk full of distractions it will be much more difficult to get to work (this applies to all the tasks you carry out, not just writing)
You just need to look at the following image to discover which desk invites you to sit down to write, and which doesn’t.
Don’t forget about the sound!
I have seen everything, from people who need a sepulchral silence to concentrate, to others who get overwhelmed if they don’t have some noise around them to accompany them.
Whatever your side is, in the Actions section you will find solutions for both situations.
There is also another very important physical element: the keyboard.
Again, I want to give you a crazy example as I think this is how things are best understood.
Can you imagine having to write the next article for your blog on your smartphone?
With a lot of effort you could do it, but it would be inefficient and of course, it’s something you wouldn’t like to maintain over time.
Something similar happens if you use a bad keyboard if it is too small, has a bad design, or is not made with the right materials, your fingers will end up paying for what you didn’t want to pay at the store.
A cab driver’s main working tool is a car, a photographer’s is a camera, and yours as a person who wants to write professionally, will be a good keyboard, so don’t skimp on it.
This also applies to other physical stuff, like a good chair, and a good desk.
Next actions for you
Turn your writing area into a little sanctuary:
- Clear out your work area and exchange distracting objects for items that bring you creativity.
- Turn off all kinds of notifications, ask not to be disturbed, and focus on what you have to do, which is writing.
- Use good lighting
- Buy an ergonomic keyboard: Microsoft Sculpt is my favorite one
- Invest in a good chair and desk
Regarding the sound, test and decide how you work best:
- In silence: if your home or office is too noisy look for a library where you can go at least to write, and invest in good headphones that allow you to isolate yourself from everything around you.
- With ambient sound: find some coffee shops you can go to or use Coffitivity or Noizio (included in Setapp) to create your own coffee shop at home.
- With music: both Apple Music and Spotify offer playlists that help you to increase your concentration. Try LoFi playlists.
Digital Writing Area – Apps
It’s not the same to write in a horrible interface that does not invite you to write and that will make it difficult for you to format your text, than write in a minimalist interface where nothing distracts you, and that due to its simplicity makes it easier for you to show things as you wanted without having to navigate through hundreds of menus.
You already have a nice physical setup, is time to have a great digital one too.
If you can, invest 10 min learning Markdown, a simple markup language that will speed up the way you format your texts, and that will make your life much easier as it is based entirely on plain text.
Next actions for you
Choose a good writing application.
- My recommendation for Apple users is Ulysses (included in Setapp), although you can also try Taio.
- If you use Windows, or you don’t want the above recommendations for Mac, use Obsidian
We will be talking more about apps later.
Step 4 – Plan
We’re over 1,500 words in and we still haven’t talked about the actual writing!
This whole guide is focused on getting you to write 1,000 quality words, usually for a single article, a chapter in a book, an outline for a talk or course, and so on.
Everyone can spend the afternoon chatting on WhatsApp, Slack, Discord or Teams and end up writing many more words, but that’s not what this is about.
If you want to overcome creative block, that is, staying in front of a blank page without even knowing what to write, you need to start using mind maps.
Whenever you need to start writing you should do it on an infinite canvas, not on a blank sheet of paper.
The difference between facing an empty document on your own, or doing it with the help of a mind map that you can easily fill in with single words, and that you can rearrange by simply clicking and dragging is simply brutal.
This is where one of the great failures of all those who want to write more and better lies.
I know that the first impulse is to start writing plain text and that this mind-mapping step thing seems like a waste of time, but believe me, it’s a good investment of time and effort.
This technique really works.
And it works so well that most applications for this purpose include features to export the content in Markdown format so that it can be easily imported by a good writing application like Ulysses or Obsidian.
Next actions for you
The first thing you need to do is to choose a good mind mapping tool. You can start with pen and paper, although I don’t recommend it too much as you will lose the ability to delete and reorganize the content as you create it.
For this my recommendation is:
- A whiteboard where you can write and erase easily,
- Or an application that is designed for this purpose:
Once you have it, whenever you want to start writing, resist the temptation for a few minutes, write the keyword of the topic you want to elaborate on in the center of the canvas, and start creating ramifications with new words and concepts that come to your mind.
Don’t worry about ordering them during the creation phase, you’ll do that when you have a handful of concepts and the overall structure is more fleshed out.
When you’re ready, it’s time to put your mind map on one side, your favorite writing application on the other, and start writing, or import the content and start expanding on the main points.
Step 5: Let’s write!
After all this hard work, it’s finally time to start typing.
In this last step, you will see the best techniques you can use to speed up the process.
This seems obvious, but it is often overlooked.
Before you write the first letter, think what exactly do you want to achieve with what you are about to create?
Maybe you are writing a sales page and your ultimate goal is to get the user to make a purchase?, maybe you simply (as in this case) want to explain a topic as a tutorial? or maybe your sole purpose is to entertain the reader with a detailed narrative?
Having a purpose in mind is very important because it will allow you to use scripts and archetypes.
Scripts are little writing guidelines that you can follow when developing an idea.
You probably studied them as a kid in school:
- The most classic plot structure looks something like this: Intro – Conflict – Resolution.
But there are many more, and they can be applied to almost any purpose you have in mind.
For example, you can:
- Use Monroe’s motivational sequence (en) to create persuasive writing,
- Use the AIDA model to increase sales of your product,
- And so on
If you write fictional texts, you can learn about archetypes, or use prompts to get ideas about your next scenes.
Sometimes you won’t have a creative block, but a technical one.
This is, for instance, getting stuck trying to find a word similar to the one you’ve just used because you don’t want to repeat yourself.
Having a thesaurus will help you out with these pain points.
You could also use some AI Writing tools like WordHero, as they have more powerful tools, like content rewriters, analogy providers, scripts (AIDA, Hook Story Offer, PAS…)
You must rigorously use one of the most well-known processes when putting ideas on a paper, and that is that you must differentiate between writing, editing, and revising.
You shouldn’t do them all at the same time, instead, is better to:
- Write a quick first draft. No filters, just write. It doesn’t matter if you put a lot of care and attention from minute 0, there will always be mistakes, so it’s not worth investing more time and energy than necessary at this point. This draft would be a more developed version of the mind map of the 4th step.
- Edit the content. Editing is the process of going back over the draft to improve its quality. This may include deleting entire sentences and paragraphs, tweaking them, or even adding new content to ensure that what you have written is consistent, well understood, and makes sense.
- Proofread: this is the final step, where you will try to ensure that there are zero mistakes: misspelled words, misspellings, improperly used punctuation marks, etc.
Next actions for you
Think about what you write about on an ongoing basis (collaboration proposals, tutorials, sales pages, fiction…)
Once you the type of content you use to write about, look for scripts that can if on that category.
If you don’t find any, it’s time to create your own.
For example if in your blog you review apps, so you can create your own script for new articles, based on the AIDA model I just told you about:
- Attention: talk about a problem your readers have,
- Desire: Present the solution (app, tool) and make it attractive,
- Interest: Explain how it works and how it solves the problem presented before,
- Action: talk about the pricing and invite readers to sign-up /try the app.
I think you get the idea.
You don’t have to waste time and effort thinking about the structure, but generating the content.
About the writing routine., you could write for 2 hours straight without stopping, and then edit and proofread what you have just written.
But ideally, I recommend you to let pass a bunch of hours between at least the writing and the review process. In fact, it’s best to review your text the day after you have finished writing.
- If you want to use a good Thesaurus, this is the best one: https://www.freethesaurus.com/
- As an AI Writing Assistant, I recommend you WordHero
Summary and some more advice
In case you missed something, here’s a recap of the full guide!
- Find your purpose/goal, or otherwise, you’ll fail on writing 1,000 words each day constantly. Remember, doing it 1 day is easy, doing it for 30 is the hard part.
- Improve your typing speed to at least 50 words per minute
- Use text expanders
- Clear your workspace, invest in a good chair, desk, keyboard, and lighting (don’t forget about sound, try LoFi Playlists)
- Use a good Writing App, like Ulysses or Obsidian, it actually makes a difference.
- Create mindmaps with the main points of the content before start writing
- Use templates/scripts/archetypes
- Use a Thesaurus, and optionally, an AI Writing Assistant
- Write one day, edit hours later (or better, another day)
If you still have trouble getting your writing goal, or if you want to write even more:
- Read a lot. You are not going to be relying on the thesaurus all the time. Your brain is smart enough to gradually acquire the knowledge it lacks, and one of the best ways to do this is to read texts written by others.
- Educate yourself. If you want to really improve your writing skills you will have to invest a little more time and effort in quality training. You’ll find courses by actual writers at Master.
Writing 1,000 words a day FAQ
How much time do I need to write 1,000 words?
For me, it’s impossible to estimate how fast you will be able to create a piece of content of 1,000 words.
It mainly depends on the topic, but also on how inspired you are that day.
Personally, writing 1,000 words for a blog post takes me about 1 or 2h.
Is it possible to write more than 1,000 words a day?
With effort and following the tips in this guide you will get to write much more, but:
- I didn’t want the title of this article to sound overbearing or unattainable. If this article had been titled “How to write 7,000 words a day” you probably wouldn’t have believed it and you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
- Besides, whenever you try to acquire a new habit you should always set a goal as simple as possible, and 1,000 words is a perfectly achievable round number.
There is nothing better than an article of more than 3,000 words to explain how you can achieve the same thing!
So go ahead and start smashing those keys!