Honesty in stories. Truth in words.

How I Write a Book FAST(ish)

Letter to My Book

That’s probably not a title you expected from me. I didn’t either. But I’ve come to realize that I do write fast, even if it seems like it takes an eternity. The Old River Road took eight months from first words to published. So how do I do it?

Let me introduce you to this lovely thing I call Binge Writing.

Binge Writing, otherwise known as a Writing Spree, is something I started doing out of sheer desperation. NaNo of 2015 was my very first attempt at writing 50,000 words in less than a year (in less than 3 years, actually). And I did it. 50,000 in one month.

After November, I was pretty convinced that I would just participate in every single NaNo and camp NaNo available. Great idea, in theory. It just so happens that April, July, and November are pretty much the very worst months for me to buckle down and focus on something.

Also, I have the attention span of a gnat. It’s called ADD. I like instant gratification. And yes, THERE IS A WAY to have it in writing.

I schedule two binge writes a month. 5 days of 2,000 words per day, one week off, then another 5 days of 2,000 words a day.

Why 2,000 words a day?

This will vary from person to person, but I’ve found that 2,000 words is my sweet spot. I know without a doubt that I can write that much and not be stressed.

Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. I can write that much with minimal stress. :)

That number is flexible, however. Some weeks, if I have a lot of schoolwork to do or I’m working more hours, I might lower it to 1,500. Or 1,000. Or 500. The point is to write some amount of words, consistently, for 5 days.

It adds up overtime, kinda like change in a jar. When the jar is full, you can be surprised at how much money is in there. When the week is over, you can be surprised at how much that word count has come up.

Give it a try. And tell me how it went! :)


What are your writing habits?



17 comments so far.

17 responses to “How I Write a Book FAST(ish)”

  1. Aidyl says:

    Nice, nice! I find it so interesting to see how other writers write. I don’t really have any set pace, sometimes I write gigantic amounts in a short time frame, and other times I crawl along like a snail. The flexibility works for me though. :) I just make sure I do *something* on my writing every single day.
    Aidyl from Noveltea

    • Ivy says:

      I love seeing how others write, too. It’s amazing how different we all are! And yes, writing something every day is such a good habit to get into.

  2. Jesseca Dawn says:

    I was telling a friend of mine yesterday that the only time I can tackle a novel-length project is during NaNo in November…because otherwise I get overwhelmed by the enormity of it, and I tend to “take a break”…forever. ;P
    I really like the idea of setting aside different times to work specifically on writing. I’ll have to try it with my current writing project. Thanks for sharing, Ivy! :)

    • Ivy says:

      Hehe–I totally get the “taking a break” for years. I’ve done it. ;) And yes, the setting aside a time really helps me. Hope it works for you, too! :)

  3. Great idea, Ivy!
    I usually “try” to write 5,000 words a week. That’s my goal, but I know that there are often weeks (especially seems true this year!) when I can’t get that much written because of other things going on. But I try and several times I’ve written much more than 5k. And my daily goal is 1,000 words, but I really like to get to 2k as often as I can. Some days it’s easier than others to reach it, but it’s always very satisfying when I do.
    I’ve never tried NaNo because November is always a very busy month for me.

  4. Hope Ann says:

    I’ve been writing 2000 words a day the past week or two, trying to finish NaNo. ;) But binge writing is a good idea. I’ve been doing some of that recently, though I’d not thought of it in that way.

  5. Kate Willis says:

    I really like this idea! Thanks for sharing. ;)

  6. Kellyn Roth says:

    I’ve been writing sporadically throughout these last couple months, so I hope to do a lot of catching up in August. Hopefully binge-writing will work for me! :D

    • Ivy says:

      Me too. I need to get back into binge writing. It really does work when I set my mind to it. Hopefully it will work for you, too!

  7. Katja L. says:

    Thanks for the information, Ivy! I’ll use it this NaNoWriMo. I’ve never done it before but I hope to this year. :) This month this is the way I stayed on track with my writing:

    I use Writer (https://writer.bighugelabs.com) to write, and it has a handy-dandy thingy to set a word count and deadline. I just put my word count (12,100 words) to the deadline (July 31, 2016) and it says “Write so many words to stay on track.” Now at first I only wrote the so many words, but then I clicked that meant I’d still be writing the 31st. Which I didn’t want; I wanted to have a couple days’ relaxation before tackling the next story. (It didn’t work out that way, if you’re interested in knowing. :P) So I had to write OVER the number requested to stay on track. So I was on day 31st and I had only 11, 900+ and neither conclusion nor epilogue written. . . :( You non-writers, don’t laugh, you don’t know the difficulty in getting through the 200 words from 11,900 to 12,100 when you’re at the end of the story. . . !! Do you find it like that too?

    • Ivy says:

      Wow, Katja, sounds like you have quite a system going!!! That’s great!

      No–I don’t usually have a huge problem finding words. Sometimes, but it is rare. (thank goodness. I hear running out of words is terrible!!) :)

  8. This is a wonderful idea, Ivy! Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to try it, soon. :)

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