Want to know how to write 30,000 words this month?
I conducted my own writing experiment in August and set a goal to write 30,000 words by the end of the month.
The results surprised me.
I hit my goal word count by August 27th, and by the time my experiment wrapped up at the end of the month, I had written a total of 34,332 words.
Sound impossible? Believe it or not, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
The key to my success was tracking my progress every day. I put a couple of simple measurement tools in place, then used them to steadily work my way up to 30,000 words.
Management consultant and author Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured, get managed.” That statement is true in many areas (like weight loss and family chores), and it’s particularly critical in your writing career.
Having a tracking system is the key becoming a better, more efficient writer. And since content creation should be the foundation of your entire online strategy, becoming a stronger, faster writer is critical to your marketing success.
Creating Your Simple Tracking System
Your first step is to set up your tracking system. You can use Excel, a Google doc, or even pen and paper – just make sure it’s easily accessible and simple to use.
In your tracking document, you need columns to measure:
- The number of words you write each day.
- How long it takes to write them.
- Any additional notes about what you’re working on (blog post title, chapter name, etc.)
- Totals for columns 1 and 2, so you can see measure your daily progress and see how close you are to your monthly goals.
- How many words per hour you’re writing. Keep a running tally of your average writing speed (in words per hour) so you can see your speed increasing over time.
Here’s a screenshot of a section of my writing log for the month of August:
My quick-and-easy writing log process
Here’s the simple and fast method I used to record key metrics during my writing sessions every day:
- At the beginning of each writing session, I looked at the clock and recorded the time at the top my document.
- I wrote until I reach a natural stopping point (usually about 20-30 minutes).
- I looked at the clock again and recorded the new time at the end of the document.
- I used my word processor’s word count tool to calculate the number of words I wrote during that session.
- I recorded the word count and time in my spreadsheet.
- I repeated 1-5 until I’d written at least 1,000 words.
I don’t rely on fancy applications or online tools. My Excel spreadsheet and Microsoft Word work for me, but you can use any system that suits your workflow and writing style.
Want a writing log template? You can download a free one (in Excel and Google Doc formats) here.
Unless you’re working on one big project (like a book), it’s a good idea to keep a separate document of all your content ideas, too. It’s important that you never run out of ideas for blog posts while you’re writing. If you finish one blog post in the middle of a writing session, you can simply start creating a new post by moving on to the next idea on your list.
Why a writing log can be your business’s new secret weapon
Developing a tracking system or writing log is the absolute best thing you can do to become a better, faster writer.
By the end of my writing experiment, I had doubled my writing speed. I can now consistently write around 1400 words per hour. I also wrote more blog posts (including some guest posts for prominent sites) during the month of August than the previous three months combined.
My writing experiment was the best thing I’ve done for my business in years.
Want to try it? All you need to do is set a goal, write a little bit every day, and track your progress.
Then get ready to see major results in your content creation efforts.
Beth Hayden is a writer, author, and content marketing expert who specializes in working with women business owners. You can get a free, customizable copy of her Writing Log Template on her website.