How to Write 3000 Words

This summer I have been in Turbo Writer Mode. Basically, I have July to finish my comic novel, Darcy By Any Other Name. It’s a wonderfully funny romp. But it won’t write itself.

So Mondays through Wednesdays I write 3000 words a day. The rest of the week I’m also writing, but not new material. I tell you what, by week’s end my brain feels stretched like a wrung-out sponge! But the chapters are mounting up. Definitely worth it.

Here are some things I’ve learned about pumping out words.

1. Set aside time. You need time for writing. And for thinking. Ah, but remember this: You will do your best thinking as you write.

Set aside time to work
Quiet, dedicated time is important.

2. Don’t forget that morning cuppa. A hot drink both comforts and empowers. But too much caffeine is not your friend.

Caffeine helps.
Some is good. A lot, not so much.

3. Gather your tools. For me, this means finding my best pair of reading glasses. And then not setting them down “somewhere.”

Find your glasses. And the backup glasses. And the backup to the backup glasses.
A backup. And a 2nd and 3rd backup.

4. Stay on task. It takes time to warm up the flow, so keep throwing words on the page, willy-nilly. Make lists of ideas, walk through a scene “telling” it. No editing, no backtracking.

Yes, sigh, I use a timer.
Sigh, I often use need a timer to stay focused.

5. Carry a notebook everywhere. Words beget words, and ideas can strike at any time. If you’re not prepared, you’ll write on scraps and napkins. Try not to make notes while you are driving on the freeway…like I did here (the receipt!).

Be prepared for ideas.
Be ready for ideas…or else you’ll do this.

6. Accountability helps. Fellow author Susan Kaye and I check in every single work day. Same with my pals at My 500 Words. Because time is not yours to waste, not when there’s a book to write. Find others to help you stay productive and growing.

Give and receive encouragement
You don’t need to go it alone. Join us!

7. Above all, keep your sense of humor intact. As you write, entertain not only your future readers but also yourself. The first draft is all melodrama anyway, so dare to go over the top.

The Foster Farms Chicken Impostor.
My very own Foster Farms “Chicken Impostor.” Because I need a smile.

8. For heaven’s sake, back up your work. Daily. And don’t lose the flash drive like I did. (I have no idea why I wrote “2 of 3” on this one. There must have been a reason.)

Back up your work.
Back up your work. Just do it.

“Never give up, never surrender! Words of wisdom from Galaxy Quest, right? Don’t lose heart. Writing is all about stopping and starting again. You only fail if you quit for keeps.

9 thoughts on “How to Write 3000 Words

    1. Learned the hard way, these lessons. Especially the jotting notes while pm the freeway. What was I thinking? I was just so afraid I’d forget what I’d just come up with. I managed to write PIANO on the receipt.

      I should add that this was during rush-hour traffic and we were almost at a standstill.

      These days I forget stuff—even especially brilliant story ideas—so easily.


    1. The “80% of your ideas come while you’re writing” is classic advice, but I swear it’s absolutely true for me. Like trying to turn an 18-wheeler. You can’t do it while the thing is stopped. It must be moving.

      Same with my writing brain … Thanks for dropping by, Allegra! 🙂


  1. I’m similar to you… when I sit down to write, I take no prisoners. 🙂 I use wordpress to write so that everything is available on every single computer I walk up to, and backing up is one simple click (it’s under tools export). I also use plugins for an editorial calendar to schedule posts/look at my productivity spread out on a calendar and another to show word count in the admin panel so I can click a WIP category and see how far I’ve gone and how far I have to go. Plus my editor gets in there and just changes stuff, but thanks to revision control, I can just sip my cup of coffee and look at the two revisions and ONLY change back the changes I don’t agree to. This has incredibly streamlined my editing process. 🙂

    Keep it up Laura, and I try to check in with you too when we’re both on. 🙂


  2. Totally agree with every bit of this…except, can there really be too much caffeine?…Maybe. Anyway, I’m happy to know you through our 500 words group and Camp, even if I can’t keep up with you on these long sprint hikes. And I love the 18 wheeler reference in your comment! Hadn’t heard that one before but is so on target. Congrats for getting the words on the paper…so to speak. We’re nearly into the final stretch.


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