Games Writers Play #2: 25 Words a Day

Scott William Carter   January 26, 2010  

gwpSince starting with 500 words may seem like too much for some writers, here’s a different approach.  I can’t remember where I heard this particular game, though I know I’ve heard it used by a number of successful authors.  It’s really quite simple:

You just have to write 25 words a day.

That’s it.  That’s your quota.  If you hit 25 words, then you give yourself permission to quit.  I reached that in the first paragraph, so you can see how ridiculously easy it is.  And that’s the point.

See, most of the battle of overcoming our natural resistance as human beings to doing anything that requires discipline is just getting our butts in the chair. Once your butt is in the chair, the word processor is fired up, and the first couple words are typed, you’re already well on your way.  Most of the time, you’ll actually find it hard to stop at just 25 words.

But not always.  Maybe you’re down with the flu, maybe you’re out late partying with Jay-Z, or maybe the creativity center of your brain is just coming up empty, and if that’s the case, give yourself permission to stop at 25 words.

The key is keeping a streak alive.  Creating momentum is one of the most powerful ways to boost your productivity.  Once you’ve got a streak of even a few weeks going, you’ll find you don’t want to miss.  Try it out.  You might be amazed after a couple weeks how the pages have added up.  It’s also a great game when you find yourself suffering from a long dry spell.  Because no matter how bad your writer’s block is, you can always write a couple sentences, right?


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