Success With Writing Is Cumulative: Real World Edition
Most people underestimate the amount they can achieve over a sustained period of time. When it comes to authors and writers of all types, they allow themselves to get complacent over the long term. In this article, I’ll show you why you should avoid this.
Last night, I finished writing my post for the day; a semi-Halloween-themed post about being sneaky and using logical fallacies to generate content.
After finishing that post, I looked at my stats for the month’s blog posts using Routine Writing.
Here are the results:
I wrote 36,000 words last month just for this site. That’s not even including this interview I did with James. That’s over 2,000 words all on its own.
I’ve written this before, but this site is a part-time endeavour for me. It’s probably in the top five things that account for my word count, but it’s far from the only thing I do.
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Now Back To The Regular Programming Schedule…)
Most days, I take less than an hour to write my posts. Every so often I’ll spend a few hours editing old posts (my post formatting used to be horrid) or playing around with the themes, plugins and other things.
That said, I wrote 36,000 words in one month. If I were to put that onto paper, you’d be looking at a book per month.
Even if you did nothing but spend an hour a day on your writing, you could achieve this.
If you spend three hours a day on writing, you can aim for 100,000 words a month after you get in the groove. You’ll be writing at pulp speed in no time.
If you spend 5+ hours writing a day… well, you can do the math. You’re looking at figures that people would automatically call “Bullshit” if you said them outright.
National Novel Writing Month: A Good Place To Start?
Using the above mathematics, writing a novel within a month should be achievable for anyone.
Let’s go by an accepted definition of 50,000+ words being novel-length. (That’s around 250 typed pages.)
You’ll need to work for an hour and a half at 1200 words an hour (for 1,800 words a day) to smash that total.
That’s not a superhuman feat, and I think that the whole “This is an exhausting challenge” that many bloggers put out tends to scare people into a sense of feeling the challenge is more daunting than it really is.
If you want to write fiction, then you can try national novel writing month. Just remember; it’s only 1800 words a day.
Even better… think of the challenge as 3,000 words a day and then take a few days off at the end to polish your product. (Even 3,000 words is less than three hours’ worth of writing.)
Niche Sites And Cumulative Writing
Essentially, I think of a niche site in a similar way to how I think of a book. I try to aim for around a hundred posts for each niche site before I’ll consider it “complete” and then I’ll only update when a new product comes around or I find something interesting to write about.
100 articles take me 50 hours or less to write.
More importantly, think of this sort of thing as a video game bar: every article you write is one step closer to completion. If you write a single article for a single niche site every day, then it’ll take you one hundred days to “finish the project.” For half an hour’s work every day.
When you aim for a niche site that’ll earn you passive income for years into the future, it’s an easy bet.
Then take into consideration that you can write posts more quickly than that – or in less actual time. Writing ten posts a day means you’ll be finished in over a week – and you’ll still never go over about three hours a day.
Apply This To Any Writing Project – Final Thoughts
I’ve picked the examples above because they relate to my goals for the month. You can do the sums and apply them to any writing goal though.
I’m going to build more niche sites and I’m going to do my own version of NaNoWriMo. That’s in addition to any freelance work I get and the other projects I’m already working on.
My word count is going to be insane. My working hours are going to be insane.
But every word you write is an asset that you can earn money from – and learn from – for an indeterminate time into the future.
If you write a book this November, than that book – should you publish it – will earn money for you (and later your estate) for years and years. Potentially for longer than you are around.
Websites, business writing, sales letters; they’re all the same; Assets which you’ll get a return on.
The only difference between writing and any other asset is that whilst you still get a positive return that trickles in over the long-term, you don’t have to put any physical investment down to start with.
It’s just you and the keyboard.
In terms of writing as a long term investment, you can’t really lose. Type a little today, do so every day, and watch as your investment bears fruit for years to come.