“Words are, in my not-so-humble-opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
J. K. Rowling
Any writer can easily relate to this fact and admit in the magic created word after word, on page after page.
Sometimes some of us get stuck in so-called ‘writer’s block’ and keep on insisting that they are short of ideas or inspiration or motivation. The truth is if one has the passion of what he does then there is nothing that can stop him. There is no block big enough to hinder his creativity. Like any other discipline, well, like itself, you just need to organize. If writing doesn’t come naturally to you then you are fooling yourself. Quit immediately and find your real purpose.
How much should you write? You really have the answer to it but don’t write 5000 words one day and not a single word for a month. Just stay focused. Find a minimum number for you and stick to it. Depending on your full time job make the daily count work for you and not hinder you.
And for those who really dig writing, have some inspiration from the following writers who used to write every day. They had their writing corners and they scribbled the words even if they were not “inspired.”
1. Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway used to write almost 500 words every day without a slack. He used to get up very early every day to meet his target.
Famous Works: The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun also Rises, A farewell to Arms, For Whom the bell Tolls
2. Stephen King
Stephen King, in his book, “On Writing” explained that he disciplines himself by writing 2000 words every day which amounts to quite a healthy number by the end of a month. It is clearly manifested in his books that are pretty wordy.
Famous Works: It, Finders Keepers, The Running Man, The dart Tower, The Outsider
3. Jack London
He used to stick to the routine of 1500 words a day.
Famous Works: White Fang, The Call of the Wild
4. Tom Woolfe
He had a very interesting routine. He used to write around 135 words every day. This goes to show that it’s not the quantity but the quality that matters.
Famous Works: The right Stuff, The Bonfire of Vanities, The Painted Word
5. Mark Twain
Depending on the location Mark Twain used to write 14000 to 18000 words. He was one of those inspired souls who were compelled to put their thoughts on paper as a necessity.
Famous Works: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Roughing It, The Gilded Age, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
6. W. Somerset Maugham
As he himself said, “There are three rules for writing a novel, unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” So here you go. Directly coming from the horse’s mouth. The number of his successful works he wrote are indicative of the quality rather than quantity. He was contented to limit himself to about 1000 words a day.
Famous Works: Of Human Bondage, The Razor’s Edge, The Painted Veil
So you see, it’s all about your calling. Find your niche but stick to it.