My 10K Word Challenge

Yesterday I wrote 10k words in one day. The process was fun but exhausting, and I’m pretty satisfied with the results. In this post I want to share a few observations on what helped me achieve this goal and what slowed me down.

10k Day – Positive Factors

These are the factors that really helped me and pushed me to finish those 10k words, even when the day started to get really long.

Planning the time ahead

I chose this day ahead of time and set it apart, knowing I would be able to dedicate most of my time to writing. I work part-time as a teacher’s assistant, so I made sure to plan for a day I didn’t have to go in. I also set aside my other freelance work. The day was all for writing.

Following a detailed outline

The day before my designated 10k day I created a detailed outline of the chapters I would be writing. By doing so, I eliminated the need to stop and think of what to write next. Everything was laid out for me, down to the target word count for each scene.

Keeping a consistent pace

For the most part I write in 500 word chunks and take a quick (5-10 minute) break between each section. I do this to make sure I don’t go full-steam and burn out in the first two hours of writing.

Social media support

Twitter played a huge role in the success of my 10k day. I know getting on social media is counterintuitive when trying to focus on writing, but by posting regular updates on my word-count, I kept myself motivated. I wanted to prove I could do it. Twitter responded with a surprising amount of favorites, retweets, and amazing encouragement and support. Massive thanks to you all!

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Recognizing the magnitude

10k is a big number. I don’t know how much you guys get done on an average day, but if I can write 2000 words I’m pretty happy. I had to face the fact that writing 10k words was going to be difficult. I needed to take it slowly and patiently. If I tried to tackle the whole block at once, I would have burnt out.

Willingness to delete words

A lot of people might think that to write 10k words you have to plow ahead and refuse to go back and make changes. I’m not that kind of writer. If a scene isn’t working for me, forcing it onto the page only slows me down and throws off my groove.

groove

I had to be willing to go back and delete large sections to start them over. For me it’s worth it to lose that progress and get back on track with a solid scene than to end up with a terrible 500 words that I’m going to delete later anyway.

Holding to the drive and passion

Let’s face it. If I didn’t believe in this story, if I weren’t in love with it and excited about it, getting even a page done would be a chore, never mind shooting for 10k words. Also, I relied on a lot of stubborn determination and stick-to-it-ness.

10k Day – Obstacles

As with any plan, things came up that put up roadblocks of varying sizes between me and my 10k word count goal. Some of them I could have avoided, some were simply unpredictable.

Physical and mental fatigue

I knew by the end of the day I was going to be wiped out. It’s unavoidable. Typing 10.ooo individual words drains the fingers and the brain. Coffee and tea helped combat fatigue, but still…it got tough.

Poor choice of day

When I first planned the day for writing, I’d forgotten company was arriving from out of the country later that night. Needless to say, if I had chosen a different day I could have avoided a few unplanned cleaning and preparation breaks.

Noise

Yesterday felt like National Make Noise day. The neighbor’s dog sang its own rendition of Les Mis for three hours straight. I despise that animal. My younger sister spent an hour yelling out in the yard. My youngest sister got out her toy drum and did her rounds.

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And my earphones broke, so white noise was not an option. Oh, well. These things happen.


I’m pleased with the results of my 10k day. That being said, I probably won’t be doing it again for a long time. I showed myself I could do it, I made a huge push in my manuscript, and today I’m calling in brain-dead.

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9 thoughts on “My 10K Word Challenge

  1. 10,000 words in one day is a great achievement. I would struggle. Most I’ve ever done is 4,000.
    That you’ve also got usable content is also an important factor of this challenge’s success. And I notice you’re almost there with your target…I say this because I am about 75,000 words behind mine and seeing your wordcount target makes me wish I could type a little faster or maybe procrastinate less. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting experience. Thanks for sharing. It’s always a good thing to challenge yourself. I also liked your preparation for the day. I always prepare before I sit down and write. It keeps me focused. The most I’ve written was 6000 words. I need to take walks in between to keep my mind active and ‘plotting’ I had backache the following day. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a heck f accomplishment. I spend several hours just doing 1,000 words. I’m like you though. If it doesn’t sound right, I have to go back and change it up. Especially if you’re in the grove, it might end up reading different in your re-write.

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  4. Whoa, 10,000 in a DAY? Congratulations! The best I’ve done is just over 3000 (during NaNoWriMo), and today I spent 3 hours writing 1650.

    I’m like you where I can’t write 500 lousy words and say I’ll go back and fix it later. If I write something badly and keep going, my writing gets progressively worse and worse, and harder and harder to do, as I go along.

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  5. Just wanted to say your 10,000 words in one day inspired me by seeing how much could be possible. 🙂 The result of that is me buckling down this next week to write 5000 words a day for 5 days; basically writing my whole next novella this week.

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