Writing Routine: The 500 Club

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In another article I wrote about how it isn’t important to write every day, so long as you’re making your writing a priority. For people with very busy schedules or those who understand this as part of their process, that’s fine. However, I do think that a lot of aspiring authors benefit from the discipline and practice of doing at least some writing every day.

But again, especially for those who are busy with other things, there’s no need to make this a daunting pursuit. The 500 Club is about committing to writing a minimum of 500 words every day, which is not a ridiculous total. Randy Ingermanson, the Snowflake Guy, created this method as a way to keep his stories moving forward, and I think it’s a great idea for anyone who is feeling stuck, busy, or overwhelmed.

The important thing is to make sure you stick to the word count; that discipline is what makes this method work. Of course if you feel compelled or inspired to write more, then you can keep going, but keep in mind that you cannot carry over words from day-to-day. You need to be writing 500 new words.

Sticking to a minimum of 500 every day is a great way to continuously make progress on a story without feeling like you have to commit huge chunks of time to it all at once. It’s a very doable goal, even for those who are pressed for time.

This method can also be helpful for people who are having trouble starting a project. If you find yourself paralyzed between a myriad of ideas that all seem good, pick one and start writing on it. Over time, even at only 500 words a day, you will finish the story, and then you can move on to the next project. By committing to something and moving forward with it, you ensure that you will get it done and not be stuck bouncing between ideas all the time.

You can also work on the other projects after you’ve totaled up your 500 words for the day, assuming you have the extra time. Making sure you put in your 500 and then moving on to world build or brain storm for another setting could be a great way to keep things fresh. But I’d only suggest this if you know you can keep moving forward on the primary work and not get distracted from it.

Remember, writing is a marathon, not a sprint. So long as you’re making progress on your story, you’re heading in the right direction. If you find that you are often overwhelmed by the idea of committing to such a huge task, then I think this method could really help. Try it and drop a line in the comments to share your experience and whether or not you found this helpful.

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