As of 2013, there were 7.13 billion people on earth. Flip on the news and you’ll see many of them doing completely idiotic things. Even worse, much of this is voluntarily done.
Seriously, next time ESPN is hosting either the Winter or Summer X Games, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
Sure, motocross racers, skateboarders and BMX bikers lead extreme lives, but my guess is that few of them have ever done what us bloggers would toss into our very own “extreme” category: write 10,000 words in one day.
I did this once myself—emphasis on the word once. It took a great deal out of me.
I mean, as far as normal writing is concerned, I did the math a couple of months ago and, as a copywriter by trade, I average anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000 words a day.
Honestly, as a freakishly hyperactive human, it doesn’t seem like all that much. That said, when it’s time to close up shop, I’m dead tired and ready for some real rest and relaxation.
So, when I busted out 10,000 words, I wasn’t all that surprised by how much the activity took out of me. Anyone can do it, but it’s substantially harder than what you’re thinking.
Whatever the case, if this sounds like something you’re interested in, I’d be happy to share with you the very tidbits that helped push me until I’d successfully finished “The 10,000-Word Challenge.”
That’s not an official title or anything, but it sure sounds impressive, huh? Anyway, here’s what you should do if you feel like downing this editorial giant:
Work With a Schedule
If you plan to belt out a disgusting number of words in one 24-hour period, don’t think it’ll be one of those things you do after your evening shower and before sliding into bed.
No, it’s going to take more time than that.
This isn’t a one or two hour ordeal; moreover, it’s something that you’re going to need to plan out and—here’s the hard part—execute.
If you’re a full-time copywriter, blogger or journalist, this isn’t all that hard to do. You write for a living. If this is your situation, by simply upping your level of production, you can make this happen.
On the flip side of things, however, if you’re a part-time writer or simply do this sort of thing for fun, it’s going to to take a “sick day” or weekend to make this happen.
Basically, as long as there’s plenty of time and a plan in place, you’ve won half the battle.
The Tortoise Still Wins the Race
Writing 10,000 words isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Yes, the whole “Tortoise and Hair” narrative is painfully overused, but it works here.
You’re going to be writing 10,000 words and—more than likely—much of what you produce won’t be your best work, but it doesn’t have to be your worst either, right?
Think about it—there’s an ever-present dichotomy in the world of copywriting. If you write too quickly, you’re not focusing enough on quality.
Conversely, if you focus too much on quality, you’re missing out on thousands of dollars each month due to your lack of pace.
The real solution? Write both quickly and beautifully. You can have both. Nobody’s saying you can’t.
Needless to say, the “slow and steady” method not only helps you create awesome content in a calm and collected manner en route to 10,000 words, it prevents you from linking your name to complete and total garbage.
Eliminate Distractions While Writing
Think you’re immune to the ever-present pull of distractions? I’ve written entire pieces on this before, but it’s especially huge when tackling 10,000 words.
You might be good, but come 6,000 or 7,000 words, you will most assuredly feel the urgent need to respond to that Facebook message you’d forgotten about from a second cousin of yours over three weeks ago.
I’ve been there. It’s rough.
This goes back to the whole scheduling thing. When it’s time to write, it’s time to write. When it’s time for a break, it’s time for a break. Save the email, smartphone, snacking and even trips to the restroom for those built-in moments for clearing your thoughts.
Otherwise, you need to be at your computer working on the next project.
You’re not a professional cyclist or marathon runner, so don’t start acting like one.
Yet, one of an anaerobic athlete’s greatest weapons comes not only from the strength of his or her physical muscles, but from raw mental tenacity.
As the day wears on, you’ll need to call upon the powers of your brain to keep your fingers flying.
I’m no motivational speaker, so I’m not entirely certain as to what needs to be done to keep you churning in these moments of difficulty, all I can say is that you need to be prepared to face them and overcome them on your own.
The upside of this, however, is that when you have finally typed your last word, you’ll officially be able to say that you’ve joined the 10,000 word club.
Before signing off, let’s focus on you for a minute—have you ever managed to dominate 10,000 typed words in a single day? If not, what’s your max? Also, if you don’t mind me asking, what’s your average?
So as to better give Echelon’s readers a better idea of what can be done in a single day, please post your answers in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.