Soon I’ll reach the six and a half year mark on a challenge I’ve been doing: the 2+ pages challenge. I got this from Julie Hyzy, who inspired me to give it a try.
Simple idea, really. Write two manuscript pages a day. More if you want, but at least two.
Rain or shine, sick or well, disaster or no.
I wrote on the Katrina days. It helped me remember the world beyond the horrible sadness of that time.
Two manuscript pages equals about 500 words. Some writers have asked me how I manage to write so much every day. Others I know would laugh at how little that is.
What matters is the “every day” part. I learned about this idea long ago. Roger Zelazny used to require himself to sit down three times a day and write three or four sentences. The idea was that at least one of those times, he’d get caught up in the writing and do more. Regardless, even nine sentences a day adds up surprisingly quickly, and what’s perhaps more important, it keeps the writing fresh in your mind.
Some writers work in spurts, producing many pages in a short amount of time (like a novel in a month, or in a week), and then take long breaks, maybe a month or two or more. Me, I have trouble getting started again after that long away. If I need a break from one project, I find it’s better to write on a different project for a while than to stop writing altogether.
So I write two pages on weekends, on my birthday, my anniversary, and when I’m on vacation. On regular work days I try to write more.
Two pages a day = 730 pages a year = 182,500 words which is about two novels or one really big one. Again, some writers can’t fathom writing that much in a year. Others write a lot more than that in a year.
The point is, find a process that works for you and stick to it. Two pages plus has worked pretty well for me for over six years.