The Million Dollar Secret*

I've recently made an exciting discovery. Or I should say, re-discovery, because I actually worked this out years ago and then mysteriously forgot it.

The secret of getting lots of writing done every day is this:

250 words.

Yes, that's all. Just 250 words. But you have to write them FIRST THING. Before breakfast. Before that cup of tea. Before you hang the washing out. Before you feed the bearded dragon. Before you look at your emails, or heaven forbid, think about a blog post. All that can wait. Not for long, because, hey, how long does it take to dash off 250 words? Ten minutes?

But amazingly, once those first 250 words are on the page, it makes going back and doing more soooo much easier. Those first quick ten minutes at the keyboard might turn into an easy half hour, then an hour, and before you know it, you've written nearly a thousand words and it's not even ten o'clock yet! Or even if you do take a break (because, hey, we all have to eat sometime), 'going back to work' is not as daunting as 'starting work.' I don't know why this is. It's something to do with the small-target theory, I think.

But gee, I'm glad I've remembered about the 250 word trick.

* If that heading doesn't attract a lot of casual browsers then I don't know what will. Boy, are they going to be disappointed...


  1. My new mantra '250 words, 250 words, salute the sun etc'. Great advice, kate. and you know, i used to know it too! How come we forget these good things?? x

  2. I used to think it was a modern day thing, all these strategies to battle distractions or trick ourselves into writing. Then I read this:

    "During the years 1872 and 1873, (Victor) Hugo wrote his final novel using a routine some might consider slightly eccentric. Every morning, on the roof of his house on Guernsey in the Channel Islands, Hugo would stand naked and pour a bucket of cold water over his head. He would then enter a glass cage he referred to as his 'lookout' and write while standing at a lectern."

  3. Lordy! I'm surprised he didn't die of pneumonia.

    Or maybe he did.