While some poets may get away with writing 20 words here or a few dozen there, most works that are thought to be of any value are well over 50,000 words. For those of us who weren't born with the ability to write more than 400 word blog post every so often, this can seem like an insurmountable challenge. The secret is to work on increasing your writing endurance.
Writing endurance is similar to cardiovascular endurance. If you run three times a week, after a month or two you are bound to be a stronger runner. The same goes for writing. You need to write multiple times a week as opposed to trying to cram it all in on the weekends. Imagine if you sat on your couch for six days and then tried to run 10 miles on Sunday? You might last a week or two tops before requiring a trip to the doctor's office and a whole lot of ice!
Pick a time of day that you can keep consistent and sit down to write. If you have trouble getting yourself started, attempt speaking out loud to coax the ideas out of your head. It helps if you have a project to work on so that you can focus. Some examples of projects include a book, a blog post, a cover letter, a visualization exercise and a thank-you note.
Once you've worked your way up to three days a week of at least 10 minutes each day, it's time to increase your writing time. This can feel like holding your breath underwater if you're an easily distracted person like myself. Set up an egg timer or a microwave for five minutes more than you did the previous session for a few sessions in a row. Force yourself to write until the timer hits zero. Keep pushing yourself until you end up with 30 minutes to an entire hour of writing at one sitting.
From there, you can make healthier choices to further increase your writing endurance. Eating more fruits and vegetables and making fewer heavy food choices like fatty meat and cheese can give you more energy during your sessions. Similarly, getting a full night's sleep can help your brain to be at its most efficient. Another creativity and endurance boost can come from talking about your writing with family and friends. The more often you think and talk about your work, the more hours your subconscious will put into lining up a menu of ideas for your conscious mind to choose from during your next session.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.