I mentioned my goal of an average of 500 words a day. Originally it was just 500 words, every day; but I found that some days are more prolific than others, and some completely miss. I try to make sure I do some writing everyday so that I at least get 100 words into the curve. I have found that when I take the time, the words come. I average about 500 words per 20 minutes. I don't know if that's good or not; I'd like to be faster--but it is what it is, and I know what to schedule.
One thing that helps me generate words is to participate in other mass writing endeavors in an informal way. (Usually this amounts to brainstorming. I am painfully slow once I hit the revising and editing stage of a piece.) The NaNoWriMo movement has inspired many of them, including my more solitary ramp-up work. By this I mean several outlines for novels I have fleshed out to varying degrees, anticipating the year I finally participate.
Also, I have linked before to the CWG's 30,000 Words for Christ--I think of it as a Catholic NANoWriMo for Bloggers, but it is much more flexible than that. More like "A Round of 30,000 Words in 30 Days." April is National Poetry Month, so the NaPoWriMo challenge is another one. The idea is to write one poem a day for 30 days. The NaPoWriMo website has a prompt every day to stimulate your imagination, and I'm collecting other prompts along the way. I don't commit to finishing a poem each day, but I do try to start one. I don't feel confident in my skills as a poet yet; I'd like to reach at least journeyman status in the craft, so I'm carefully protecting and developing my drafts in anticipation of a master's tutelage at some point.
There is also a charming and imaginative exercise called PiBoIdMo that takes place in November--that is, the Picture Book Idea Month. I thought I'd give it a trial run while I'm on a creative spree. The object there is to come up with 30 ideas for children's picture book manuscripts in 30 days. After that, it's up to you to develop them as you see fit.
All in all, these activities are a wealth of material for brainstorming, which is in turn a great way to meet a word count.
And then there's always pouring my heart out in the journal.
Word count to date: 6896
Running target: 8500 (so I'm roughly 4 days behind. As I say, the day's not over.)
Here's the link-up.