What’s average?

April 2, 2007

So I’m trying to write at least 700 words a day in my novel, but even that feels like a lot on some days.

I’ve heard various writers talk about their output: 1,000 or 2,000 words a day (sometimes more) or sometimes it’s in incriments of time, e.g., one or two or six hours a day.

The discipline appeals to me, but a word count goal hangs over my head every morning…gotta reach 700 words, gotta reach 700 words, and so on.

And now to it.  I’ve got 655 words to go to meet today’s goal.

6 Responses to “What’s average?”

  1. A word count sounds like a good idea, but I’d never hit my goal, so I don’t even set one. Right now my goal is to write some type of fiction every weekday. Doesn’t sound too difficult, but it works for me.

  2. pyrogyne said

    I think that the discipline of a word count is not only a good idea, but sometimes necessary. I mean, really. Writing is not always fun, particularly when you feel like like you’re not being productive.

    Perhaps, instead of a daily word count, you could set a weekly or monthly word count to reach for. Make sure it’s do-able, though, otherwise you’ll just feel discouraged if/when you don’t meet your goal.

    My average, when I’ve got nothing else to do: about 2,000 wds/day. This semester, though, it’s been about 1500 wds/week. And even when everything’s going well, only about 10% of my word count is actually worth reading.

  3. Since I have another “bread winning” profession (even though often I would not call it a “winning” one), I can’t really add my 2 cents worth of experience. Except that when I write stories, I tend to exceed 2000 words or more in a session because I’m driven to finish while I’m at it.

    Hemingway was a very disciplined writer. He got up at four in the morning to get writing out of the way early, and then had much of the day for other activities. He writes quite a bit about this routine in “The Garden of Eden” (published posthumously in 1986), which is the novel of his I actually enjoyed more than any others.

    Oh, by the way, there’s a new novel ending to be guessed at:

    http://steerforth.wordpress.com/2007/04/03/ending-13-%e2%80%93-from-a-british-novel-published-in-1920/

  4. PS: Hope you managed your remaining 655!

  5. EelKat said

    I do an avetage of 3,000 a day, but it could go anywhere from 700 to 10,000 depending on my mood… saddly I do not write every day, more like once a week. I need to learn to write in smaller chuncks like you are doing, so that I’ll have time to write every day.

    good luck to you!

    ~~EK

  6. Jamie said

    I stopped setting word count goals a while ago. They are arbitrary — you might accomplish a lot in one day, yet have only written 142 words. Or if you’re where I am with my novel right now, there are (horrors) days where my net word count is negative.

    In my writing group we joke about not writing many words a day being okay as long as they are GOOD words. 🙂 Because in the end, that’s much more important.

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