Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's Your Word Count?

So as a writer how much do you log per day? Interesting thread on Absolute Write about word count/day. If you're interested check out the discussion. Some appear to get a little heated over the issue, which I can understand from a matter of paranoia that you are not living up to some standard of being a professional writer. It can be a hit to the ego, and a worry that you can't cut it if you are aspiring or an insult to the already-published.

Of course there are tons of factors that go into word count, and I for one, don't think there is any Golden Rule about what is best. Or what should be sought after. We need goals to shoot for to keep on track -- though some may argue that that may hinder the creative process. Word count is one of the easiest to track. But so many things are going to get in the way that sticking to a count/day rule, may be too strict to work with the flow of your writing on its own. I set a goal of 10k/month (with a weekly and daily target) for the last couple months and have managed to stick to it. Hopefully as time goes by I can work up to something larger but this works for me currently.

Everyone works differently, and the only true way to find out what works is through experience.

Copy of my post from the Absolute Write Thread:
Brandon Sanderson notes on his blog (somewhere) that the usual is 1000/day to be expected as a writer, though I don't believe he specified if that was what he did or as a general rule, and he may be averaging that out to include revision time. I've read a transcript of a conversation with L.E. Modessit Jr. and he said about 2500/day for him. I forget if that was 5 days/wk or 7. I myself (when I get 2+ hours) can do about 1000, unless I'm really stuck on something.
So what about you? What do you think on the matter if it even matters at all as long as you know you are working.


  1. An average day of writing articles for me is about 1,000 words. An average day for working on a fiction story is 1,500-2,000. This is looking at carving out a couple of hours in a day to just write; when I dedicate a full working day to the task of writing, it's at least 3,000 (plus edits or revisions). It also depends on if any research or inspiration is necessary beforehand or during the process.

  2. Yes, the accursed but invaluable research can be a major time-drain. It sounds like you have made this into a more or less full time career, which is commendable and admirable. Here's hoping I can follow your lead one day. Thanks for your note, I'm always intereste to hear how others write.


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