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View Full Version : I know 'size doesn't matter', but let's be honest. How many words a day? On average?



Paul
12-14-2011, 05:01 AM
I'm sure this has been done before, but well, i, em, can't find it.




*cough*


(PS, blame scarlet peaches for this thread.)

scarletpeaches
12-14-2011, 05:03 AM
I'm a feast or famine writer. My average is probably quite...well, average, but I don't stick to that. I can go from writing over 10k a day (yes, really) to nothing for ages.

I'd like to stick to, say, 2k a day because then I could predict my own output. I've tried to discipline myself to do so, but...I resist for whatever reason. My willpower isn't strong enough.

So, like I said, feast or famine. It could be 10k, it could be 1k.

Paul
12-14-2011, 05:05 AM
Hmmmm.

I'm gonna take that as an average of 2k then.

I mean, we're talking averages after all...

scarletpeaches
12-14-2011, 05:08 AM
Well, 2k is only what I'd like to average out as.

Maybe I should make that my new year's resolution, although I aimed for 1,500 a day in 2011 and failed miserably.

Had a few 5k+ days though.

Good God; you've put an idea in my head that will really play with my OCD. Using a spreadsheet for a daily word count next year and working out my average on the 31st December.

That's if the Mayans are wrong and we don't all die on the 21st.

Drachen Jager
12-14-2011, 06:49 AM
It depends a little on what I'm writing. Last novel I cracked 2k on all but a handful of days and I had a streak of 3 and 4k days. The current one I struggle to crack 1k a day.

The Lonely One
12-14-2011, 07:00 AM
Sadly very little lately. A short story (5kish) every now and then. Mostly I'm submitting already written stories and working on grad school stuff right now.

Hiroko
12-14-2011, 07:06 AM
On a good day, 1-2k. I have written more in a day several times, but I'm not always on a roll.

On a bad day, 50-100 words. I got away with just seven once.

This'll sound bad, but I don't write every day as it is. :Ssh: Sometimes I go without.

Ryan David Jahn
12-14-2011, 07:55 AM
Anywhere from zero to eight thousand.

If I'm actually working on a project 1,250 words is my daily minimum.

DeaK
12-14-2011, 07:59 AM
1000

ohthatmomagain
12-14-2011, 08:01 AM
I try to do somewhere between 500 to 1000 (not counting blog posts). This is the first night in a LONG time that I haven't worked on my book, and it's really bothering me. I might have to edit...

Taylor V
12-14-2011, 08:10 AM
It depends, but usually about 1k-2k. I need to get better about writing every day though, I don't do it as much as I should.

Shadow_Ferret
12-14-2011, 08:16 AM
I'd say 2 or 3 hand written pages, which probably amounts to less than 1000 words. But that is an average. Some days I don't write anything, other days I might do as many as 15 or 20 pages.

thethinker42
12-14-2011, 08:27 AM
When I'm NOT in the middle of moving from Japan to the States like I am right now, my daily quota is 5K. Sometimes I have 6-10K days, sometimes I don't make it past 3-4K, but most of the time, I do 5K.

bettielee
12-14-2011, 08:32 AM
2k is my goal. I don't always make it, sometimes I go over.

Atlantis
12-14-2011, 09:14 AM
I try to push myself to do 200 words a day. I am usually happy if I can do between 500 and 800 words. I am really pleased when I can do over 1,000.

cameron_chapman
12-14-2011, 09:34 AM
For me, it ranges anywhere between zero and 15k. Generally, though, when I'm actively working on something, I write somewhere between 100 and 5k words in a day, depending on what else I have going on. And I rarely take a day off once I've started on something new.

I also often take months off between projects, which brings my overall average word count way down.

Flicka
12-14-2011, 10:10 AM
Like Scarlet, I'm a feast or famine writer, although my feasts aren't that rich. I don't like to write in short spurts; it takes me a while to get into the zone so I don't write daily what with the day job and all. I might do 6000 - 8000 words a week when I stay focused, but it could be less. Occasionally it's also more, but rarely. I'm a slow writer, a 12 hour stint may only leave me with 3000 words I keep.

Ses
12-14-2011, 10:25 AM
How do you write 3 to 5000 words a day?
I'm lucky if I get 800.
How much time in the chair does it take to get up to 3000 words?

Flicka
12-14-2011, 12:02 PM
How much time in the chair does it take to get up to 3000 words?

For me, anything from 3 hours to 12 hours.

lastlittlebird
12-14-2011, 12:09 PM
I guess I'm feast or famine as well... when I'm depressed (which I so often am) nothing comes out. When I'm not depressed or I'm on a deadline I can write up to 8000 or more per day.
Generally if I'm on a roll I write about 2000-5000 per day.

I wish I was on a roll now.

Kado
12-14-2011, 12:13 PM
I don't set myself a word limit and, strangely enough for a writer, I never check how many I've written at the end of a session.

I used to have two days to write. So I'd just start in the morning and not stop until it was time to pick the kids up and repeat until the end of the second day. Sometimes I'd do nights and then I'd just write until 11pm.

In the New Year, kids will be doing afternoon sessions, 5 days a week so I'll have 3 hours each day to write.

So yeah, no word limit for me - it's more about the clock.

Kado
12-14-2011, 12:20 PM
For me, it ranges anywhere between zero and 15k. Generally, though, when I'm actively working on something, I write somewhere between 100 and 5k words in a day, depending on what else I have going on. And I rarely take a day off once I've started on something new.

I also often take months off between projects, which brings my overall average word count way down.

15k? You can do that? Is that in a 24 hour period or a typical work day period, say 9-5. If ever I were to write 15k a day my head would have melted off my neck by the end of it. At the least I'd be in great need of a stiff drink. :D

gothicangel
12-14-2011, 01:22 PM
Who says size doesn't matter? ;)

Back to the thread.
I don't really take too much notice of word count, I know I produced around 2000 yesterday [about a typed chapter.]

waylander
12-14-2011, 01:55 PM
Managed 1k a day when I was on a writing retreat, usually 2-300 a day

Paul
12-14-2011, 02:07 PM
yeah, if all is going well 1k a day, keeps the blues away.


to clarify, I'm talking when one is 'on a project'.

I'm assuming a daily work routine, at least four days a week.

Having said that, I will accept spurts over a week period, as long as it's project related. (and not some crazy whisky fuelled madness. :))

Mr Flibble
12-14-2011, 02:13 PM
Some books are easier than others....but I try to make at least 1k a day.

SPMiller
12-14-2011, 02:20 PM
Size matters a lot, but it's more about the thickness of the stack of pages than about the length of the paragraphs...

shaldna
12-14-2011, 02:38 PM
Usually between 1 and 2 k.

crunchyblanket
12-14-2011, 03:40 PM
My word counts are at the mercy of my health. When I'm feeling good, I am for a minimum of 1k a day. When I'm feeling crappy - which is more often - I aim for a bare minimum of 250 words a day. It's slow going, but I get there without wearing myself out.

Torgo
12-14-2011, 03:42 PM
1500, 2000 if on a roll. I can do 3000 but that leaves me unfit for all other forms of mental or physical labour. (Okay, more unfit.)

reiver33
12-14-2011, 03:54 PM
I rarely write unless I'm at work - I work a solo night shift alone in the building (former mental institution) and when its quiet, its quiet.

If I'm writing then its usually no more than 1500 words, this being the limit of a single posting on another critique site I use. Over my on/off shift cycle this works out to a 500 words per day average.

Last year when I tried my hand at a novel (100k), there were a few nights when I managed 5000 words - those sessions where you're racing to get what's in your head down on the page and everything else in life becomes a huge distraction.

Yesterday I was at home with no housekeeping tasks and managed 2800, but thats rare.

scarletpeaches
12-14-2011, 05:05 PM
How do you write 3 to 5000 words a day?
I'm lucky if I get 800.
How much time in the chair does it take to get up to 3000 words?Around two hours.

CaroGirl
12-14-2011, 05:13 PM
I'm currently between projects, so, nothing right now. But I'd categorize my daily word count when I'm actively producing material as "erratic." I'm not consistent and can write anything from 500 to 5000 words+ in a day.

Kitty27
12-14-2011, 05:48 PM
2500 words per book and I write every day.

When I'm off work,I aim for 5000 or higher.

OnlyStones
12-14-2011, 06:03 PM
1500 avg. 700 of good quality writing - an additional 800 of drivel.

Storm Surge
12-14-2011, 06:12 PM
Never written more than 2000 in a day before. Usually I run out of ideas at 1200. When I'm 'on a project' I write something every day, the minimum being a sentence. I think the average is probably around 300 words, but it's hard to say.

Kado
12-14-2011, 06:15 PM
1500 avg. 700 of good quality writing - an additional 800 of drivel.

Yes, there should be another thread: how much of what you write per day is actually publishable? :D I'd say a very small amount of what I churn out in a day is quality - the rest is either trimmed, cut or improved the next day.

OnlyStones
12-14-2011, 06:36 PM
1500 avg. 700 of good quality writing - an additional 800 of drivel.

I write historical fiction so there are periods where my time breakdown looks something like; research, write, research, write, research, rewrite, write, research ... edit, edit, edit.

crunchyblanket
12-14-2011, 07:15 PM
Suffering from serious 'word count envy' over here...

thethinker42
12-14-2011, 07:33 PM
How do you write 3 to 5000 words a day?
I'm lucky if I get 800.
How much time in the chair does it take to get up to 3000 words?


For me, anything from 3 hours to 12 hours.

Same as Flicka. I write full-time, so I'm usually in the chair at least 8 hours, sometimes up to 12, 14, even 16. (ETA - it usually takes me 8 hours or so to knock out 5K. The longer days are either when I'm really struggling or absolutely flying...when it's like pulling teeth to hit 5K or when I just can't stop and end up writing more than that.)

Paul
12-14-2011, 08:30 PM
Suffering from serious 'word count envy' over here...
Honestly, size doesn't matter.

Now, as SPmiller said....



I do wonder at some of the counts (fair play). I mean wouldn't that mean like, well, a 90k novel every fortnight?


:D


Actually it has brought up something, the time editing etc.

and those 'dead days'.


Maybe I should have said novel output per year and for what category? (ie MG YA Adult and if fantasy or not, bec of the different word counts)

cameron_chapman
12-14-2011, 09:31 PM
15k? You can do that? Is that in a 24 hour period or a typical work day period, say 9-5. If ever I were to write 15k a day my head would have melted off my neck by the end of it. At the least I'd be in great need of a stiff drink. :D

That's generally in a period of about 12-15 hours. Mostly because I have to take breaks. As a general rule, I can do 2k in about 45 minutes of straight writing. But I can't do that for hours on end. I do a burst for 45 minutes, then take 30 minutes and do research or mess around on social media, and then go back to it. Plus breaks for things like lunch.


I do wonder at some of the counts (fair play). I mean wouldn't that mean like, well, a 90k novel every fortnight?
I've written 65k in less than a fortnight, but that was when I wasn't working full time. I can do occasional days at 10-15k, but then I have a week of days where I only write about 1k that evens things out.

Paul
12-14-2011, 09:48 PM
That's generally in a period of about 12-15 hours. Mostly because I have to take breaks. As a general rule, I can do 2k in about 45 minutes of straight writing. But I can't do that for hours on end. I do a burst for 45 minutes, then take 30 minutes and do research or mess around on social media, and then go back to it. Plus breaks for things like lunch.


I've written 65k in less than a fortnight, but that was when I wasn't working full time. I can do occasional days at 10-15k, but then I have a week of days where I only write about 1k that evens things out.
you break for lunch?

isn't that cheating?


Rwrrrrrrraaarrrr*


(*that's a cat maul, maudlin and mauling at the same time)

scarletpeaches
12-14-2011, 09:59 PM
I do wonder at some of the counts (fair play). I mean wouldn't that mean like, well, a 90k novel every fortnight?If I could maintain it then yeah. But like I said -- I'm a feast or famine writer. I can bang out 10k in a day, but I'll write fuck all for the rest of the week.

I once wrote 6,500 words a day for three days in a row which was a pretty cool example of me keeping up the momentum, but the trouble was, after that nearly-20k? I wrote nothing more for over a week.

Margarita Skies
12-14-2011, 10:20 PM
It depends. Saturday and Sunday this past weekend I wrote 0 words in a day.


Again no words yesterday in Forever or Never, typed MS's, shown on my signature.


Then I started around 1 AM last night taking for granted the fact my crazy gran woke me up banging on my door for no reason and I jumped from 51.9k and now I'm at almost 55k.


The first MS in the first Forever or Never series still waits for words to be added to it at 119.8k/140k. I know what's coming up next but it's a first-time sex scene for one of the parties involved. He's experienced, never been with virgin, she's an adult virgin, 19, and I don't know how to go about it so that's the reason for my hesitation. My love scenes are not that graphic but I'm trying to figure out how to make it not too...you know what I'm saying?

Handwritten is at 120 pp of an intended 800 pp approximately and then when I get to page 800 I will type it up and see how many words it will have given me. Shooting for 80k on that one.


Friday was an excellent day because on the 52k one at the sig, I jumped from 35k to 48k. Sweet, and I didn't even time myself. :D

Jess Haines
12-15-2011, 12:22 AM
I'm like Scarlet. Sometimes I write nothing, sometimes I write 10,000. When I make myself sit down and write daily, my average is between 2-5K.

eward
12-15-2011, 12:39 AM
Typically, when I sit down and I'm in a good writing mood, I'll write at least 2K. Some days are weak, like 600 on my phone or 1000 just because I forced myself to or 1200 because I only had an hour or so to write. But if I have a couple hours and the creative juices are flowing, my averge is 2-3K.



Good God; you've put an idea in my head that will really play with my OCD. Using a spreadsheet for a daily word count next year and working out my average on the 31st December.


I actually did that this year! :D Started a spreadsheet in March where I track my daily word count every day I write. It helps motivate me. My monthly averages since March: 2594, 3004, 3704, 2418, 1724, 2869, 3252, 2783, 3050, 2018.

SPMiller
12-15-2011, 12:40 AM
When I'm in full production mode, I don't let myself go to sleep until I've written 500 words, bare minimum. This is designed to force me to write even on the bad days.

Ken
12-15-2011, 01:03 AM
... the high output had by some of you is really inspiring. One day I'd like to be able to do that for short spurts at least. Maybe I'll try something like Nano and aim for 40,000 or so in a month.

KatieJ
12-15-2011, 02:47 AM
Well, 2k is only what I'd like to average out as.

Maybe I should make that my new year's resolution, although I aimed for 1,500 a day in 2011 and failed miserably.

Had a few 5k+ days though.

Good God; you've put an idea in my head that will really play with my OCD. Using a spreadsheet for a daily word count next year and working out my average on the 31st December.

Man, I knew I liked you for a reason!!

For the past two months, starting with NaNo and continuing from there, I have had to buy off my left brain with a shiny little spreadsheet. As in "there, there, little editor. If you leave my content alone, I will let you count and average and even rolling average all these pretty little words." To that end I am the proud owner of a spreadsheet with all of the above, trendlines, charts and colours. Anything to get the little b*st*rd to shut up and let me write.

So now I know that I've ranged from 165 to 3056, averaging 2086. It's pathetic. ;) But here, here, sister!!

Kate

Tepelus
12-15-2011, 03:04 AM
When I'm on a roll, I can do between 1200 to almost 3000 words, when I'm meh, usually a few hundred to a thousand. Then there are the days I have no ambition and do zip.

Archerbird
12-15-2011, 03:12 AM
I don't know, somewhere between 0 and 2K.

10 words count too, no?

Xelebes
12-15-2011, 05:04 AM
School writing: 2000 words a day
Professional writing: not there yet
Non-fiction: 200 words a day
Playwriting: 250 words a day
Fiction writing: 0.5 words a day (s = 50 words)
Texting & Chatting: 2000 words a day
Tally of writing: ~4000 or 5000 words

ladyleeona
12-15-2011, 06:28 AM
I'm pretty much feast or famine too.

Usually, when I write regularly (not often) I manage around 1,500/day. Some days I manage 5k, lots of days I get nothing.

But if I sit down to write, I'm going to write, damn it.

Karen Junker
12-15-2011, 06:50 AM
I don't write. I hang around on AW all day and crit for AWers. In the days when I *did* write, it was around 1K a day. I have a spreadsheet. I can point you to the exact date when I stopped writing and started goofing off.

MokoBunny
12-15-2011, 07:55 AM
I try to aim for a minimum of 1000 a day. It's great if I go over but I don't let myself go under. Being extremely lazy I need the rule or I'll just never finish. It's harder with screenplays though so I just try to go by beats and acts.

Reve
12-15-2011, 11:12 AM
I'd like it if my average was 2K a day.

But I'm a feast or famine kinda gal, too. I'll go days - sometimes even weeks - without writing, then bam, 10K in one day. I wish I was a little bit more disciplined with it XD.

KyraDune
12-15-2011, 05:16 PM
I'd say I average around 4,000 words a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on which project I'm working on.

Bushrat
12-15-2011, 05:32 PM
I write in spurts. So short bursts of frantic writing (NaNo) where I average 2500K/day are embedded in loooong periods of laziness where I will not write anything at all for weeks, months on end.

Paul
12-15-2011, 10:52 PM
I don't know, somewhere between 0 and 2K.

10 words count too, no?

no.


unless they are.


Dear Agent. I have finally, finally, finished the final draft.

Anninyn
12-15-2011, 11:05 PM
I aim for 1000 words a day. No matter how slow they come (and sometimes it takes all day). I don't always manage. Sometimes I do 3000, or 5000. I know someone who got 10,000 words done in a day, once.

I'd say I usually manage my 1000 though. It probably averages at about 750 though.

And bear in mind that 1000 words a day isn't always on my main project. If I'm struggling with my main project I write other stuff for a bit.

AlwaysJuly
12-15-2011, 11:26 PM
I'm a spreadsheet nut (a workbook for every story, another to manage all submissions). This is what happens when finance geeks try to be creative. I am definitely going to track my 2012 word count in one; it's a little scary how excited I am by the idea.

I write erratically -- especially lately, when my life's been one disaster after another) -- but I've still been managing two novels and 20-25 short stories a year. Averaged, that's a lowly 600 words a day.

thethinker42
12-15-2011, 11:45 PM
I'm a spreadsheet nut (a workbook for every story, another to manage all submissions). This is what happens when finance geeks try to be creative. I am definitely going to track my 2012 word count in one; it's a little scary how excited I am by the idea.

Spreadsheets are so pretty. :D I'm not a finance geek, but I found that spreadsheets were a good way to put my OCD to use. And I do it just like you: I keep track of everything -- submissions, word counts, you name it -- and also have a workbook for each story.

I find tracking daily counts (with monthly and yearly totals, plus averages) is a really good motivator. I've been doing it since 2009, and it's definitely a good way to light a fire under my own ass when I don't feel like writing. Those 50K and 100K milestones are like a carrot on a stick for me, and if I'm getting close to one, I can't not write until I make it. Doesn't work for everyone, but it's worked really well for me.

Anninyn
12-15-2011, 11:56 PM
Yes, there should be another thread: how much of what you write per day is actually publishable? :D I'd say a very small amount of what I churn out in a day is quality - the rest is either trimmed, cut or improved the next day.

At this stage I'm just glad when it doesn't make me want to vomit.

Monkey
12-16-2011, 02:37 AM
I write in stages. When I'm doing the actual writing, I average 1k a day, every day. But right now, for instance, I've recently finished a book, wrote the query and synopsis, and am waiting on feedback from some of my Betas. I'm researching agents and brainstorming my next book.

I plan on starting the next book in the next few days. Then I'll be back on my 1k per day...but until then, my average is pretty low because all I'm doing is tweaking my ms, doing some query or synopsis work, or jotting down ideas for the next book.

Ken
12-16-2011, 04:28 AM
... you really don't have to write all that fast to maintain a decent output.
To finish a book in 5 months it takes:

5 x 30 = 150
80,000 / 150 = 533 words a day

Just a word of encouragement for those, like me, who don't write altogether that fast.

Paul
12-16-2011, 04:32 AM
yeah, i really should have asked 'how many completed works per year and what type?

(feel free if anyone wants to thread that up)


seems there is no daily amt for most.

Jamesaritchie
12-17-2011, 02:11 AM
I think hour count matters as much or more than word count, but I write five hours per day, broken into two sessions, and have a minimum word count goal of 2,500 words, which isn't very high for five hours work.

As for how many of these words are publishable, they had all better be, or I did something seriously wrong, which, sadly, happens on occasion. Bit I don't go on to the next page until I'm fully saitisfied with the one I'm working on, so when I'm done, I'm done.

Raula
12-17-2011, 03:01 AM
When I first started my teacher training course, I used to go into the University library first thing in the morning and write solidly for an hour on my latest historical fiction. I used to write about 1,000 words. But that's without facebook or any other devillish distractions. Sometimes when I'm at home I can stretch to 2,000 words but I begin to lose steam after this and find the quality of my writing decreases as a result.

I will, of course, also write short bursts while stuck in dull lectures or when sat in a coffee shop waiting for any one of my many not-very-punctual friends.

Mackenzie
12-17-2011, 03:36 AM
I just finished another rewrite on the last book and am diving back into the next, which I put on the shelf temporarily about five chapters in, when it seemed a rewrite of the earlier one was needed. Typically, I write most of the day. I don't count the words per se. I consider it a good day if I can write one or two good, solid scenes. Occasionally, I'll squeeze out a couple of chapters. I don't have a problem with making myself write. I have a problem with making myself stop to attend to other things.

Calle Jay
12-20-2011, 03:41 AM
Hmm...I write around the baby's needs and the three dogs' needs (one is an elderly St. Bernard and needs frequent potty breaks, the other two are Border collies, which says it all), while the husband is working. He works 12 hour shifts. So I'd say 3000 words of writing fiction each day. I also freelance non-fic and graphic design during these twelve hours. When I don't have any freelance projects, I can double the 3000 words. I also work as a part-time content editor for an epress. I try to do this at least three days each week. My husband only works 4 days per week, so that leaves me one "me" day where I don't do any writing/freelance projects, and just spend the day with the baby.

In general, I do 1-2 90K+ romantic suspenses that are pretty complex, 2-3 60K paranormal or historical pieces, and 4-6 novellas in any genre per year. I think I average about 9-10K per week.

hester
12-20-2011, 07:33 PM
500 to 1,000 on a good day. On a not-so-good day, it can be anywhere from 0 to 100.