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how many pages do you write per day?

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thethinker42

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I'm off my ass with the aftermath of a migraine, so forgive me if I don't write a whole lot here.

Fizz, I would hope you know SP and me well enough to know that our posts were not because of this....

But, of course, one wouldn't be able to brag about their writing successes in thread like this, or for those who are more prolific to try to create envy and admiration.

but this:

I'm always afraid people will judge me for writing quickly. I try to write every day, and I find as I get better, work harder, and push myself to write more, I tend to make less mistakes. That really doesn't have to do with how fast I write, but just me improving as a writer.

It often becomes open season on prolific writers, with suggestions that we put quantity ahead of quality and that sort of thing. PoppysInARow's post is exactly why SP and I posted in this thread.

Or, as SP said:
This is far from the first time I've heard the write a lot, fast = you're compromising on quality accusation/argument/whatever. It'll be far from the last, I'll bet too.

There's nothing superhuman about tt42 - or me, when I manage to not get a migraine and keep up the momentum. We just sit...and write. 5k a day is only a couple of hours' work at standard typing speed. One thing I'll never apologise for, though, is writing at this speed and standard. I worked for it.
 

Ken

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... at risk of sounding like a broken record, we're all individuals. So what works, splendidly, for one may not for another. Writing quickly, for instance, and prolifically may work great for some, and undoubtedly it does as witnessed here. But for others if they tried to write that quickly they would only succeed in writing rubbish fit for the trash heap.

One has to do what works best for them, and resist the temptation to start preaching their own approach as the one and only one that should be employed. No one has done that in this thread, but from time to time one does see such lecturing on this board. Probably have done so, myself, on occasion. The temptation is always there.

About what Neuro said about slowing down as one progresses in the craft, I suspect there's something to that. When writers master their style and approach along with the basics they can get down their stories in far less time than formerly, allowing them to spend less time writing if they choose. And I suspect writing less at that point can result in better quality and equilibrium for some people, but not for all. It really depends on the individual.
 
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NeuroFizz

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The brag comment was intended to address how a thread like this becomes as much a opportunity for one-upmanship as it does an opportunity to learn about the benefits and consequences of various writing techniques. There is no right and wrong here, and just because a writing technique doesn't make sense to one or two writers, it shouldn't be dismissed as crap, particularly when that other technique has resulted in a level of productivity that is every bit as good as the best productivity seen in the other techniques.

And as I mentioned, some people can maintain quality while also having a very high productivity. I make do direct inverse correlation between quality and quantity for all writers. But if a writer enters NaNo and completes the "assignment," but then ends up with a trunk novel out of the deal, maybe that writer should reconsider the value of that kind of high throughput writing method. Same if the writer maintains a very high daily word count but can't seem to write past mid-book without having the story fall through the cullunder of sloppy plotting and shallow character development.
 

profen4

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I read somewhere once that the 'average' commercially published author needs to write at least 2 books a year to earn a decent (not a great) living at it.

i think 3-5K a day is a good benchmark.
 

Bubastes

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OK, I'll chime in as one of the slow(er)pokes. Over the years, I've learned that my comfort zone pace is between 1000-1500 words a day under near-ideal life conditions (and how often does that happen?). At this pace, I can usually get a story submission-ready in three drafts. However, with my current day job going the way it is, 500 words a day is much more realistic and sustainable.

NeuroFizz says:

But if a writer enters NaNo and completes the "assignment," but then ends up with a trunk novel out of the deal, maybe that writer should reconsider the value of that kind of high throughput writing method. Same if the writer maintains a very high daily word count but can't seem to write past mid-book without having the story fall through the cullunder of sloppy plotting and shallow character development.

ETA: Neuro, I'm getting the "finish it" vibe from you again. :D
 
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Misa Buckley

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To Scarlet and thinker: What I have to say about writing pace may make no sense at all. To you. But I didn't post those comments for people who have found their pace and their comfort zone with their writing craft. I made those comments for those people who see all of the comments posted here about how others are crankin' it out day after day and they think they are not writers unless they are somehow measuring up.

Don't bother.

Writers are neurotic. There is always someone better, quicker, more successful, blah blah, blah. But if they have no self-belief, then no amount of... moddy-coddlingreassurence is going to convince them otherwise.

Am I jealous of SP and tt42's word counts? Hell yes! Does it make me think I'm less of a writer? Hell NO.

What I think is - hell, I can do this too!

And I can. I can write 3K of quality words in a day. I usually don't, because I'm usually procrastinating, but I know that I can.
 

Adam

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1-2k, usually.
 

True

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I don't write everyday, but when I do write, it can be anywhere from the hundreds to around 5-6,000 words. The usual amount is 2-3,000 words, which I don't write in one sitting. I write, then do something else, then come back to write again.

The amount of words I get down just depends on my mood, how much I'm concentrating on the scene, and what scene I'm writing. If it's an exciting scene for me to write, then I'll usually write quickly. If it's not, then I'll take my time and analyze every word I put down on the screen.
 

RadioactiveFox

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For the most part, I agree with True. The amount I write can vary greatly depending on my mood. When I have those days where I'm in the zone, I can easily write upwards of 5-6k words.

NaNoWriMo has me in the mode where I normally go by word count rather than page count (as pointed out earlier, page count varies rather widely). My normal pace when I've got my entire novel plotted out -- which is not always! -- is probably around 1500-2000 words a day. Or, sitting down for an hour and writing.

Interesting to see all these differences in writing habits though. How many of you do this for a living and how many are working it as a schedule around some other job?
 

Ken

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How many of you ... are working it as a schedule around some other job?

... my policy has always been to get the same minimal amount of hours in each week, no matter how many other things I have on the plate at the time. Writing is something that must be done, like a job. I do take planned breaks, though, from time to time: for about a week. Took two this year.
 

blacbird

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The brag comment was intended to address how a thread like this becomes as much a opportunity for one-upmanship as it does an opportunity to learn about the benefits and consequences of various writing techniques.

Oh yeah? Well, I'll stack up my lack of writing success against anybody's.

That way everyone else gets to feel superior.

caw
 

thegirlwhowrites

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Thank you all for responding to my question. Thanks for your comments!

I myself, try to type at least 1,000 words per day and I edit it right after. I read it over and over until it looks and sounds right. :)
 

AryaT92

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Some days I write 5000 words some days I write 15,000 words. Usually I stop when I get writer's block or hit a point where I am burning out for the day and take a couple hours off only to return again later.
 

Slushie

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I'll chime in as the weirdo here.

My first drafts are done with a #2 on white legal pad. I have no idea how many words I write in a day; I don't care. I just write until my left wrist stops functioning. Then I proceed to critiquing the upcoming scene: How does it move the story forward? Is there a better way to show this? Once feeling returns, I continue writing, and so on...

It is a slower pace than pounding the keyboard, but it gives me time to think. Also, hand fatigue forces economic word use, so my first draft prose is tighter than if I did it on teh computzor. Of course, these dangnamit youngsters and their blasted technology have forced my work into the hard-drive; this is my first round of revisions. I transfer my words to the screen when I'm about halfway throug a pad. It's a good way to keep my thumb on pacing and characterization. Then I print in chunks (in a different font than what was typed) and Red Pen becomes my frenemy over the next few rounds. So, lots of looking at paper and typing. All my work (short stories, main project, jibberishness) is done this way. This is what works for me and my brain.

I've tried flying fingers on the keyboard before, but the end product doesn't meet my standards and I end up with thousands and thousands of words being highlighted in black and deleted.
 

Claudia Gray

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I have days where I have to fight to eke out 500 words. I had an 8,000-word day recently, due to some freak alignment of the planets and crappy weather that left me inside with little else to do. Between those extremes, I find that on a day I'm totally concentrating on writing, generally I will write about 1,500-3,500 words.
 

HappySqueeze

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I'm lucky to get 250 words a day. With going to work and school both full-time, it's hard to even do that. There might be a week where I'll write more than 250 words a day, then there might be a gap of a month before I start back up again.
 

Archullus

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Hi

I'm a newbie here. I just saw this question as I was trawling through. I'm not "published" so I'm not sure how valid my observations are going to be.

When I wrote my novel, I kept a daily log of progress. I'm an accountant by trade so I kept daily backups, changelogs etc and as you can guess, this kind of thing comes natural to me :). As observed elsewhere on this thread, I found word count to be a more useful measure than page count.

When I write, I plan to do perhaps two hours of typing. My highest daily output was was just under 2,500 words and the lowest is of course zero. I started my novel on 04/05/09 and reached first draft on 16/08/09, producing 60,400 words. The daily wordage output over this 105 days equates to: 575 words per day

As I have a day job, family of four children, four dogs, and at the time an ailing mother-in-law who was just about ready to give up on this mortal coil; there were days when it was impossible to do any writing whatsoever. Taking this into consideration the daily wordage output is over 95 days and equates to: 635 words per day.

As my writing skills aren't perfect, I spent until early September fixing poorly articulated concepts and correcting grammatical errors. I was still fixing punctuation, typo's and accommodating feedback from my reader program in mid October, which incidentally resulted in my novel growing to 64,500 words. So in the two months after first draft, although I wasn't actually "writing" I ended up with an extra 4,000 words.

Of course word count isn't all, there is the research without which some of my text would be either made up drivel or just plain unsatisfactory.

I hope this is of interest.
 
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frisco

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I usually do 1500 to 3000 words. I put more emphasis on the quality than the quantity. If I'm in a zone and love how things are going I might write 5000 words, but thats the exception to the rule.
 

Albannach

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The old story about James Joyce: A friend found him slumped over his desk. "What's wrong James?"

"It's my writing, of course."

"How much did you write today?"

"Seven words." The great man moaned.

"But, James, for you that's a lot!"

"Yes, but I don't know the order they go in."

For me, it all depends. Sometimes zero. Sometimes five thousand. I try to write every day but sometimes I need a break between projects.
 

Clifton Hill

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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.
 

Tan

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1000 words a day usually.
 

Dave Willhoite

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I do fifteen hundred words a day.

Sometimes that is an hour. Most of the time that is three hours.

Sometimes I stare at the screen until three AM, and then just start typing crap so that I can actually get my dailies in. If that is the case, I count the day as starting when I get up, not at midnight.

But I always get the numbers in.

I don't know if that helps, but I decided to get the dailies in no matter what. There is probably a better way to do it.

Dave
 
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