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How Much Do You Write In a Day?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how much writing I do in a day. I usually have to ask them to clarify the question. I usually base my answer on my own interpretation of writing which is: what I write is not deleted, and is a part of a work in progress that will be improved upon at some point.

With this in mind, I would say that I do a lot of writing each day. If I had to put a number to it, I would say that I aim to write about 400 words daily. I am not, in general, concerned about quality, but rather that I get all my ideas on paper. That being said, I am concerned about the quality of a final published work, but if it is a first draft I am not as concerned.

I know that a draft will have an editor (be that me or someone else) view it as soon as possible and that once it is edited for the first time, then I focus on quality. That which you write just for the simple act of typing some words that you will delete in an hour is one thing. Editing this same writing is a different thing. In my mind, editing is not writing, but rather perfecting what you write.

So, how much do you write in a day?

I would say that if you are serious about publishing you will write about 750 or so words a day, inclusive. I would suggest, that at this rate, you will probably have about a novel or a draft of a non-fiction work with in the year. This is essential if you want to maintain your momentum. For me, this means that I write every day. It means that I do not give up when I do not feel like writing. I have to keep that momentum going.

I know this is important and I’ve learned that this is the only way to publish a book.  Once you’ve published that book then you will know much you need to  write in a day, and you will have a better idea of how much you should pay for a book.

3 Comments

  • Damaria Senne

    The amount of writing I do per day varies, depending on the kind of project I'm working on, the deadlines I have etc.

    For example, I just finished a book chapter for a textbook. The chapter is around 4500 words, which doesn't seem like a lot of words for a week of fulltime work with a number of sleepless nights thrown in. But the chapter also had 30 artwork pieces ( photographs, drawings etc) which I had to conceptualise, eating up a lot more time.
    So on average, it seems like I spent 7 days writing 742 words per day. But it was a lot more work than if I was writing 742 words with no artwork attached to the text.
    That said, in theory, I've set myself a target of 3000 words of fiction writing per week. Some weeks I meet it; other weeks I don't and when I'm lucky, I exceed it. Regardless, I do write everyday. But then, it is my fulltime job.

  • Laney

    This is one of the hardest parts of writing for me: Actually sitting down and writing. I'm still in school, so sometimes I get swamped with homework and my writing time disappears down the drain. I've been working a lot harder to try to journal at least once a day and work on my story a few times a week. I just need to find some motivation and maybe a little more time.

  • CaptainPituitary

    I randomly Googled, "How much do writers write?" today, and this link came up early. I did this because all Summer I've been writing quite a bit, at least relative to how much I used to write in the past. I quit my job in order to do this, to focus as much time as I could. Now, I've been counting by hours of time spent, rather than words produced, and currently I write about 3-4h a day, 5 days a week. Some days I feel completely overloaded by this goal I have set for myself, and today is one of those days, so I was curious how I'm doing compared to other aspiring novelists.

    So I need some clarification about your number, I guess, because 750 seems incredibly low to me. I finished a 23k word story yesterday. I wrote for 3h20m, and I don't recall exactly where I started, but it was AT LEAST 2500 words in that time. Does this mean I should be giving myself a bit more credit for how hard I'm trying at this? Because that would be lovely to hear 😛

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