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  1. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    Average Daily Word Count?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MzSnowleopard, Sep 25, 2020.

    I am curious mostly because my BF has challenged me to 2,500 words a day.
    I think he's nuts but then, he is a workaholic and I think he's trying to turn me into one too.

    I know I can average 1,500 to 2,000 words a day without a sweat. I've proven this to myself thanks to Mark. Anyway, this has made me curious. What do y'all consider a good (coughs sane), reasonable word count per day? Or do you think people should stop counting at write what you can- among those who are like this, do you peak at your word count when you're done?
     
  2. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody "With torn and bleeding hearts we smile" Contributor

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    My word count depends on a lot of things..... Am i home alone? Do i have to go to work the next day? What kind of day did i have? Etc.
    Ive written 12,000 words in a day and i've written less than 1,000.
    I dont keep track of how much i write in a day, but i do like looking at how much my word count moves from time to time
     
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  3. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    I think that's more important- seeing the count move forward. I know for me, as much as I am up for this challenge by my BF, it causes me to stumble. It feels like structure and while I need it, it's a bit like having a deadline. And I don't do well with deadlines.

    My favorite quote about them, I believe comes from Terry Pratchett. If I'm wrong, please share who did say it.

    "I love deadlines. I love the swooshing sound they make as they fly by."
     
  4. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    5k a day, Monday-Friday. I almost always exceed it by a wide margin. I haven't missed hitting my goal in more than a year.
     
  5. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Contributor Contributor

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    Hitting a word count isn't the be all and end all. Writing is a process with the actual writing only one part. When editing you are not adding to your word count so much, but it's actually shaping your words into something possibly decent.

    I think emphasis on hitting word counts is diminishing to the planning and editing stages of writing. That's why I prefer to set daily time limits rather than word count goals.
     
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  6. Underneath

    Underneath Member

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    1,000 a day. Sometimes more. Sometimes much less. Yesterday I wrote 5,000. The day before I wrote thirty.
     
  7. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I've kind of stopped writing (except online, which I do constantly!) for the time being. But I used to think in terms of scenes and chapters, rather than word counts. In fact, I never paid attention to word count at all, when I was writing. Instead I tried to write at least a scene a day, on days when I didn't have much time to write, or even whole chapters on days when I did have a lot of time. (I write long chapters!)
     
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  8. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    I hear you. I didn't used to pay attention to my word count. My beta editor said don't worry about, it'll just hold you up. The contradiction is that with this writing program I'm in, minding the word count is essential. And, personally, I think this is my problem all around. I did fine with my progress in writing, then I got restricted with this word count. Don't get me wrong, I love the program, I hate the word count. My editor was right, having to keep it in mind is a stumbling block.
     
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  9. Kyle Phoenix

    Kyle Phoenix Active Member

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    I would think the main issue is writing a consistent volume regularly such as everyday. You pick a target and see how far you get. I seem to be comfortable with a 1,000 words a day if I make the time. 2,000 would be better, but it doesn't matter too much as long as I am actually writing and get the practice.

    I've found the process of writing by hand makes the writing better as you are thinking about what you write as you form the letters and choose the words on the page. It is much, much easier to write high volumes on a word processor on a laptop, but (for me at least) I don't think it's necessarily as good.

    Once you've got that consistency and made it in to a habit, I think its then appropriate to move on to improving the quality of your writing. I'm definitely not at that stage yet, but I assume that is a different process entirely.
     
  10. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    If that's the case why are you imagining 500 more would be so difficult?
    I'm confused. What program is it, and more to the point why does it make word counting essential?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  11. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber <[:>)-|---< Contributor

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    That's a great quote. It's Douglas Adams' though.
     
  12. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    It's me or my imaging that it's more difficult. I live with someone who is constanting interrupting me, she treats me like I'm her submissive, her personal servant. She interrupts what I'm doing and gets upset when I don't let her.

    The school is Institute for Writers. it's a correspondence course for writers. There are 12 lessons, each one has a specified word limit. I'm on assignment 9 which has a maximum of 3,000 words. Assignment 11 is a revision, so it's word count is limited to the assignment the chosen piece was written for. The piece I chose was written for another assignment that also maxed at 3,000 words. Assignment 11 is 1,000 to 3,000 word memoir. Assignment 12, again, 3,000 words.
     
  13. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    Thank you, I was told it was Pratchett
     
  14. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    No, I was referring to your 'I can write an average of 1,500 - 2,000 words a day without breaking sweat', which to me says an extra 500 would be no big deal for you. And yet you suggested your boyfriend was nuts for even suggesting 2,500 words a day.
     
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  15. Murkie

    Murkie Active Member

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    My target is 500. It's low enough that I can hit it regardless of what kind of a day I've had at work and I can normally add on 500 or so more and feel really pleased about my progress. It's all about setting attainable goals.
     
  16. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    It also sounds like an abusive relationship, which is neither here nor there in a writing forum, but if the people you live with can't respect you, then maybe you shouldn't be living with them.
     
  17. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Even back when I was actively writing a lot, I was never that fussed about word counts. My personal milestones were usually more story-oriented, like "today I want to wrap up this chapter finally" or "by the end of this week I want to get them to the place where they kiss."

    The only time I really kept an eye on word count was when I was working on a short story to submit for an anthology, and I wasn't sure my idea had enough legs to make it to the required minimum length (I think it was 8K, and the story wound up being over 11K, so I was good). But other than that, I tend to just see where the story takes me in regards to starting and stopping.
     
  18. saldanamoreno

    saldanamoreno New Member

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    It's so easy for me to become obsessive over things like word count. I think it is important but relative to the other important characteristics of my writing such as structure, pacing, quality of content, and creativity it ranks pretty low. I'll keep track of the count when I am actively writing to trend my progress over time but other than that I try not to let it dominate my focus.
     
  19. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    When I kept track of my word count a while ago, I think I averaged 5k-8k per week. I don't know what the daily count is. I tend to think more in terms of scenes - if I've got a scene in, I consider it progress. There will be days when I don't do anything on it though or I stare and stare at it trying to get the ideas to gel. Or I might just be fiddling around with an existing scene because I can't think what to write. If this stage lasts for too long (up to a week) then I will push through the next scene regardless of how I feel, which is usually enough to break me out of it and get moving again. I find getting stuck is usually more a case of thinking you should write a certain way when the story doesn't wanna go there.

    Anyway, do it if it helps. Stop if it doesn't. Makes no sense to do something that doesn't help just because someone else wants you to prove something. Who the hell cares? Writing should always be for yourself first and foremost, because truth is, 99% of what you write won't get published or read, EVER, and it takes just as much work as the published stuff. If your own enjoyment and pride in your work is hampered in the process, then what's the point? Because that's the only thing you have that's guaranteed in writing: your own satisfaction in your work.
     
  20. Birch Anderson

    Birch Anderson New Member

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    But then, why even aspire to be a writer? If you want to be an author, if you want people to read what you've toiled and suffered over to put into words, and if there's no chance of getting published, then why be a writer at all?

    Where's the satisfaction in having written something that nobody will ever see, and you have no idea if it's good or not? I just don't understand that.
     
  21. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Not no chance, but the chances are slim. Yes you can self-published instead but that's no guarantee of readership unless you enter full business mode and truly market your book and invest in some advertising, which, let's face it, most self-pubbed writers don't do or do it very badly. With traditional publishing I am of the belief that if you're good enough, you will eventually get published, but there's still an element of luck involved - it's an art and that makes it subjective to people's tastes and preferences and you need your book to connect with multiple people strongly enough that they buy and sell your book.

    The majority of what you write will never be read. Surely you know that. You write, edit, and rewrite - you're probably at least 2-3 drafts in before you get anything polished enough to send. How many words is that? Let's say 3 drafts of 80k words each. You're already looking at over 100k words NOT including the vast amounts you probably deleted and edited prior to the book being completed. Now, what are your chances that your FIRST book will be published? Low. Very low. Most authors don't publish their first novel - they publish their 5th or 10th book. Let's say you get successfully published on your 5th book - that makes FOUR books prior that will never be read by anybody. Four books at 80k words each - and we know some books are longer. So taking it at the minimal of 80k words each, that's already 80 x 4 = 320k words, never to be read by anybody.

    And that's just 320k words of the final drafts polished enough to be considered done and queried. What about the multiple drafts prior, for each book? And that's just the words you actually have on the page - what about the dozens and dozens of scenes, snippets of dialogue and paragraphs, and sometimes whole chapters or even entire plot arcs worth 20-30k words that just get deleted because they weren't working?

    The satisfaction must be in the writing in and of itself, and it must be in the simple fact that it is your work and work that you believe to be good. That's the only satisfaction that is guaranteed in writing. Because if you think about it, much of your work will never be seen. When you think about Picasso or Mozart or Tolkien, you don't think about all the years they've toiled away just to get good enough. You don't think about the multitude of pieces that just didn't work and got scrapped, binned, or kept but never seen.

    I remember well a little illustration using Picasso - a little story, I'm not sure if it's true but it makes a good point. The story goes that one night Picasso was having dinner with a friend. The friend asked Picasso if he could doodle on a napkin. Picasso complied and finished the doodle in about 10 seconds. His friend naturally asked, "Can I keep the napkin?"

    Picasso said, "Yes, and for that you'll have to pay me a million dollars."

    His friend was aghast. "What? But that took you 10 seconds!"

    "Yes, but it took me 10 years to learn how to do that in 10 seconds."

    I love that illustration because it shows you: there's so much work you don't see. And when you buy an art, you're buying someone's skill - it's never just the product. But for your skill to be worth that amount of money, how much do you think you have to practice? How many pieces of work will turn out to be not good enough? Vast mountains of it, I should imagine.

    And if you don't get satisfaction out of the writing process in and of itself, chances are you will not become a writer. I have a finished novel of 113k words that took me TWELVE YEARS. I was ultimately rejected by around 15 agents, including one publisher who requested a full. It's now been shelved and I don't think it will ever be published. I have finished another novel of 110k words that I do not believe is good enough to be published, honestly - heavy editing required. I recently finished yet another novel at 75k words that I'm now awaiting beta feedback on, which I feel is promising and I will be querying with it - so let's see. In the meantime, I have started another novel, of which I have 15k words (55 pages) before, as of last night, I decided it's not going anywhere and I will shelf the idea for now and move onto another idea.

    How many words do you think I've written that will never be read? Do I believe I will never be read? Of course not, or why write. But I am aware that much of what I write will never be read, and that has to be ok if you're in this writing business for real.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  22. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    If writing is a hobby then you’re doing it for yourself. I paint, and I also make leather wallets, but they’re for me. I don’t sell them and no one else really sees them.
     
  23. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    I'm not suggesting that he's crazy, and I would love to be able to do this. It's just not possible. Try as I might to get this every day, there are day when I don't even get to write. Yes, my roommate is abusive in that she expects me to do for her what she can do herself. She also comes into my room and plies with political content she gets from her Facebook page. Then she gets offended when I don't react in a way she's looking for. When I show indifference, I really don't need to know there's another royal baby on the way, it's an offense to her. It doesn't seem to phase her that she's interrupting. And she's made it clear in her behavior that she doesn't like my boyfriend. She doesn't like the influence I allow him to have over me.

    I have already started looking to friends to see if they have a space room. It would suffice until I can find a more permanent place. The alternative is someone moving in with me, taking over her share. She wants to move as well. She hates this apartment, I'm okay with it. 3 bedroom, 2 bath for just under $1,000 a month isn't bad. And there's a Walmart across the road.
     
  24. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    o_O
     
  25. ISalem

    ISalem Member

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    I don’t count how many words I write. I am always more interested on writing about as many different subjects as possible. I do count how many different new subject I write about, instead of how many words.
     

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