Average Daily Word Count?

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

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  1. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Contributor

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    Not to pick on you, but I'm just wondering about something. How can this possibly be true when you're editing? I guess I do a lot more cutting than adding to stories when editing, but it takes time and doesn't necessitate word count.
     
  2. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    okay, let me explain, in my book on people 'nuts' and 'crazy' are two different things.
    Crazy is certifiable. you need a padded room, preferably with the door locked
    Nuts is more towards the fun side, might be something there to worry about but mostly harmless.

    My BF is not crazy but I think he's nuts for expecting me to produce this number every day. I can pull 500 words an hour. So, 2,500 is 5 hours. I just don't see it happening, not with everything else I have going on. And there's no way my roomie is going to let a block of time like that go uninterrupted.
     
  3. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

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

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    sounds like you need to find a different roommate.
     
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  4. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Contributor

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    I don't know how you guys can calculate some hourly rate. Sometimes I can write a thousand in an hour, sometimes in two or three days. Depends on so many factors that it's different every time. I'm fairly jealous of those who can moderate it so evenly.
     
  5. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Okay, I’ll try one more time, and then I give up.

    In your very first post you said you thought your BF was nuts/crazy (it really doesn’t matter which for the point I’m trying to make) for expecting you to do 2,500 words a day, BUT in that very same post you said you could produce 1,500 - 2,000 words a day ‘no sweat’.

    My point was simply this: If you can produce 1,500 - 2,000 words a day ‘no sweat’ then why is an extra 500 such a nutty idea?
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    So far today (technically yesterday as its after midnight but ive not been to bed yet) ive written 4537 words ... according to my progress journal I average about 3.5k a day. but that average includes days in which i don't write
     
  7. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Contributor

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    Do you include weekends in that? And what's your sample size for days? I'm also still left out on the editing question. Do editing days factor in here to this word count?
     
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think it depends on process... some people draft one book while they're editing another... I can't do that, if i'm editting i'm not writing so there's no average for that day (I worlk out my average per first draft while i'm writing)

    e.g on the project i finished (to firstdraft) yesterday it took me 26 days to write 103k words

    When i am writing i tend to write 7 days a week and weekends don't make a lot of difference

    (eta at the end of my writing session today ive written 6195 words)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
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  9. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    Obviously when I'm editing, I'm not writing. That's common sense. However, when I edit, I add, not subtract. I can't remember the last book that wasn't longer after revision than before it. I might not add 5k a day during editing, but that's not the plan. Every single writing day, I hit my 5k+ goal.
     
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  10. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    I can't do it either, or rather, I don't do it. I have no idea if I could, I just have no interest. I don't tend to write on weekends because my wife is home and I've got other things I need to get done instead, although there have been times I'll get up early on a weekend and just sit down and write until she wakes up. It's a personal choice.

    In another couple of days, I'll be done editing what I'm working on and will be back to the writing grind again. Usually, it's 4-5 weeks writing and my last couple of books have averaged about 120k, then it's a couple of weeks editing, then while that's off at beta readers, I'm back to writing something new. Lather, rinse, repeat.
     
  11. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    It takes me all day to get that. If I can hit a stride, 'the zone' with my writing, sometimes I get up to 3,000 in a sitting. This is very rare. It's only happened twice this month. The problem is people and events that distract my from writing. My roomie thinks nothing of coming into my room to share her political perspective. or the latest drop on the royals. It doesn't matter to her that I'm trying to write. She is the biggest stumbling block in my writing.

    She thinks 1,500 to 2,000 a day is insane, but let someone or one of the cats (just being a cat) interrupt her while she's trying to write a paper for her school work and she goes off. Double standard?
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    tell her not to, put a lock on your door, get some noise cancelling headphones, find somewhere else to write, get a different roomie, move somewhere else... in short if you want to suceed as a writer you need to take responsibility for that success... my roomie disturbs me is an excuse
     
  13. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I don't find word count targets overly useful. You'd be better off having a time target, to spend a certain amount of time a day, as opposed to a certain wordcount. I've noticed a lot of on this forum that many people obsess over word count, or boast about high word counts, but never mention a desire for quality. I could easily smash out 5000k words a day if that were my target and I could simply ignore the quality of either story or prose. It might take you all day to nail an excellent, insightful and effective 50 words, and it would be time well spent.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    IMO Quality comes through the process... its better to write 5k words a day, have a finished book in a month and then rigorously edit it, have it professionally editted, proof read and published , than it is to write 50 'quality words' a day take four years to finish a book... and then still have to have it edited etc because no one is ever as good as they think they are
     
  15. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    But wouldn't you agree that when making anything, from cars to furniture to meals, taking one's time and crafting carefully and thoughtfully produces better quality work than rushing to put out as much as possible as quickly as you can? I see no problem with taking 4, 8, 10 years to write a book. Writers also need time to think.
     
  16. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I don’t fret over word count. It’s just a number I glance at when I’m done for the day. Whatever that number is is how many words I wrote that day. Sometimes that number is 400+ if I’ve had a good day. Most times it’s 0. When it’s 0 it’s because I’ve started and realised within a few minutes I don’t want to write.
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    If you take 10 years to write a book you are limiting yourself to optimistically 6 books in your lifetime ... you are also making it virtually impossible to market your books effectively.

    Actually i wouldn't agree that taking your time always creates better results... it is often a route to excuse making and procrastination. If you are cooking dinner it is good to take your time rather than microwaving a meal, but you still want to have it on the table at dinner time, not starve to death because you need to polish every grain of rice individually.
     
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  18. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    You can just sit there and daydream for 8 hours a day and never get a thing done. Books are not made of time, they are made of words. If you can't write words reliably and consistently, you don't produce books, you just waste time.
     
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  19. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    But people who can do that should think themselves very lucky. I don’t buy that being able to consistently produce 15k words a day is achieved solely through hard work and dedication. I’m sorry, I just don’t. If you can do that it’s more about simply having that ability. You and moose talk as if people who can only manage words of three figures a day do so out of choice.
     
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  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It comes with practice and dedication... its not a choice except in so far as choosing to do it rather than play the guitar, or watch tv or whatever

    My first book took me two years to first draft... my most recent one took 26 days (I did manage one in 9 days last year but that was writing full time while on leave from the day job)

    Like anything the more you do it the better and faster you get at it...
     
  21. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    But with all the respect in the world do you honestly believe you can produce something of quality in just 9 days?

    What’s more it’s wrong of you to assume the reason people aren’t writing 15k words a day is down to procrastination. There could be a myriad of reasons, including not having the ability.

    Procrastination is absolutely the reason my daily word count is so low - that and losing interest - but even without that I wouldn’t be getting anywhere near 15k a day. Not now, not with a dozen best sellers under my belt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  22. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    a) yes - with appropriate editting... including the use of a professional editor. If it wasn't for typing fatigue i suspect i could write a competent first draft much faster than that (there are writers who use dictation to write thirty or forty k in a day... ive never got to grips with dictation I'm too used to expressing my thinking through my fingers)

    b) I don't think anyone routinely writes 15k in a day by typing... as i said that was exceptional circumstances (it was also more like just over 7k in a day because the book concerned is about 65k words) as said higher up i generally write about 3k a day on average

    c) The ability isnt this magical gift that comes from a fairy anointing you with special magical writing dust... it comes from regularly practice and commitment - okay some people are better at it than others but whatever the starting level people can get better through practice and learning if they want to badly enough.
     
  23. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    If you write for long enough, your hourly word count sort of starts to become obvious. Forever I have been writing at the speed of 500 words per hour. Nothing really seems to change that. I can write a better 500 words than I used to be able to do, but the time it takes hasn't changed for me. Honestly, I don't really worry about it. I think I might be slower than a lot of writers, but I am somewhat prolific maybe to make up for my slow speed. I'm not sure. Then if you want to get into editing, it takes me two or three times longer to handle the same amount of words in revision. Writing often takes a lot of time and work for me, but I'm a writer as far as any sort of job-like thing is concerned. My method works for me. I'm not really looking to get faster. I want to get better. There is a big difference there.

    As far as daily word counts, I don't pay much attention to that sort of thing. Personally, I don't need a target word count to make myself write. It's just never helped me and was more frustrating than anything else. I write almost every day. Things get done and finished. But I'm not in a rush to spike my word count. In the end, it's the story that counts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  24. MzSnowleopard

    MzSnowleopard New Member

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    Got the headset, need to get the door fixed, I'm already looking to friends to see if someone has a spare room. These days the thought of guaranteed rent is a bonus for a lot of people. Which I have. I do know what I need to do, I just need to do it.

    She knows there's a problem. Sadly she thinks it's on my end. That I'm the problem not her. We've had the "I'm not your submissive" talk twice now. She apologizes and things are fine for a while. It only takes one incident and we're right back to her in this mindset.

    Yeah, I need to move.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  25. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    It's all dedication and practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Your brain is a muscle. It needs to be exercised. If your goal is to finish books, then you will sit down and finish books. If your goal is to just sit around and occasionally scribble a few words on a page, then that's all that you'll wind up doing. You have to be dedicated to the craft, not just "if I feel like it, I'll do it!" That goes for absolutely anything in life. If you want to play baseball, you don't get better by sitting on the couch and thinking that maybe tomorrow you'll go throw a ball around for a couple of minutes. You get off your ass and you go out and you work hard to achieve your goals. It's not meant to be insulting but it is the truth. It's why I'll ask people who throw out "advice" if they have ever finished a book. The mods don't tend to like it, but it's not intended to insult anyone. It's intended to show whether or not the advice that is offered actually works. I don't even care if it's been published, I just want to know if what people promote has actually produced demonstrable results. This isn't a contest, but neither should we be throwing out ideas that don't really work in practice. Presumably people come to writing forums because they want to get better at writing. It doesn't mean you have to want to get published, but the fact is, every single successful author out there is going to recommend writing. Not staring at a screen, not pretending, but actually writing. You don't get better unless you do it. That's just the reality.
     

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