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How Much Do You Write Every Day?

Some writers write every day. Some do not. Some write only a few hundred words a day. Others crank out thousands upon thousands of words. What about you?

A few years ago when my career as a newspaper editor came to a grinding halt (thank you, oh, precious economy), I looked around for other jobs and applied to many, but like thousands of others out there I could hardly land an interview, let alone a new job.

Eventually I decided to start writing at home. At first it was simply to give me something to do. Then I began to make a little money, which was nice because it helped pay the bills. Still, I never thought I would be able to make it my full-time job.

Now, three years later, writing is paying my bills. I’m not rich, but each month I make little more than I did the month before. Those bills are getting paid, and I’m no longer having to hunt for work.

I got lucky, in many ways, but I also have my own perseverance to be thankful for.

But thinking about my writing, I got to wondering how much I write every day.

I started keeping track a few months back, and I was surprised.

I average about 4,000 words a day.

Now that average is kind of quirky because I don’t have regular working or writing habits. I write most days, but not every day. Some days, like yesterday, I only wrote about 500 words. Today I’ve already written about 3,000 words, and that’s not including this post. And who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I admit to not having good work habits, despite the fact I work every day. It seems a lot of things take up my time other than my writing. It seems I’m always having to run to the store or do a favor for someone or go to a doctor’s appointment or something. Precious few are the days in which all I have to do is write, and even on those days I’ve usually got some graphic design work to do and I have to feed and walk the dog, do small chores around the house, etc.

But still, I think 4,000 words per day is pretty good. I’d like to get to the point where I’m averaging 10,000 words a day. I don’t think that’s impossible, but I do think it could be a while before I get there, if I ever do.

If word counts are something that baffle you, think of it this way: The typical modern novel is about 100,000 words, give or take. I admit I’m throwing out an average off the top of my head, but I think it’s a good one. Some novels are as short as 60,000 words, others are 300,000 words or longer, but 100,000 is a middle ground, one which accomplish the majority of novels out there, in my opinion. If you disagree with me numbers, I have no qualms with that, but I’m not trying to be exact here but to strive for a ballpark figure. Thus I’ll stick with my 100,000 words.

So, at 100,000 words, if I write every day at my average of 4,000 words, I could push out the first draft of a novel in a month. That’s just writing, no editing or backtracking for rewriting or anything. But I think that’s a decent writing habit, even if I often feel like I’m floundering around and never getting anything accomplished.

No matter how much I write, there always seems to be more to do.

What about you? How much do you write every day?

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12 Responses to “How Much Do You Write Every Day?”
  • Diverse Writer
    August 21st, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    i write everyday :P

  • girishpuri
    August 21st, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    My frequncy is poor, just 2-3 a week.

  • Val Mills
    August 22nd, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Guess I vary between nil new writing on a bad day, as little as 200 words on an exhausting day and between 1000 and 2000 on a good writing day when I’m not teaching fulltime. I do know I can do 4000 over a 36 hour period when I have no interruptions and am not sidetracked with other chores. It sounds as if your writing habits may be as interesting as mine!

  • johnmariow
    August 22nd, 2012 at 1:39 am

    My frequency is very poor. I’m lucky if I write 1000 words a week. Some weeks I don’t complete any article. Other weeks I complete one or two articles.

  • PaulB
    August 22nd, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I feel lazy reading this. Am happy to do one piece per day here, and I avoid going over 600 words assuming people do not want to read at great length. If I go for something longer, however, then I can write thousands per day.

    Once I wrote a story of MANY episodes yet only reached about 10,000 words. So how novelists manage their craft I cannot imagine. As a writer I must be a sprinter!

  • jfay1995
    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I try to write every day. I’ll be glad when Santa gives my daughter a new laptop as summer has been rough when she wants to use mine and I don’t get to write like I would want. But she’s not here today and I bet I’ve easily gotten several thousand words out. I didn’t think, but that is probably a good idea to keep track of how many words we write.
    I know today I have written about six or seven articles here and two on my blog which must be adding up in words.
    That would be good incentive for my novels too. If I could only not be divided between writing and my knitting and sewing and scrapbooking, I’d probably have my novels almost done with others being started. Oh well. New goals for me I guess.

  • avissado
    August 27th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I like your writing style and the way you make simple topics like this of so interesting!
    And thanks for giving me a healthy dose of motivation and inspiration for today!

  • Nemesis5000
    August 30th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I do 750-1500 a day. It is not regular as I am an affiliate marketer and focuses on my first job first. And for rest of leisure only when not making strategies for my upcoming campaign I do write. I would also like to write that much some day.

  • ireca3
    September 17th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Recently, I have been reading more than writing but I will have to progress in writing everyday. I am currently writing a novel, however it is so overwhelming to think about how much I have to write in order to complete it. Four thousand words is a great goals – maybe I will accomplish that one day.

  • anna0601
    October 12th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    If you are a writer, my guess is you enjoy writing. I too wrote in large amounts that is untill my laptop broke. I guess I kind of worked up to that amount after several years . All this writing technically speaking was without pay in the sense of an actual check. However, my constant writing certainly did pay in a variety of indirect and direct ways.

  • zonkedout
    November 10th, 2012 at 1:41 am

    4000 per day is cool.Best wishes.Your articles have good flow and are nice to read.

    I write 3 articles a week. Targeting to write around 5 articles a week. these days doing some digital art for fun. would publish some of them soon here.

  • likedemon
    January 14th, 2013 at 6:28 am

    I really like writing but English is not my mother tongue so i have some difficulties but I try to write good texts. I hope some day I can write like you.
    Thanks for the useful article

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