Weekly Word Count

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Lately, I have been setting myself goals of getting about 3,000 words written per week. I want to know how that falls in with everyone else. I googled it, and didn’t really get a definitive answer for what the average/recommended word count per week is, but I assume it depends on the length you plan for and whatnot. I know one of the big suggestions is to finish your novel in 3 months. Well, I’ve missed that. Going off that basis though, I should be writing about 6,200 words per week; roughly double what I am currently doing.

I see the pros and cons of this. I mean, if you get it done faster you have less time to second guess yourself, you can get into editing and rewrites sooner, and you probably don’t get on tangents and whatnot as often. I get that, it makes sense, and it’s all great and wonderful – but who has time for that? As you have probably picked up on lately, I try to get about 500 words out in the mornings before I head to work, and I usually surpass that, though there are also days I don’t write at all (depending on how well I slept the night before, which usually depends on how late I stayed up reading.) And I like this flow I am getting into, it may be a bit slow, but it’s consistent, and I am able to start/finish a scene every morning, and I can think about the scene in more detail in the time between my writing.

Honestly, I can feel that it’s a bit choppy sometimes because of these short writing spurts. But once a week I try and sit down for a while and get an entire scene out to make sure that I am on track with my outline. But basically, I’m happy with my routine and my progress. What about you guys, do you set daily/weekly goals for yourself, and are they high or low like mine?

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15 thoughts on “Weekly Word Count

  1. I’ve never done a weekly word count goal before. Personally, I’m not huge into word goals just for my personal style of writing but I have done monthly goals before and they were pretty helpful just to make me focus and accomplish more. 3k a week isn’t too bad though! That could definitely be manageable 🙂 Good luck!

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  2. I’m not super into word-count goals, just because I then spend my entire writing time watching my word count instead of writing. For me, it just turns out better when I set a goal to sit down and writing SOMETHING every day. Sometimes it’s a lot, sometimes it’s a little, but it’s always something.

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  3. I tried making word count goals, but like Emily said, I end up focusing on a number instead of just writing because I love it. And with the insanity of my work schedule at the moment, I don’t have time for writing every single day. Though that doesn’t mean I’m not plotting and planning my books in my head. When I sit down to write for a rare full day, I can manage anywhere from 5,000 to 12,000 in one day. But like I said, that’s rare. Usually I bang out a chapter when I have time to sit and write. I guess that’s roughly 3,000-4,000 words. My writing times are far too inconsistent to give a good estimate. I would love to get up earlier and write, but I need my sleep, and I have little of that as it is.

    As for how quickly to finish a book, I think it depends on what you’re writing and how much availability you have to write. I believe Stephen King said you should write a book in a season (three months). I spent 10+ years on mine because of other commitments, but I don’t think it’s any less quality because of it. I say you’re doing a great job! I admire your commitment and dedication to the craft!

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  4. I am horrible at this. Ever since I got promoted, I come home drained and braindead. I check out all the blog posts and pertinent social media I’ve missed out on during the day (and half the time I don’t even wanna do that), then crawl into bed and read until I pass out.

    On the weekends, I’m so exhausted from the rest of the week that I use that time to catch up on everything else – and sleep. And then before I know it, I haven’t written all week.

    It comes and goes, though. I could never write a certain amount of words a day or week, but I try to get it in where I can. It depends on a lot of things.

    (I’m really just makin’ excuses for myself. I should get off my ass and write some, huh?)

    Oh, also? Three months to finish a book? In what universe? Jeez…

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  5. I like the idea of a weekly word count but I think any goal that you set for yourself that is actually achievable within the constraints of your schedule is a good one. Think of it like NaNoWriMo, the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, which boils down to about 1,667 words/day and 12,500 words per week. And 50,000 words is about half to two-thirds of the average novel size. And while sitting down to write a novel in 3 months might be a good idea, it doesn’t always work with your time schedule. I’d say if you can get the initial chunk down on paper in 3-6 months and then start the oh-so-fun editing process, you will be on a good pace.
    So my advice would be to aim a little higher, say 600 words per day if you can, which is 4,200 words per week, if you want to get the bulk of your novel done so you can start perfecting it. I know something that helped me during NaNoWriMo was not to reread a single word I’d written until the end of the month. Then when the challenge was over, I reread the entire thing, then kept adding to it until I completed the story, being careful to write in chunks and not reread until I hit the word count I was aiming for. Much more fulfilling and now I can edit without worrying about length!

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