What’s the daily word count of famous writers?

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post on the daily word count of  famous writers…

How many words can you write in a day? Would it depress you to know that the late Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park, and pictured above) could crank out 10,000 words in a single day?

If that news deflates you then you might want to consider the less productive (but, in my view, more realistic) daily output of other very successful authors:

Stephen King: 2,000 words

Sebastian Faulks: 1,000 words

Ian MacEwan: 600 words

Ernest Hemingway: 500 words

I gleaned all this from a list posted on the Writers Write blog, from South Africa. I liked the way the list also included quotes from the writers in question. My favourite comment comes from  500-words-a-day man Graeme Green. He said, “I can produce a novel a year, and that allows time for revision and the correction of the typescript.” But it was his postscript I loved: “I have always been very methodical, and when my quota of work is done I break off, even in the middle of a scene.”


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