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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 about how long it takes to write…
Do you know how long it takes to write 1,000 words? Or, conversely, do you know how many words you can write in 30 minutes?
If you can’t answer either of these questions — using an average, of course, because some pieces of writing will always be harder or easier than others — how do you plan your day? And how do you give quotes to clients?
How long it takes to write 1,000 words was the topic of a recent blog post by Oxford-based blogger and writer Ali Luke. I agree with her conclusion that,
How quickly you write will depend on a whole range of factors. Experienced writers tend to be faster than first-time novelists; academic writing tends to be slower than other types. Some writers (like me) write fast but rewrite and edit extensively; others write more slowly but don’t need to rework things as much. For some writers, 1,000 words is a great working day. For others, it’s something they can produce in an hour.
And I further agree with Luke’s argument that tracking your own output is the only way to understand how many words you can write in X amount of time. If you’d like to get a better handle on your own writing speed, I offer a free tracking form on this blog.
Note that I offer two versions of the form: an MS Word one and a PDF. If you choose the latter, of course, you’ll need to recreate it in whatever software you use for word processing (or tracking.)
One final thought about word count goals: It’s not wise to go for a “big round number” (like 1,000 words!) Instead, I suggest making your goal modest and reasonable and well within your reach. If you are able to achieve your goal, you’ll feel much better about yourself and much more accomplished. And those positive feelings will only help you when you go to write the next day.