Daily Word Count When Writing A Novel - Every Writer's Dilemma

How many words should I write everyday when working on my novel? This is probably the first question that pops into every new writer's mind when they start working on their first novel. It just seems such a daunting task in the beginning, an insurmountable mountain. However, trust me when I tell you, the mountain gets smaller as you move along, the key is making progress everyday. Within a few short weeks the mountain starts to look like a hill, one that you can easily conquer and have fun while you are at it. If you don't set yourself a daily word count, you run the risk of your story going stale and being stuck in a bottomless project. This is both infuriating and greatly frustrating. Never do something that you are not going to finish. Also never take time for granted, we are all on earth for a limited gifted period. You have to use it wisely, complete things that are important to you and make repetitive daily strides towards your goals, otherwise you will not achieve your objectives. Okay, now that we have sussed out the importance of daily word count, I'm going to give you some practical numbers so that you can evaluate your goals and set the right daily word count.

There are two main things to consider.

Are you going to be writing your novel full time?


 Are you employed and writing on the side?

Full-Time Writer:

Set yourself a minimum target of 2000 words including an end of day quick read through revision. Approximately 30 minutes additional work to sharpen your text. In any case, once the manuscript is done it will require significant editing and revision. However this daily short review, will significantly cut down the time after you are done. The most enjoyable part is creating the manuscript, so if you can save yourself time later on, you will thank yourself for it. On a bad day, yes there will definitely be a couple of those, you can reduce your daily target to 1500 words. Quality is more important than quantity but daily progress towards your objective has top priority. Now, unless your writing is on the level of Ernest Hemingway (highly unlikely), the goals I have set out above are more than reasonable. Focus on getting work done everyday. At a rate of 2000 words per day, you can have a completed 100,000 word manuscript done in 50 days, YES - just under two months works. The manuscript is the first step in a long process of creating and publishing your novel, so don't slack ever. Get it done.

Part-Time Writer:

The majority of people fall under this category. Although, you are in for a hard slog creating your novel, it will be highly rewarding. Unfortunately, more or less the same principles apply to you as full-time writers, that's who you are competing against. You cannot allow yourself to drag the process and keep shelving it. For most people, the moment any project is shelved it might as well be buried six feet under. My suggestion, no matter what field that you are in, that you stick with a minimum word count of 500 words plus the additional 10 minute revision process when you are done writing for the day. At this pace, you will be done with your manuscript  in just under 7 months. Sounds like a long time but hey when you are having fun times flies.

Thank you for reading and please reach out if you have any questions or would like to discuss any part of the writing process with me. 

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