Daily Word Count – Yes, You Can!

10 May

Just listened to an interesting podcast with an author who has a daily writing quota of 4000-5000 words a day. Last year, he wrote 150,000 words in a period of 50 days.

Yes, he has a life. He actually has several projects going at once. When asked what he thought of writers who complain of not having enough time to write, he responded that he didn’t have any sympathy for them. I have to agree (especially since I was always more creative in my excuse-making).

With the rare exception of those people who work two full-time jobs at once, are in medical or law school, or who hold down a full-time job while carrying a 15 credit course load, most of us can squeeze an hour or two out of every day. Susan Straight, author of eight novels and numerous essays, has been a writing professor and single mom for most of her writing career. She talks about settling down to work on her writing projects at 10:00 p.m., after her children were in bed.

If you have time to lounge in front of the television, diddle around on facebook, play online games, or surf Salon and read The Onion, you’ve got time to write. It took me a while to realize the difference between a hobbyist and a professional is how you choose to use that free time.

Another prolific writer, J A Konrath, recently blogged about the sacrifices he made, and continues to make, to achieve a certain level of success. It’s a long post, but worth reading to the end.

Whatever you think of the work these writers produce, the fact is that they ARE consistently producing. I need to set my own daily word quota. It’s worked for me in the past, and it’s a good motivator to bring projects to completion. 2000 words/day is a good place to start. And no, blogging doesn’t count.

Go write something!


Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Writing


4 responses to “Daily Word Count – Yes, You Can!

  1. Ellie

    May 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I fully agree. Writing time can always be found. I know i probably do less than many, but I still find time. I even manage a bath now and again ha!

    This week I wrote about how we all make mistakes, but we learn from them. I have had a rather hectic year, and as a result I have made mistakes, but I have written…a lot. The result for me has been very positive, and I think if others can stop making excuses, they will find they have a similar outcome.

    • Candice L Davis

      May 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Well said, Ellie. It’s kind of like most other things–exercise, preparing meals, learning a foreign language. If it’s important enough, we’ll make time.

      And thank goodness for mistakes. I certainly hope I’ve learned from mine.

  2. C.M. Watkins

    June 7, 2011 at 1:48 am

    This was a great post. I have had that realization over the last month and a half now. I was watching Steve Harvey one night talk about the people who come up to him and ask for advice on being an actor. He would ask what play they were currenlty acting in and they would say, “Nothing.” His comment was how can you be an actor and you are not acting. This is the same thing with writing, all things take practice.


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