My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Aug 18


I subscribe to this blog, Ingrid’s Notes, she’s a writer, gives tips on craft and what-not. Today’s post was from a guest blogger trying to hawk someone’s book about how writers can boost their output to 10,000 words per day. Aside from that being deranged, the physical act of typing 10,000 words would take me most of 24 solid hours. I’m not buying that book. Still, the post was actually really… eye-opening.

The first half of the post discuses various writers’ average daily word counts. Stephen King puts out around 3,000 words per day, which is doable, but brutal. Ann Rice slams down around 5,000 words per day, totally out. Besides, the merits of monster word counts are debatable. Some say, if you’re putting down tons of words, even if they’re mostly trash, you still had a good day. Others would call such a day a waste of time, and it’s better to tighten your craft and focus on solid writing. I don’t really think there’s any right or wrong thought on word counts, it’s up to the writer and what feels best to them.

Personally, I’ve always been best at saying the perfect thing in as few words as necessary. So, what really drew my interest was one particular writer’s average daily word count, Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway averaged 500 words per day. Like his work or not, Hemingway is immortal, a writer whose name will live on forever, because ultimately, writing isn’t about word counts or unit sales, it’s about the quality of craft, of a finished story. If Hemingway secured immortality with something around 500 words per day…

Why can’t I? I know that if I create a daily routine and just fucking write, I can do 500 words easily enough. I’m no Hemingway, but I know I don’t suck either.


3 Comments so far

  1. Eliza August 18th, 2014 3:55 pm

    I set a goal for myself to write just five MINUTES everyday. It’s a short enough goal that it doesn’t feeling intimidating. And, that way, if i feel stuck, i can just stop without feeling too bad. But usually it’s enough to get me into a groove.

    Please keep up with the blog! I like to read it.

  2. josh August 19th, 2014 9:53 am

    Any daily goal is good. I need to get back on that train… But 500 is probably a perfect target for you since you tend to say so much with so few words. Cheering for you from over here!!

  3. maria X (Mrs. Xenick in your school life) August 21st, 2014 9:46 pm

    I agree with Josh – goals are great. If you hit 490 though, it doesn’t mean a failure though – don’t get hung up on details. Just glad you are being consistent! That keeps you going!