You Wrote How Many Books Last Year?

I was listening to a MasterClass lecture about how much this author writes in a day (no, I won’t say who) and they claimed they couldn’t write more than a few paragraphs a day. No more than a page–equal to 250 words. Over the course of a year, that would be about 300 pages (allowing for an occasional day off). And it got me to thinking… (I know – a dangerous occupation).

A lot of my friends are romance writers. For the ones who work with traditional publishers, they are expected to write at least four books a year, some publishers like six. Not one. Four! And okay, their books may only be 50-70,000 words (the equivalent of 200-280) pages, but you multiply that by four (or six) and, on the low end, that’s the same as our “page a day” writer doing two to three longer novels in a year. Very few writers do that. For instance, some fantasy writers are lucky to get one epic novel out every five years! (Leaving those of us waiting for sequels hanging for a very long time!)

When I’m on retreat with my writing friends, I’ve been known to crank out as much as 10,000 words in a single day (rare, but it has happened). Mostly, it’s just a few thousand. But still… compared to that mere 250 words, that’s a lot. One writer friend of mine easily puts out 3000 words a day almost every day. He basically puts out a full novel of 60,000 words in a month. Every month! And still finds time to travel, go to workshops, signings, and even have a life!

Most of us find a comfortable level somewhere between that 250 and 3000. I guess the best thing is to find what works for you. If that’s only 50 words a day, as long as you’re consistent, that’s fine. If you’re a dynamo who can put out 5000 words a day, go for it. Me? I’ll stick with what I can do on any given day. Sometimes that’s 50. Most times, it’s more.

By the way, this blog contains approximately 361 words. Think about it.

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