Friday, August 12, 2011

The speed of things


*Me at the computer. Old house, old hair, but you get the point*


I've read several blog posts about speed in writing lately. Authors have been answering the question How fast do you write?

My critique partner can crank out 3,500 on a great day.
Jolene Perry said she once wrote a book in a week but felt hungover.
If I remember right, Kiersten White wrote her last book in nine days.

Dang girls! I'm just not that fast! I usually write about 1,000-1,500 words in a day. Some days (many days) I don't write at all. Then there's the occasional hubby-took-the-kids-out-for-the-day when I write two or three thousand and feel amazing.

I was feeling down about my slowness, but there's no need to. Even if I took weekends off, I could still write a rough draft in three months. And that's not bad. Then, with revisions, I could probably pump out two books a year. For some writers (ahem, Bonnie) two novels a year would be an epic fail. But to others, that would be a fantastic accomplishment.

And you know what? Whatever your speed, it's okay. Consistency is what matters. And I am working on that one too.

I am also a slow runner. My miles are about twelve minutes while my friends do ten minute miles. But did you know we're both burning the same calories? Did you know we're both reaching the finish line?

So, don't stress about your speed. Find what's comfortable for you and push it a little (maybe just by a hundred or two hundred words). The point is, you know what you can do and still maintain balance in your life.

What is a word count for a typical day for you? Do you stress that you're too slow sometimes?

9 comments:

Jessica R. Patch said...

I don't write in word counts. I write in scenes. I write books that fall within 90-100K. I set a deadline for when I want that done and I write to the deadline.

I can usually write a full first draft in 6-8 weeks (after research). I never sweat it.

Your miles are good, girl! It takes me almost 15. I do hate that. lol

Lacie Nezbeth said...

I always stress about my consistency. When I have time to write, my word counts are about 1500. I want to find a more regular routine. Still working on that one...I might always be. Completing two books a year would be outstanding for me!! :)

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I gotta say that I shoot for 3k a day but sometimes only hit 1500. My first few books I wrote long hand and heck if I know what I did a day. The ONLY reason I can hit a 3k word count in 2 hours is because I'm a transcriptionist. I think I type faster than I think. You've read my work, it's not stellar the first go round.

I think everyone has their season and each of us will get there when we get there. ur doing awesome!

Jolene Perry said...

I sit in the SAME spot in my kitchen :D
At the breakfast bar, on the end, next to the wall, and half the time with a knee up.

Roni Loren did a FABULOUS post on this - wow were the opinions DIFFERENT!

I may write fast, but I tend to fry myself in the process, it's NOT easy. And I'm almost forcing myself to SLOW DOWN and enjoy the process.

Also, I run maybe as fast as you, maybe not quite . . .

KaseyQ said...

I'm just happy to know there's someone else out there who RUNS as slow as I do! I used to run with a friend who would literally run circles around me (she did 8-min miles) even while pushing all 3- yes, 3!- of her children in a triple jogger. Craziness.

I'm not sure how fast I write. I'm not consistent enough! LOL! Will work on that.

KaseyQ said...

P.S. The shirt I wear for my races says "You don't have to go fast, you just have to go." :-)

Kaylee Baldwin said...

My goal is to write 1000 words when I sit down, but I don't get the chance to write every day. I've been marking on my calendar when I write(out of curiousity) and for the month of August, as of today, I have only written five days and 6,000 words. At this rate, it will take a me a looooong time to finish. I try not to stress or compare, too, but it's hard not to.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I'm pretty much 1200 words a day. Since it was vacation last week, I did 3000 words a day. That's how crazy writers are, huh? I work MORE on vacation. Hm.

quidforquill said...

I found you via the Campaign groups by the way. =)

Word count is hard for me to tally because I write a combination of poetry, creative essays, short stories, and novels. (I have finished projects with all of those except novels, but I'm trying!) When I'm working on novels, 1000 is a good daily word count for me. But I have pulled out as many as 4000 in a day! When I'm working on poetry? 20 lines may be excellent. What you said is perfect...it doesn't matter how fast you get there, the goal is the same!