Taking our writing to the next level

2014 has been about establishing a writing routine that works for me. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m writing 1,000 words per day fairly consistently. But I recently read “Write. Publish. Repeat.” and the authors of that work have some impressive word-counts. As in, they’re writing in a week what I’d like to be writing in a month. And it got me thinking. Should I be pushing myself harder? I don’t want to burn myself out—been there, done that, took forever to recover. But part of making it as a writer has to do with how fast you can produce publishable work, and I can probably do that faster than I am at the moment.

I’m not going to shoot for some crazy word count, but in 2015, I’d like to gradually push my word count up—to 1,500, then 2K, then maybe even 3K per day—to see if I can speed up the drafting process. My revision process is even slower, but I trust that it will speed up with practice.

So, if 2014 has been about the discipline of writing every day, 2015 will be about pushing myself a little further, challenging myself a little more, stretching my writing muscles and building up my endurance.

What about you? What is your ideal daily word count? How do you push yourself to grow as a writer?

ROW80 check-in:


1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 5,895 words in “Stolen by Magic.” First draft is finished!

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. Three of three books read. Finished reading “Write. Publish. Repeat.” by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Goal met.

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Goal met.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland sprite. Debut release TANGLED ROOTS now available. Magic awaits at www.denisedyoungbooks.com.

12 thoughts on “Taking our writing to the next level

  1. I’m doing 2k a day pretty easily. I think I’d like that to be a bit higher, maybe in the 3k a day range. I think its very doable, just takes getting used to.

    1. I think 2K a day is a pretty reasonable word count, but with some practice I’d like to have days when I hit or exceed 3K. It will take some getting used to, but that’s the level I’d like to aim for. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I’m doing 1k a day right now, 1.5k if I manage to sneak in some writing during my work lunch. I am pretty happy with that word count. My goal for 2015 is to get better at the editing / revisions phase because right now it takes ages, especially on longer works.

    1. That’s about the word count I’m at right now. I’d also like to speed up my revision process. Right now it’s just too slow, partly because I’ll revise the same scene five times until I get it where I want it. I’m hoping that with practice my revision process will go faster.

  3. I haven’t done any initial planning for next round of ROW80. I will follow where my fingers lead. As for my writing goals, I think I might write by the seats of my pants. I have lost count of my total tally in the text department.
    My mind is a bit distracted from the news I have been reading unrelated to writing.
    Anyways stay sweet hope to see next round.

    1. I’m definitely a planner. I like setting goals and deadlines for myself so I can tell if I’m on the right track. Sometimes we need to just follow our fingers where they lead, though. Doing so can help with our creative process and challenge us. I have a list of projects I’d like to finish next year, but I’m also open to the fact that a new, currently undiscovered story might pop up and demand to be written. So I have a plan, but I’m also trying to remain flexible. Good luck in 2015!

  4. I don’t push myself, but I do have aspirations. The first year I completed NaNo (2009;when my children were 8 and 5 and needed a lot more from me than they do now, at 13 and 10), I struggled to make that 1.667 words a day – and some days, I didn’t.

    Five years later, my average count per day was 5,576 words. Twice, I managed 10K plus days, and that’s never happened before…

    Practice makes better. I think blogging regularly helps, and so did the background work I did, and plotting the story (even though the characters ended up having far more intense ideas about what actually happened, and I went with them, making a lot of that plotting irrelevant; the process of doing it led me to knowing them well enough that they could live and breathe).

    Without really ever pushing myself, I have managed to add about a thousand words a year to my daily average, when actively writing. I’m looking less toward that eventual publication, right now, and more toward getting my stories in print, and out of just my head, so that I can shape them into something that will, one day, be ready for publication…

    As for editing, I put about 150 hours into focused editing in 2014, and managed to rewrite 12 scenes out of 60, for the first book I’ve actually edited with a plan in place. That’s very slow, I think, but, like you, I recognize that I have a lot to learn, and I will undoubtedly get faster as I move along, learning and growing. My goal in that regard, for 2015, will be to finish rewriting the other 48 scenes of the novel, and then read through the entire rewritten draft (I’m editing out of sequence), and make a plan for the next pass, noting inconsistencies and the like.

    I’ll also be moving forward with revising my Trip and T’Pol Enterprise fan fiction stories, in bits and pieces, as WIPpets (not all year, but some of it), and taking my A-Z Kifo Island stories from last April, sorting them into groups, and turning at least one or two of these groups into novellas…and then there’s that poetry I keep meaning to edit…


    You’ve just helped me to focus on my 2015 goals, and I might just have the bones of a goals list here, already!

    Thanks! Happy holidays and happy writing to you!

    1. That’s a great list of goals for 2015, Shan Jeniah. Your word counts sound impressive. I’m trying to slowly but steadily increase my daily word counts until they’re where I want them to be. 1K/day isn’t bad, but I know I can do better. Good luck with your revisions! Happy holidays.

  5. Ack Denise, how did I miss this! I just found you amongst a gazillion emails. Do they ever end? lol.

    You know, I have read the same things you have. And I get it. Yes, we need to produce. But we all do things at a different pace. Why? Because we’re different people. We all differ in our approach and creativity. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. It’s not a one size shoe fits all.

    I, for one, thing you’re doing fantastic Denise! If you’ve reached a comfort zone and feel that you can amp it up, it doesn’t hurt to try. And I wish you all the success in that venture. But if it doesn’t work out for you, please don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ve got several novels in progress and you are meeting your goals. I applaud you for this! You’re an inspiration! ((Hugs)) 🙂

    1. Thanks, Karen. It’s really about challenging myself to write just a little bit more, and then a little bit more. I’ve burnt myself out before and have no desire to do it again. And I have other, non-writing things I want to do–getting back into volunteer work, for example. You’re right that I shouldn’t beat myself up if I can’t hit a certain level. Even at 1K/day I’m still producing a fair amount of work, and consistency is more important than huge daily word counts.

      Happy New Year! 🙂

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