How long does it take to write a thousand words?

If I have any chance of succeeding in my attempt to write a thousand words a day for a hundred days, it’s not enough to plan what I’m going to write. I also need to plan my day.

Here is my timetable:

From To Task
8:00 10:00 Write
10:00 12:00 Do my editing work
12:00 13:00 Social media, blogs, emails
13:00 13:30 Lunch
13:30 14:30 Housework
14:30 16:30 Write
16:30 19:00 Cooking and family time
19:00 20:00 Supper and clearing up
20:00 22:00 Ironing, washing

That looks good. I have four hours for writing. That must be enough time to write a thousand words. Right? Well, yes, if I have a thousand words ready to write. But what if I have to think a bit? About the voice, the character, the tense and all those other matters that need to be considered before starting.

Unless I decide to just plunge into it and then try writing the same story in different ways. That’s a good exercise I haven’t really tried. And it will up my word count. Hmm.

And what about all the things I haven’t included in the timetable: folk dancing, shopping, seeing people, reading (because it’s not enough to read in bed) and all the other things that might pop up. And weekends? Hmm.

EDIT: I forgot my writing group, which is a lot of work – polishing off the next submission, critiquing and attending the meeting every two weeks.

Oh well. That’s my plan and I probably won’t stick to it. But I’ll try.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

4 replies on “How long does it take to write a thousand words?”

It sounds like a gruelling task. I think that the only way to survive such a task is to not stop and think, not edit work, but throw the ideas down onto the page andf worry about editing after the 100 days is up. It might not be the way you usually work but I think it’s the best way to meet such a demanding target. Good luck and happy Chanukah.

Thanks, Rosalind. You’re right. The only trouble is that I don’t like writing first drafts on the computer, which means that I have to type up everything I write in order to know the word count, and while I’m doing it…. On the other hand, I tend to add rather than remove when I edit, so that system does have advantages.

Hi Miriam. Sorry if this is one of those daft obvious questions – but why?
I see lots of writers getting involved in this kind of exercise and I’ve always wondered what are they are meant to achieve?
I guess I just can’t get my head round the idea of writing as an exercise in maths or strength building, like lifting weights.
I genuinely don’t get the motivation.
Once I’m ready to write I just do it and go on to the end. The word count per day is just not an issue for consideration. When I’m in the flow it can be anything from 800 to 4000+ per day.
I’m not meaning to be critical at all. I am truly interested to know what benefit you see in this kind of exercise.
Regards David Rory.

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