Writing – Hitting Word Goals + Finding a Groove

How much can you write in a day? A week? A month? Sometimes life gets in the way - and your story changes organically too. Here's how I deal with it.

HITTING YOUR WORD GOALS – choosing the right word goals for you is a personal choice, and depends on a number of variables. Some authors only write one book a year – and for an average novel, around 85,000 words – that’s only a few hundred words a day. Easy.

But if you’re going down the self-publishing route, you’re going to need more than one book a year (many successful self-publishers publish 4-8 books a year, all in the 60,000 – 90,000 word length).

But here’s a useful benchmark: a novel is usually considered to be anything over 50,000 words. That works out about 1,700 words per day if you want to write your first draft in a month. Now, that might sound a lot if you’re not used to sitting down and writing, but that’s basically a blog post’s worth of content.

And remember, you’ve already planned out your entire story by this point – so the actual “writing” part shouldn’t have to involve coming up with any new ideas.

With enough practice, 1,700 words shouldn’t take you long. And then 2,500 words. Then maybe even more. Your goals depend on your circumstances – but if you can find an hour per day, 1,700 words is definitely do-able.

But if not? Don’t worry. Do what you can, and give yourself permission to take time off if you need it.

In this video, I’ll talk about how I deal with the “pressure” of hitting a word goal, a deadline, and some of the inevitable obstacles that crop up along the way. 



  1. Alyne de Winter says:

    I tried writing a short story….it became a novella….it became a novel. So I know this one. Also where to open some books is easy but some just seem to want to fight you. It’s fun following this. Good sailing!

    1. Nick says:

      Thanks Alyne! Yes, I can see it happening again in the near future… LOL

  2. Nick Cox says:

    I’ve written two novels which are undergoing editing and considered releasing one of them to be permafree and then thought “bugger it” and wrote a novella of 25,000 words as a prequel which i’ll make permafree. I enjoyed writing the novella as the story was short and punchy, so keen to write a second novella (as a sequel to the first novella) as the reader magnet to help build my mailing list. Writing around 1,000 words per day when not editing.

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