My Quota

Pick up a book on becoming a writer and somewhere tossed in there is having a quota. This ranges from 1000-2000 words a day. If you can write more that’s better.

I have a quota but it’s not strict. I write more on my days off work and sometimes I don’t write at all. It also depends on what project I’m doing.

Editing may not add any word count to your project, so do you consider it a quota? I do. Most writers hate the editing process. It’s the least amount of fun. We want to create, not line edit and find all the flaws in our work.

I have a quota system with editing. I’ll edit 500 to 1000 words at a time. This ensures I get a small break in between and don’t get burnt out. I’ll edit and then work on something else so that I’m still writing and creating something new. This doesn’t happen everyday, but I do my best.

During the holidays I took a break and wrote little. Now I’m back in full swing. My goal is to get something out there in 2017. Not sure if I’m going to self publish or keep going the publisher route. It’s all a learning process, the hardest part for me is to not rush it. The need for good stories will always be there. At this point I need to make sure it’s the best it can be.

In the meantime, let’s hope I can hit my quota. How is everyone else’s writing going?

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11 thoughts on “My Quota

  1. Word quotas are a tricky thing. I know it’s very common to pace oneself by word count, but I tend to pace myself by chapter. Depending on how grand or small I intend for a chapter to be, I’ll roll with that.

    You’re right in not wanting to rush anything. Slow and steady will get you the best product!

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    • Depends on the book, novels vary from 50,000 to 100,000 or more. Novellas are usually 17,000 to 40,000. 🙂

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  2. I totally agree with J J that word count is the language of the industry. It’s important to be mindful of it (a publisher won’t really consider a 200k debut novel for example and editors in the self publishing world charge by the word) but at the end of the day so long as you’re writing, you’re making progress and progress is good 😁 That said, I have the worst writing habits of any writer I know and tend to work in a binge-y way where I write for 12 hours straight then don’t look at anything for three days. I think it’s harder to maintain “healthy” writing habits when you’re working full time, so I tend to just go with the flow. Working yourself to burnout isn’t always the best but if you know how to refresh and it doesn’t hold you down too long, eh.

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    • Great point Aimee. It’s hard to have a “healthy” habit. We can only do so much! Plus working and trying to find time to write creates challenges.

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  3. After a 2 week break, it was back to the grindstone yesterday. I have a novella I want to complete in the next month, so I’m shooting for a 2k a day minimum. The marathon begins anew! 🙂

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  4. For a while I tried using word count to measure my quota, but as you say, with things like writing, or reading articles on writing, or submitting stories to literary magazines, there is no word count, and yet all of those things matter. So I switched to time. I track how much time I spend on writing, and I track which tasks I work on during that time.
    I feel like, at least for me, a word based quota makes me focus on volume, while a time based quota helps me to feel comfortable spending 30 minutes or an hour writing a 10 word sentence that carries the rest of the piece.
    Of course it’s all very subjective, and all that really matters is what works for ourselves.
    Hope 2017 is a good year for you.

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    • Thanks for leaving a comment Adam. I like your approach. Sometimes I spend more time on a certain part of a book but don’t get very far in word count. I like your perspective.

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