Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
One of the best goals you can have as a writer is keeping track of how many words you write per day. It’s something you have control over that can lead to more visits and making more money. So, what’s a good number of words to write in a single day and how do I do it?
Perhaps the thing you need to keep in mind is what I count on any given day. Using my writing spreadsheet, I keep track of:
- Blog posts that I write for my sites.
- Posts I write for paying sites, like Vocal or Hubpages.
- Content I create for my freelancing clients.
- Scripts and descriptions for the YouTube channels, if any.
- Creative works I have published on Wattpad, Inkitt, and other platforms.
- The books I self-publish.
Yep, that’s an awful lot on my plate. That doesn’t include all of the other random things I do throughout the week that doesn’t involve writing.
But if I stick with the schedule I set up in Asana, I can get the vast majority of things done. The downside is that about more than half of what I do nowadays has little to do with me actually writing text.
How Many Words Do I Write Per Day?
In 2021, I averaged 1,997 words per day when you break it down across 365 days. In reality, though, I try to do less on the weekends. Mostly because I like having a day off here and there, although it rarely happens.
I try to focus on a Monday through Friday schedule, even when it comes to my own projects. There’s something to be said about having a lazy Saturday and Sunday.
For one thing, I’ve come close to burning out before. The grind did a number on my mental state, which contributed to my decent into depression in 2016.
So, I promised myself no more 100-hour weeks.
If you put that into context, then I averaged 2,789 words per day throughout a five-day workweek. This is something I could easily triple should I dump the projects that don’t have much to do with writing.
Over the last few weeks, however, I’m averaging closer to 4,000 words per day. I’ve been quite productive in the last quarter of 2022.
How Do I Write 4,000 Words Per Day?
For many, 4,000 words is an awful lot. But keep in mind that I’ve been a freelance writer since 2012. When I started writing for Textbroker, I was lucky to hit 1,000.
At one point, my daily goals bounced between 6k and 10k. But that’s when I was doing nothing but writing content for clients on content mills. I didn’t even track the blog posts I wrote back then.
So, how did I get myself to a point where writing 4,000 words was simply a part of my day?
Keeping Track of My “Work Week”
I track all of my writing tasks in a spreadsheet. It’s kind of like a timesheet that I fill out to keep an eye on my progress. Since 2012, my spreadsheet has undergone a lot of changes, though.
Having a running record of the data lets me see how productive I am while helping me estimate how long certain projects will take. This is greatly beneficial when you’re negotiating contracts with clients.
After all, you want your time to be worth the income.
Setting Goals in the Spreadsheet
One of the primary functions of my spreadsheet is to help me set up realistic goals for writing. By looking back at what I did yesterday, I can focus on doing more today.
This is how I went from 1,000 to 10,000 words per day in about a year or so.
Even if I was able to write just one more word, I relished the accomplishment. Especially since I had no idea what I was doing back in 2012. But if I had to say one thing that made me the success I am today, it’s probably focusing on realistic goals for myself.
Covering Topics I Know and Enjoy
When it comes to viable topics for the blogs, there are a lot of moving parts. Not only do you want to write something people want to read, but it’s also best if the topic is something you know relatively well.
This is because the better you know a topic, the easier it is to write. When it’s an easy piece of content, you’ll write it up much faster than something for which you’ll need in-depth research.
Sure, not every topic is going to land well with the audience. You’ll undoubtedly write a few pieces that don’t get much traffic at all. But then you’ll write something that seemingly explodes and drives a larger audience.
Having a Variety of Outlets for Any Purpose
As a writer, there is no shortage of places you can write. Vocal, Hubpages, Medium, free blogs from WordPress.com, content mills, private clients, self-publishing, Wattpad, Inkitt…the only thing stopping you is YOU.
Right now, I have five blogs, three of which are my primary platforms. They all focus on separate niches that I enjoy. Then, I have a few stories on Wattpad, started an Inkitt account, and currently working on my second book.
Needless to say, I am never bored as a writer.
Sticking with Each Block of Time in Asana
When I set up my daily schedule in Asana, it’s mostly to help me remember what I plan to do today. And if I follow my schedule, I can write quite a few words per day.
Take today, for example. I’m working on this post, have another that I want to schedule to publish next Monday, edit my second book, write for the Buy Me a Coffee monthly supporters for Tip Tuesday, and two video scripts.
This doesn’t include my client work, mind you. In total, I will probably write more than 4,500 words today.
The point is I found myself far more efficient with my time throughout the day since using a project management app. And the free version of Asana does everything I need it to do.
Continuous Learning and Growth
Lastly, I’m always in a state of self-improvement. I love to learn new things that will help me grow as a blogger/author/freelancer. Because everything I learn today will just make me better for tomorrow.
There are days when I’ll even play around with typing test apps just to keep my speed and accuracy at their peak.
Even if you think you know everything about any given topic, it’s always a good idea to brush up. You never know what will change that could vastly change the way you create content.
What’s a Good Amount of Words Per Day?
Not everyone is going to start by cranking out 4,000 words in a single day. I sure didn’t, but that didn’t stop me from continuing to build my momentum.
In any case, the perfect amount of words for you to write in a day is whatever works best for your needs. I know, that sounds like a cop-out, but let me explain.
If I were to tell you that you need 5,000 words per day in order to be successful and you simply don’t have the time to hit that number, you’ll get discouraged. This will lead to you eventually giving up because it’s just too much for you right now.
But what if you don’t need 5,000 words to be successful? What if I told you that I became successful by simply striving for 1,000? It’s a much easier number to achieve and will help boost your level of self-confidence when you hit that goal.
This is exactly why I suggest that people set goals according to their own abilities. As long as you’re continuously breaking personal records, that’s all that really matters.
It’s also something you can achieve at your own pace. Sure, it may take a bit of time to get to that point, especially if you have a full-time job and kids in the home. But you’ll eventually start finding success as you continue to grow.
I started by writing an article or two every night after coming home from working at the school district all day. Eventually, I made enough money to quit my job and write full time.
But it wasn’t something that happened immediately.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is writing in a day. Concentrate on improving your own numbers and doing what you can to keep striving for more.
How Many Words Do You Write Per Day?
The number of words you write per day isn’t a tell-tale sign of success. It’s whether that content has a purpose and a target audience. Anyone can slap 4,000 words on a blog post and call it done. But will anyone read it?
While you’re aiming for a greater word count, also keep in mind your audience. Because if no one is reading the material, then it doesn’t really matter how many words you write in a day.
Well, unless you’re putting together a journal and you don’t care who reads the content.
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