Daily Word Goals for Writers

Articles fill the web either preaching the benefits or warning of the detriments of assigning a number to your productivity. While setting a numerical goal for your word count is a personal preference, many of us do. (Check your twitter feed and various blogs.) We think in numbers. We quantify success.

This week, I’ve been participating in the monthly “Book in a Week” challenge hosted by the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. Each participant creates their own goal and reports their progress daily. In the past, I’ve created word count goals that were too lofty and I ended up more frustrated than productive. This week, I set a more manageable goal for myself and have exceeded that goal every day. The positive environment and the camaraderie of the group has given me an added boost.

What about you?

Do you set daily goals?

Do you set weekly goals?

15 thoughts on “Daily Word Goals for Writers

  1. Since I’m in full editing mode for much of this year (I’m getting six almost-done books out), I prefer to set a daily time goal: to write one hour or do three one-hour chunks (is it the weekend or not?) per day. If I’m doing a first draft, I can usually count on 1000 words in an hour, so that takes care of numbers. If I’m in a BiaW challenge, I’ll increase that to 1500, but any more than that fries me for weeks afterward. Some people in our Book in a Week group set goals like writing one scene a day, getting through a tough part of the book by the end of the week, or just sitting down to write every day. Whatever works…

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    • Carol, Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Sounds like serious edit mode! Wow.
      I love the way you handle your time in hours. (I’m looking for ways to improve my efficiency and the hint about internet-diet is solid gold 🙂

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  2. When I’m in writing mode, I always set myself a goal of 2,500 words a day. It seems to be a good target for me, and reaching that goal helps keep me motivated each day 🙂

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    • I love how you preface that with “when I’m in writing mode” because we do have more than one mode based on what needs to be tackled. I’m amazed by your 2500 words a day. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  3. My goals change every so often I think I’m just cheating myself lol. I do try to set a goal when I’m on writing mode though, usually depending on what my final target is and I just break that down into what I think would be workable for my schedule.

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    • Sounds like a great approach. I’m just now learning how to adjust my goals so I don’t hamper my own progress. I like the way you break down your target!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

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  4. I don’t set goals… I know I should, but life invariably ends up in the way and I just end up feeling frustrated and upset because I couldn’t get more than a hundred words down. The only goal I do keep up with is blogging at least once a week, typically on Sunday. But… congrats on keeping your own! that’s great. 🙂

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    • Thanks. We’ll see how that sticks now that the challenge is over 🙂 A goal does make it challenging sometimes when the words refuse to come. ( which causes the frustration you mentioned. Have been there.)
      Most folks chose no goal in the poll. And one person has a set time instead of word count, which I thought was a great way of looking at writing.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

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    • Life does have alternate plans at time and the thinking part of writing is very important 🙂

      Having a goal works for me… but not always.Depends on what side of my brain shows up.

      Do you have a new story in mind that you want to think/write about or a WIP?

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  5. Elsie – i don’t set writing goals, unless that constant “mind blogging” counts as writing :-). I do have a goal of posting three times a week. I liked your comment about your goals being too lofty and setting realistic ones. I have a post “percolating” about that very topic! My goal tomorrow is to get it out of my mind onto paper!

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    • Good luck reaching that goal. 😀 I look forward to reading it.

      My goal for the week was to embrace my Monday’s motivation. It’s kinda working!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  6. Lately I have been blatantly ignoring my simple goal of 1k a day.
    I’m still building this story in my head and feel like I hit a wall. So, in effort to feel like I’m working on the story, I’ve fallen into my own trap-the one where I compulsively edit the first 35k before writing the last 35k.
    I do that sometimes. I love the editing stage because I get to refine and shape my plot and mortar over holes.
    But it’s not time to edit, so I’m gonna stop. I dont have a problem or anything.
    I can totally quit on my own.
    No changes until its time to edit, darn it!
    But I can think of so many pieces, scenes, sentences, commas that I can change to make it better….
    Hello, my name is AR, and I am addicted to editing.

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    • Lol 😀 I’m right there with you. That’s one reason I like Scrivener because I do the same thing (it is often easier to edit than write). WIth Scrivener when I finally pull the plug and make myself move forward, I can skip down to where I need to be 😉

      Is this a totally new story you’re working on or is it related to Between Octobers?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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      • It’s semi related to Between Octobers.
        It’s a prequel that covers the early life of the antagonist. I’m trying to get it done asap, because my publisher expressed interest when I shared the plot.

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