How Long Does It Take to Write 1,000 Words?

stopwatchThat search shows up here more frequently than any other except searches for my name.

Here are a few answers:

  1. At a typing speed of 25WPM, about average for a nonprofessional,
    1,000 รท 25 = 40 minutes
    At a more professional speed of 50WPM, it’s 20 minutes. If you’re my wife and type 80WPM it’s less than 13 minutes. This is the least meaningful answer I have.
  2. My scenes tend to run about 1,000 words. Most writers manage 2,000 per scene, but I’ve tried adjusting my stance and leaning toward the plate, and I’m still not hitting it, so I do what I do. One scene, about 1,000 words, takes me about an hour, because although I type 50WPM I also pause sometimes to ruminate on the next bit. Sometimes I can blaze away for 90 minutes nonstop, but that’s the exception. The rule is, about an hour for a 1,000-word scene.
  3. The writer who pauses to fix every typo, polish every sentence, adjust the punctuation, and carefully balance sentence lengths, paragraph lengths, and whatever else they balance, all the while keeping one eye on the word count meter, will take a week. Or a day. Or a month. Or forever. I don’t know. At this point, it’s the wrong question.
  4. How long does it take to write 1,000 good words? Still the wrong question.
  5. How long does it take to write a 1,000-word story? Good question. I write what I call 1-Page Classics. I shoot for 1,000 words. They take me about 3 hours, start to finish, idea to polished prose.
  6. Now we’re talking about storytelling, real writing, and not word count. How long does it take to write 1,000 words of good story, in addition to all the words you already have? It depends on whether you’re in the flow, brain dumping a scene you envisioned en tableau, and spend half an hour, or grinding your way through a vital slice that weighs heavily on your emotions, dredging up doubt and anguish from past pains and future fears. That might take all day, all week, even.
  7. What if you haven’t even started yet? Your first 1,000 words might flow like mad, at nearly typing speed (20 to 40 minutes.) If you spent some time planning, or if an idea gripped you and won’t let go till you spill, that’s feasible. Otherwise, if something doesn’t feel right, either because you didn’t stop to celebrate finishing a novel yesterday, don’t have an idea what this one is about, or need to get paid so it doesn’t matter, you just need to get the blasted thing written, we’re back to hours, maybe days.
  8. One last answer: sit down at your computer, start a timer, and write until the word count meter says 1,000. Check the timer. There’s your answer. Not the dumbest answer, but perhaps the least satisfying.

How long does it take you to write 1,000 words?

You’re Not Getting Your Writing Done Because You’re Building the Wrong Habit

Tom’s cat. No, it’s not a tomcat.
Editor Tom asks how we manage to start writing projects without bedeviling ourselves.

Short version: make it a habit.

Slightly longer version: make it the right habit.

Full version:

After 18 months of experimentation (following 18 years of dabbling) I’ve made writing my habit. It’s part of my daily routine.

Every morning, Best Beloved and I have our tea and a chat. Then, I go downstairs and write one scene (+/- 1,000 words is where mine seem to fall.)

… more … “You’re Not Getting Your Writing Done Because You’re Building the Wrong Habit”

Blog and Newsletter Hiatus

In order to focus on my mystery writing I’m letting myself off the hook round these parts.

While I will pop in now and again with a post or a newsletter, I don’t plan to stick to a schedule as I’ve done for a number of years.

If you need help selfpublishing your book, Someday Box will still be right here ready to provide the support you need. Just give us a shout.

New Schedules for Newsletter and Blog

A Long, Hard Look - a Chandleresque cozy(and hopefully, thereby, my books)

In order to concentrate on my writing, I’ll be spending less time teaching for a while.

Late last year Best Beloved and I started an experiment: could I make a living writing fiction? Or at least, could my fiction contribute enough to our income to be a business rather than a hobby?

Original plan was to release 4 books this year and see what happened. It’s a race between my children’s book Ginger, the Ship Captain’s Cat, and my first Jake Calcutta mystery anodyne to see which will be my third book this year. (If yer the betting type put your coin on Ginger.)

Three isn’t four, but it’s more than some other numbers I could name. But one year isn’t long enough to see the impact of those books. Marketing for A Long, Hard Look is just picking up speed, and that for Into the Fog is barely begun.

Five months ago we agreed that this needs another year, so I’ll still be focusing on fiction through 2015. A year from now, we’ll talk again. Maybe sooner.

The New Schedule

Beginning now, the newsletter will go out the first of each month, unless I have reason for a special edition.

There will be a new blog post every Friday. There will be links to the past handful of posts in each newsletter. A month is a long time. Consider dropping by the blog once a week just to read up, eh?

We will only be working with one Someday Box self-publishing client at a time.

Chief Virtual Officer’s Social Media Marketing for Authors program has a good support team, so they’ll be able to take on up to 6 more clients. Email Sue for more information.

I’ll be far less active on Facebook and LinkedIn.

But I’m always available by email (joel@somedaybox.com) if you have questions or just want to chat.

Oh, and you can buy my books anytime.

Marathon, Not Sprint

Cliff Young
Cliffyoung1983. Via Wikipedia.
Immediately after urging Best Beloved to take it slower, consider her health, self-care blah blah blah, I started stressing about the post I’m supposed to write today about my Goodreads giveaway.

Pot. Kettle. Nobody here but us kitchen utensils.

I plan to get back to the Goodreads giveaway education I promised by next week, but today, I’m going to spill a bit about what we’re doing and why I’m taking it slow today.

Years ago, Best Beloved almost died of pancreas problems. Couple years later, she almost died of complications from the previous issues.

For 7 years, her primary symptoms have been fatigue, a lack of stamina. Past 6 – 9 months, it’s been extreme fatigue, general pain, and mental blur. Doctors are looking into everything from fibromyalgia to hepatitis. No reason for excessive concern yet, just do the research, find the source, and then decide what action to take.

… more … “Marathon, Not Sprint”

What is Your Writing Goal for Today, for This Project, for Your Life?

what are you aiming for?A subtle theme, more a motif, runs through my conversations with authors. When they talk about their writing, there’s one thing they don’t mention:

When it will be done.

There’s a reason this site is named Someday Box. A reason I chose Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box as the title for that book.

“Someday” is not a goal. Someday is a dream, a vague notion. Sir Ken Robinson tells the story of chatting with a brilliant pianist whose name I can’t remember. Robinson said “I wish I could play like that.”

The pianist said something like, “No, you like the idea of playing like that. If you really wished you could, you’d be doing something about it.”

Do you want to be a writer or do you just like the idea?

… more … “What is Your Writing Goal for Today, for This Project, for Your Life?”

The Ongoing Experiment: Chasing Change

step by stepIf you scroll down and look left, you’ll see the 16 most popular posts here at Someday Box.

7 are from the “story in 9 sentences” series.

7 are my core marketing posts.

The other two are a guest post from Rosanne Bane and a meander about Nero Wolfe. I know why the former is on the list. The latter, no idea.

Seems to indicate where interest lies: getting stuff written, and getting stuff sold.

More specifically, tools to make the writing and marketing processes less “random willpower-driven flailing” and more follow-the-steps.

In the spirit of endless experimentation to find the sweet spot between what I have to say and what you want to hear, it’s time for a course correction. … more … “The Ongoing Experiment: Chasing Change”

Where’s the Order, Where the Habit?

My unconscious is apparently toying with me. Write a post Monday about being orderly and habitual to reserve mental and emotional energy for art, and then don’t write posts the next two days.

This comes, perhaps, from not having specific goals, either targets to aim for or purposes for the actions. “I should write a post every day” isn’t meaningful. “Engaging with readers regularly builds loyalty” is a bit better.

running the maze

This year, my goal has been to write more mysteries. Our 3 businesses, Spinhead Web Design, Someday Box, and Chief Virtual Officer, are all doing what they do without much input or marketing effort from me.

After writing a 60,000-word mystery, one chapter a day, over at my personal blog, I may not post much there until there’s a specific reason. … more … “Where’s the Order, Where the Habit?”

How an Orderly Life Benefits Your Art

rock paper scissorsYou’ve seen the common perception of “artists” — disorganized, flighty, not always entirely in touch with reality. Mess and disorder, partying ’til all hours and sleeping in, drink and drugs and bad behavior of all kinds. Artists aren’t expected to behave like “normal” people because, y’know, they’re artists.

Truth is the more habits you institute in your life the better it is for your art. Here’s why.

Using Up Willpower

Exercise strengthens muscles. It also strengthens willpower.

Muscles get tired and have to rest.

So does willpower.

… more … “How an Orderly Life Benefits Your Art”

After the Storm There’s No Time to Relax

To stretch that anchor/storm metaphor:

After the storm has passed the crew can’t take a break. First order is damage assessment and vital repairs.

Once the fires are put out, literally or metaphorically, the ship still needs sailing. A myriad little things need tidying up.

If the crew takes it easy after the storm they condemn their ship.

… more … “After the Storm There’s No Time to Relax”