5-Day Start Writing Challenge Part Two: Choosing Your Daily Word Count

Sep 11, 2020

5-Day Start Writing Challenge: Choosing Your Daily Word Count

Word Count.

Doesn’t that sound important? Like, real writers have word counts, right? It’s this illusive, glamorous thing that writers are always talking about. What’s your word count? How many words did you write today? I didn’t meet my word count. I tripled my word count! Word Count.

Word Count

Here’s the thing about word count. It’s really cool when you reach or surpass your word count, but the rest of the time it’s a complete pain in the ass. We wrestle with it. We stress over it. We give ourselves too much grief over something that is only there to measure our progress through the writing process.

Too often I see writers base their self-worth on whether they reach their projected word count or not. Failed to reach their word count that day? Then they must be failing as a writer. They are never going to amount to anything. Never going to finish their book. They might s well quit.

That’s a big decision to make based on just one days work–but I’ve watched other writers make it again and again.

And I’m not saying there won’t be days where you’re frustrated and you think everything your write is total crap, but here’s the thing. Word count is only word count if you write something. And word count GOALS can be fluid. You can strive to write 1000 words a day, but if you only have 100 in you that day, great, decide your goal for that day is 100, and hooray! You met your goal! Crack open the champagne and take a load off. You. Did. It.

Giving up and not writing doesn’t get you anywhere.

Don’t like your words? Revise them later. (Until you hit publish, there is no limit on the amount of times you can change your words. Truly. Limitless power of creation and it’s all yours for the taking, my friend.)

The bottom line is, you can not author a book if you didn’t write the words. So the only thing we’re not going to do during this challenge not write.

The 5-day Start Writing Challenge is all about writing every day for five days straight. Just five days! And if you can prove to yourself that you can write for five days in a row and accumulate that ever illusive word count, why not keep going now that you know that you can?

I don’t care if you write 50 words or 5000 words a day, as long as you some words.

BUT deciding on a daily word count will give you a goal to work toward during the challenge.

So how do you choose a word count goal?

Normally, I’d tell you to think about ow long your book will be and divide the number of wards as evenly as you can over the 30, 60, 90 days or however many days it is until you want to have your first draft finished. But non of us are trying to write a whole draft of a book in five days. I mean, you could, but that doesn’t sound all that healthy to me, even for experienced authors.

There are other factors that go into setting your word count. The most important of which is to choose a number you think you can reasonably reach in the time you have allotted for writing each day.

500 words is a great place to start.

1000 is a common daily goal.

Mine is currently 2000 a day. Do I hit that everyday? No. Sometimes I write 100 words. Sometimes I write 8000. But even if I only write one rambling paragraph, I still write something.

So, now it’s time for you to set your word count.

  1. Decide on a daily word count goal that fits with your day
  2. Write it down, aka “I will write ____ words every day for the duration of the 5-day Start Writing Challenge”
  3. Declare it to the world with our hashtag #startwritingchallenge

Just tuning in? Check out Part One: Creating Your Writing Space

or sign up for the 5-Day Start Writing Challenge.



  1. Why You Need to Create a Space To Write In - Marla Holt - […] Read the part two in this series on Word Count Goals >> […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *