We all have our own writing styles. Our own nuances. So I'm curious: How many pages do you write a day . . . a week . . a month? Do you set quotas? Do you wait until after all the kids and the missus' goes to bed before popping that 10th can of beer before sitting down in front of the computer screen?

If a person wrote just one page a day, and did so religiously, he'd have a fairly decent novel length by the end of a year. Is that possible? Or should a writer force himself to write until he drops---or wait until he gets into the right mood?

Whatta think?

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I write so many pages a week. . .but really, it's not so much a set quota of pages written as it is a complete, intact scene is written. The chapters of my books come out as scenes much like that found in a movie. Some scenes are three or four pages long. Some much longer. A scene requiring a lot of dialogue will take maybe two sittings to get it done. But generally, one sitting--one scene. And I try to get one scene a week in.
I set word count goals of around 1000 words a day, but I change the goal as circumstances change--tight deadline, low energy, whatever. It's all about working with the Yerkes-Dodson Law. If the goal is too easy, I'll never do it, and if it's too hard, I'm too daunted to do it. I have to find the right balance.

Oh, and I don't have a day job, but I do have two daughters at home.
I write every day but with a weekly goal of 15-20 pages.
I used to get up at 5 am and do 2-3 pages before I had to get ready for my 8-5 day job. Now that I'm teaching college and my schedule is irregular, my writing is irregular, too. In summer, I'm more disciplined and productive.
For my job, I write two weekly columns (about 750 words each) and usually one or two editorials a week (again, upwards of 750 words each).

When I'm working on my novel, I shoot for 1500-2000 words rough draft a day, M-F, then revise on weekends.

For short stories, I tend to pound the rough draft out in a day or two, then spend a couple weeks rewriting and polishing it up. However, my short stories tend to run under about 3,000 words.

I am fortunate that, probably because of my history as a journalist and later an editor, I'm a very fast writer and pretty vicious at revision/editing. Those 2,000 words often come in at an hour or less - pretty well thought out, if roughly written.

When I was young and driven, I would crank out 35-40 pages a day believing it necessary, until I calmed down after reading that Robert Parker writes 3 pages a day and is happy with that. So I slowed down, but I believe it is not how many pages or words you crank out a day but whether or not you have a schedule or a goal of number of pages and stick to it. A routine is what is most important. These days I crank out an entire novel in three months even while working part time. It is because of a dedication to time put in and treating writing as a job. And if you stick at it long enough, you begin to turn corners reach milestones and pretty soon your FAST writing is Confident Writing and it works far more smoothly that the less than confident 40 pages I cranked out as a kid.

Hope this answers your question. Two things I walked out of college with besides the degrees were how to do research and how to control time--else it control you. You do it right even Parker's 3 pages a day can add up to a 400 pg manuscript in time.

Robert W. Walker
www.robertwalkerbooks.com -- Dead On, City of the Absent, and some 40 more titles
I used to two hours on days I had to go to my day job, and six hours on my days off. But I recently started writing 1,000 words on days I have to go to work, and 2,000 words on my days off. Much more productive.
Is your last name a pseudonym, Johnny O? If not, it's the perfect moniker.
That's the ticket to page production--a schedule you stick to as closely as possible. I have always worked a job to support my writing and still do. Used to feed a massive computer that could do 4 maor jobs at once, which told me Walker you gotta do at least two jobs a once and one job you have is to write. So even as a kid, I decided to treat my writing as a job and it has paid off.
You know, even if you wrote 2 pages a day in three months you'd have a fairly hefty book. Heavy enough, page wise, to knock out a would-be intruder. Or at least heavy enough for a decent paper weight.
There are enough of those in the dusty old trunk of mine. When I write I pump out many pages. When I edit, a good chunk of those pages vanish. Pre-poof I will do 4000-6000 words, post-poof is about 2500 words. That's when I write and have eight to twelve hours to write/edit. Currently, I am putting the POS system I developed over the last year into production at a few stores. My page count is in the negative territory because I am just doing edits.


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