Time Limit versus Word Count

Typewriter Sitting in the Middle of a Field

As writers, daily writing is absolutely vital to our success as artists.


I've discussed the merits and strategies of daily writing before. There's not much sense doing it again.


Instead, I'm going to share my new outlook on daily writing with you: focus on writing for a set period of time each day rather than a specific word count.


Why? Because it works.


I used to believe in making word count every day. The number varied from 500 to 2000 words, depending on my project at the time, and I made sure to reach that word count no matter what happened each day.


Or at least, I tried to.


The problem with writing to reach a certain word count is that life happens. For people like Stephen King, whose entire lives revolve around and are dedicated to the craft of writing, it's easy to sit down and pound out 2000 words or more each day. For the common man or woman, however, this feat is far from easy.


I now write for half an hour each and every day. I don't necessarily have to add anything new to my manuscript, but that time must be spent doing something related to my current project. For example, if I'm busy, I might spend this half an hour working on my characters or doing some research. That way, I'm still getting work done, but I'm not killing myself over it. I'm not stressing out about reaching some number.


Time limits are flexible. Time limits understand. Time limits help you focus without losing your mind; allowing you to write without taking away the fun of writing.


If you're feeling overworked, why not drop the word count? Try setting a timer for thirty minutes instead.


What do you think about writing for a set time? What are your thoughts on reaching word count?


P.S. The Kurosawa Guide to Daily Writing, The Importance of Daily Writing, Finding Time to Write, and The Beginner's Guide to Daily Writing.