Road to 10,000 Words a Day

Writing 200 words a day is a realistic goal for anyone whose full-time position is loosely connected. But when the writing starts taking a bigger part of your life, you are bound to increment your daily word count.

I have five writing projects at the moment: writing every day on 200 Words a Day, adding a weekly post to 200WaD's blog, publishing my first non-fiction book, reading and summarizing key takeaways from books at Sipreads, and sending my first publication to Hackernoon.

I spent the last four days struggling with a technical tutorial for Hackernoon. I broke through yesterday and I'm about to finish the first draft this week. I've been consistent with my 200 words a day as well, and reading one book a month has been simple. Regarding my weekly blog and my book, it's another story: I didn't make much progress.

How much can we write in a single day? The average person can type 40 words per minute. If we never stop typing for 24 hours, that's 57,600 words. If we use a speech-to-text transcribing software, we can leverage the human voice to write faster, 125 words per minute for an average person, amounting to 180,000 words per day speaking non-stop. 180,000 words per day are the theoretical limit, but I've never heard of a writer writing more than 10,000 words a day consistently.

Quantity isn't quality, but it's always better to write the first draft as fast as possible and spend more time editing. Even if we manage to reach a fraction of 10,000 words on any given day, it's still a lot more than most people on earth.

10,000 words are equivalent to 80 minutes of speech at 125 wpm. With practice, it's a realistic goal. In practice, it doesn't leave the average joe much room to live his life.

Stephen King writes 2000 words a day every morning and spends the rest of his time reading, exercising, doing errands, or spending time with his family. We can argue that writing fiction is less demanding than non-fiction, but writing is always about telling a story. What matters is sitting down at the desk with a good story in mind.

Progressively increasing my daily word count, just like a weightlifter gradually adding weight to her training regimen, is the most sustainable way to reach higher heights. I already know what I have to do, why I do it, and how to do it. Now, I have to ask myself better questions, write more, and read more to overcome the obstacles encountered during the journey. Let's start today with 700 words.