The All Important Word Count

by Gurpreet Sihat

Everyone’s writing routine is different. Some people set themselves ‘work hours’ (making it a full on 9 to 5 job), some people write when they can (while they’re waiting for the kettle to boil or the ad breaks between their favourite shows) and some people write in the dead of night or early morning before anyone else wakes up. But one thing I’ve noticed they all have in common is that they have a word count they want to hit every single day.

I’m not one of those people that can write from 9 to 5. I’m not even one of those people who write at the exact same time of day. But, when I first came out of university, that word count is always there, lingering in the back of my head.

1,000 words a day, minimum!

It didn’t matter if I was writing in bed in the middle of the night, at my desk during the day or even while I was on the train heading into London. On weeks that I had dedicated to writing (which, back then, was every single day), it was 1,000 words a day (unless, of course, I was writing a screenplay and then it was a minimum of 5 pages). As long as I had those 1,000 words done, I was fine.

It did occur to me, however, that I may not have been writing enough, even if I’d often go above my proposed word count. This feeling has increased over the past two years, especially now that I devote certain weeks to editing projects or working on admin that has to be done. I panic.

On one of these panic stricken days, when I realised that I hadn’t hit any word count, let alone my own, because I was editing a screenplay, I saw this on Twitter (posted by Writers Write):


I realised that it doesn’t matter whether you write 300 words a day or 10,000. The point is to make sure the you’re writing every single day, even if what you write is terrible.

So that’s my new aim. Even on weeks I’m dedicated to editing that all important screenplay, I’m still writing something – ANYTHING! Whether it be 300 words or 1,000 words or 10,000 words!

How much do YOU write everyday?

Get in touch and let me know!

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