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There was recently a thread started on the KB Writer’s Cafe about writer’s putting too much emphasis on word count. The thread was meant to be sarcastic, but a bit of a brouhaha got started on the good and bad of going for word count.
Focus on quality, not quantity was the mantra of those who viewed focusing on word count as a bad thing. I personally felt that setting writing goals is important. If not you’re never going to finish writing your book. If you don’t write X amount of words per day, you’re not going to finish. John Grisham put it beautifully during this interview with Charlie Rose.
It’s not meant to be as a way of cranking out crappy books to try and cash in on the self publishing craze. Far from it. And those who do that, won’t get too far. But setting a daily writing goal based on word count is a good idea. It’s worked out great for me. Not every word will make it onto the final draft or even be published, but you have to get into the habit of writing regularly. Start small at first, 500 words for example and then work on increasing your word count goal.
My daily word count goal is 2,000 words per day. And most days I fail miserably, but I haven’t gotten to the point where I do write every day now and that’s a good thing for achieving my writing goals.