Author Topic: 5,000 words per week club.  (Read 16915 times)  

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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5,000 words per week club.
« on: November 02, 2017, 04:20:47 pm »
We went from a 1K word per day club to a 3K per day. What about those of us who just don't want to crank out that much? I understand the concept behind high output, but I do things differently.

When I write the end of the last chapter, it's actually the third draft, since I edit the previous two day's work every weekday, before writing anything new. When it's done, it's ready for beta reading that same day, and is a fairly clean manuscript. Five thousand words a week is a short novel in ten weeks, or a fairly long novel in five months. By working M-F, if I fall behind because of life, I can work weekends to catch up and better schedule cover, editing, and formatting.

I've slowed my output to only two releases this year, in April and August. Next year I'll release two more, in January/February and another in late spring. In 2019, I'll probably release three, since the first release will be in January. I take a full week off for NINC, the Key West Mystery Fest, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring break. Plus, I take 6-8 weeks off in the summer.

So, come on, slowpokes! Speak up! Are you trying to slow down and enjoy life with the income your writing provides?
My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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    Offline Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 04:37:28 pm »
    *Raises hand* Another slow(ish) writer here. I do 10k words per week, broken into 2k per day, Mon-Fri. The weekends are for whittling away at piles of dishes and laundry, helping my kids catch up on their homework, untangling snags in my outline, or (if I'm lucky) resting and Netflixing. It's a pace I can comfortably keep up for a long time.

    Offline 97251

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 04:53:43 pm »
    Haha, I read this quickly and thought it was 5k a day.  ???

    I was thinking wow, wow, folks are getting insane here. :-\

    Then I click on it out of curiosity, and the first post is all about slowing down.  :o

    Well, I read it better and I understood. 5k a week is a nice goal, especially for authors who don't write every single day of the week. 

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 04:54:26 pm »
    Me, me, me!!!!!

    I write stuff that often requires research, or at least thinking out plots. I am a pantser.

    I could crank out thousands of words each day, but the thing is, I wouldn't enjoy it for very long. I left the cubicle world because I hated it. I don't want to do stuff I don't enjoy (heaven knows there is enough tax and financial BS in the life of a self-published writer already, I don't need to add writing-related stuff that I have to force myself to do).

    Instead, I focus on making the words I publish better so that my books will sell more for longer (and are evergreen) rather than jumping on the fast-release, trend-chasing treadmill.

    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 05:03:21 pm »
    I'm also a slow writer and prefer to edit previous stuff, especially when I'm trying to work out where my story goes next. My draft 1 is pretty clean as a result, so I think the slower pace works in the long run for me. Besides, I'm too picky to leave something be if I don't like it. I would go nuts just flat out writing a whole book without looking back at anything.

    Online DmGuay

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 06:27:57 pm »
    I aim for 2k words 5 days a week WHEN I'm writing a first draft. That's worked out okay. Those bursts of writing are interspersed with two months here and there of all in revision and editing coupled with print and ebook formatting.
     
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    Offline dianapersaud

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 06:31:08 pm »
    Count me in.

    With two small children, a lot of my time is devoted to projects, homework, after school activities, chores etc.

    Like Wayne, I take summers off, Xmas off, and of course there's Thanksgiving coming up. I write around my family schedule (instead of the other way around).

    My goal is 2k a day / 10k a week. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't.



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    Offline Sapphire

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 06:37:02 pm »
    5000 per week sounds doable. I can't write every day. Other things in life sometimes take my full attention. But a weekly goal? I can do that. So, count me in. When do we start?
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    Offline Abderian

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 08:15:07 pm »
    I can manage 3000 words a day quite easily if I have it planned out, but the higher my word count the more the quality drops and I have to spend more time on revising. I'm at peace with myself now about not being a fast, clean writer. I can do one or the other but not both, and writing clean is more satisfying and I believe faster in the long run when revisions are taken into account.


    Offline Pandorra

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 08:27:41 pm »
    Same, I was gonna yell til I saw week ... lol.. I am already over this count though so I better pass :)  Awesome luck to all of you! It really helps to post your numbers!
    « Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 08:37:55 pm by Pandorra »

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    Offline RRodriguez

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 08:28:11 pm »
    Yup, slow writer over here. Since this is the first year I've started really getting serious about my writing, I challenged myself to keep track of my monthly output. It would seem I average about 14-16k a month. My lowest month was only 6k and my highest was 33k (though I hope to break that this month with NaNoWriMo!). I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but I try to remind myself that I've already completed two first drafts, am a third of the way through on another, and with NaNo kicking my butt, I'm on my way to getting a good chunk done on a fourth, so I don't think I'm really too bad. Since I work full-time and I almost never have time to write on the weekends, I just have to constantly remember that I need to go at my own pace and to do my personal best.
    « Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 08:32:19 pm by RRodriguez »


    Offline Sam Kates

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 01:32:45 am »
    I'm doing around 5k a week at the moment. I've recently gone part-time in my mind-numbing regular job which has freed up two or three days each week to write. What a luxury that feels. But I also need to get to grips with marketing so am using some of that freed-up time for that. So writing 5k words is a good, manageable number for me right now.

    Offline Sarah Shaw

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 04:12:31 am »
    My critique group keeps me on the straight and narrow- so I generally manage 3,000 words (one chapter) a week. It's by no means final copy, since I generally don't know what's going to happen until it does- and if I tried to fix the previously written stuff right away I'd lose all forward momentum. It's also historical- and usually rather obscure, not easily discovered history as well, so lots of research necessary. The upshot is I think I might still manage to publish the first in the series this year. Maybe. I had the initial idea for what's now the last book in the series back in about 1980. First draft of that was written in 2005 for my first NaNoWriMo. Then I did a 'prequel' in 2010. Since then I've done two more. The one I'm working on now is set in Morocco, circa 1776. Selling would be nice, but the main thing is I get to spend time with my characters, exploring the world that became ours.

    Offline GoneToWriterSanctum

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 04:44:09 am »
    I don't consent
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    Offline CopperDog

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 05:52:38 am »
    I'm up for this. Needing a bit of cattle prod at the moment to recapture motivation and this may be it. Posting word counts weekly?

    Offline wilsonharp

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 06:00:20 am »
    Had to go back to full time employment because of life issues, so I am trying to get back to 500 words a day on weekdays and another couple of thousand on the weekends. So 5,000 a week sounds reasonable to me at this point. Been over a year and a half since I put a book out and I'm almost done with the next one, but before I can get back to a three or four book a year schedule, I have to get back into the routine of daily writing, so this is the goals I have set.
         

    Offline AliceS

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #16 on: November 03, 2017, 06:27:46 am »
    This is where I am. I hope for 5000, but it varies. I write a quick and dirty first draft that is sort of a hefty outline, usually about 40,000.  I call it the bones of the story. Sometimes I can fly through that and sometimes it's quicksand. Putting meat on the bones is always easier. While the current story is out to readers, etc, I start on the next, usually in a different series.

    This spring I hit a wall. Serious brain fog made writing pointless because anything I put out was crap. I think I scheduled myself into mental exhaustion. I took some time off and came back to it with a much better outlook. I need to schedule in some time off so that I don't feel guilty not putting in my quota every day.

    Offline WyandVoidbringer

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 06:53:13 am »
    I wish I could manage more than 5k words a week, but that's around what I average.

    With a full-time job and a growing baby boy, I just don't have the time to write any more than that.

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    Offline C. Gockel

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 08:20:50 am »
    Yeah, this is probably me. Even if I turn off all distractions, I still spend a lot of time staring out the window rearranging the plot in my brain, or pacing. I pace a lot trying to figure out my stories.


    I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
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    Offline 69959

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #19 on: November 03, 2017, 08:39:15 am »
    I too thought the title of this post was 5k a day! Even though my goal is 15k a week, I'm curious about Wayne's editing process. The second draft drives me nuts. Breaking it up and being ready to send my drafts to betas immediately sounds wonderful!

    Best of luck to all of you 5k a weekers! I think that was about my goal when I was working full time, and it was enough to get me to the point of becoming a full-time writer.

    Offline Chrissy

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #20 on: November 03, 2017, 09:00:07 am »
    I too thought the title of this post was 5k a day! Even though my goal is 15k a week, I'm curious about Wayne's editing process. The second draft drives me nuts. Breaking it up and being ready to send my drafts to betas immediately sounds wonderful!

    Best of luck to all of you 5k a weekers! I think that was about my goal when I was working full time, and it was enough to get me to the point of becoming a full-time writer.

    He described his process here on his blog:

    http://waynestinnett.blogspot.com/2015/01/self-editing-for-dummies-like-me.html

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    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #22 on: November 03, 2017, 07:18:46 pm »
    It's Friday, and I started the week almost 700 words (less than a day) ahead of schedule. How many of you schedule ahead? I'm a little OCD when it comes to scheduling. I have all of 2018 scheduled, including time off and realistic goals. Doing this, I can consistently schedule my beta readers, editor, proofreader, formatter, and cover designer well in advance. Far enough that I know I won't have to wait, because they have something booked. Here's what my schedule looks like. Note, that as of today, I'm more than 3000 words (three full days) ahead of schedule. The weather is supposed to be nice through next Wednesday and believe me, boat ramps are far less crowded on weekdays. So, I'm taking Monday and perhaps Tuesday off and getting some salty time.





    My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
    Wayne Stinnett | Website | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Talk Write Podcast | Ship's Store

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #23 on: November 03, 2017, 08:18:11 pm »
    No. Zero scheduling here.

    I have only one rule and that is that I want to work on my main manuscript every day. Just open the file and do something. Nothing about word count.

    I usually do a sketch draft with dictation while going on morning walks and end up with a 30k manuscript that is a pile of yourknowhatsit but that I knock into shape and bring up to 80k. By that time, I've figured out the main elements of the story.

    When the first draft is almost done, I email my developmental editor and tell her that the book is 2-3 weeks away and that when I've passed it to her she has until a specified time to work on it. At this timer, I've already started writing something else. The editorial process then goes from there and takes however long it takes, usually about 2 months. It goes to a line editor and then proofreading and formatting. If I'm not doing the cover myself, I will have the cover long before the book goes to the developmental editor, often even before I start writing.

    So basically I made my pipeline much longer, which also gives me the freedom to hold off on a new release if for example I get a Bookbub and I don't need two boosts in the same month.

    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: 5,000 words per week club.
    « Reply #24 on: November 11, 2017, 07:21:51 pm »
    All week, the words flowed. All week, sales slowed. The cool thing about working slow and scheduling days off, holidays, and vacations is that it's simple math when you suddenly realize the downward trend of the graph is going to get too low before the next release. That was my realization on Monday. The early February release needed to be moved up at least four weeks. Fortunately, I was already more than a week ahead of schedule. Early January needed to be the new release date. But, I've never done a post-Christmas release.

    So, I picked a day on the projected downward graph and did some math. If I worked through the next four weekends and only took one day off for Thanksgiving, I could send the manuscript to beta readers as early as December 8th. If my providers could adjust their schedules to accommodate me, my next book could be published five weeks early, right after Christmas. I have a great team. They had or made openings. When you schedule in advance it makes it easier on them.

    The new release date is December 28th. To reach that, I need a thousand words a day every day until the 8th. That'll put me at 70K words, which is always my target. This will give my beta readers, editor, proofreader, and formatter three weeks, which is what is usually allotted.

    On Monday, I changed my schedule. Today, I'm already more than a day ahead of the new schedule. By tomorrow, I'll be two days ahead. I can still take a couple days off and feast. My boss tells me that if I get this done by the 8th, I can take the rest of the month off. I'm sure he'll find something else for me to do, though. ;)
    My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
    Wayne Stinnett | Website | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Talk Write Podcast | Ship's Store

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