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How fast do you write?

As per the title, how fast do you write.

In several discussions both here and on the NaNoWriMo forum I've seen people talk about their writing speed (and refer to it as either fast or slow). Which left me wondering, what actually counts as writing fast or slow? How fast do people write?

I know that word count per hour is actually pretty meaningless, because one person could write 100 words per hour but have them be absolutely perfect, while someone else could write 1.000 words an hour and need 20 rewrites. But I'm still curious. What counts as fast and slow and how fast do you write?

For myself, I average about 500 words an hour I think. I can do more if I know what I'm writing about (yes, that sounds silly, but some scenes just flow more naturally then others).


If I'm on point, 1000 words an hour is easily doable as I'm a fast typist. Admittedly, they won't be good words; they will require editing and review.


1K-2K in the right mood but I'm talking REALLY rare right mood. If I'm not inspired to write at the time I find even 100 to be hard. Depends on how your feeling that day and such.

I'm probably around 300 - 400 words per hour on average, although this can almost double sometimes—and shrink sometimes.

But there's another component to this tale. The passage of periods of writing. So I can write a good 400 words, then another 250 the next hour, and then...put it down and not come back to it for a day or two or more.

As I said, glacial.
First drafts when pantsing it and free writing: 800 - 1000 per hour. Following an outline or rewriting a scene with a definite outline/bullet points: 500 - 600 per hour. . . I'm terrible about stopping to edit, rethink, rewrite as I go then. :)


Myth Weaver
300 - 400 words per hour on average

More like 3-400 per day. If I was writing, which I sort of am if college papers count. Otherwise...3-400 per year at the moment.

If Typo's are allowed, my speed is much faster though ;)


My speed fluctuates a lot. When I'm in complete word-vomit mode with no regards for quality, I can get over 1500 in an hour, which I think is pretty fast, but as likely as not that would be completely unsalvageable. Yesterday I spent maybe an hour and a half on not-quite 500 words. (and I've had lower.) Speed also varies with how deep I am into a project, how much I've run through the scene in my head before putting fingers to keyboard, etc.

But that's not even taking into account how often I write, or for how long, which seems to me to be a bigger factor in how long it takes for people to actually finish projects.

Generally, I find wordcounts pretty useless for determining speed though, since it only really measures how long it takes to draft and the percentage of time on a project spent drafting vs. editing is so different from writer to writer.


Myth Weaver
I don't track it to be honest. 2000 words could take me 2 hours or 4, it just depends. When I calculate out when I'll have a book done, I estimate 2k per day and usually hit it. My daily goal when humming along is 2k, but I think I've hit closer to 8k one day, but that's an anomaly where I had knew what was going down and had free time to write! Which is the key. If I ever got to full time writer status, I'd probably shoot for 4-5k per day on 6-8 hours day (which would include lots of back editing)

Ned Marcus


I'm probably around 300 - 400 words per hour on average, although this can almost double sometimes—and shrink sometimes...

As I said, glacial.

That might be a little slow, but it's not glacial! I know people who only write about 50 words an hour.


Article Team
I can write fast. I can write slow. It all depends, but I don’t bother tracking anything other than reaching the 250 word minimum I set for each day anymore. When I was working on multiple projects at once, for personal and writing class work, I hit 10k per day on a few occasions.

On previous projects, I would average somewhere between 1-2 thousand words per day. But the current project, I decided to try working a bit slower, so as I mentioned, 250 words min and anything over is what ever it is. Sometimes it’s 500 total. Other times it’s 1000.


Myth Weaver
100s of words an hour? A thousand? Are we talking typing speed or writing speed?
I can type about 50 words a minute [if I'm allowed spellcheck and auto capitalisation]. But I write at more like 500 an hour, if I'm lucky. Sometimes I'm happy with 500 words for the whole day.
For work, I have done first draft writing [you know it is going to be revised and rewritten so you are not too worried about mistakes or omissions] in the 12000+ words range. Those are tiring days when my eyes begin to ache...


toujours gai, archie
I stopped tracking years ago because I couldn't make the numbers make any sense. First, before computers and before typewriters, did anyone measure words per minute? They could have, but it does seem rather a silly exercise. Second, once I've written my first draft and I'm in edit mode, words per minute (or per day) makes even less sense. Third, I write a *ton* while in research and planning modes. Should I count those words?

About the only place where writing speed makes any sense at all to me is in assignment writing. A news story, sports story, blog, anything with a deadline. Then not only the author but the publisher needs to know if you can make the deadline or not. At that point it's about production, and both writing and typing speed figure into the equation. But writing books? I wish I could care because there are plenty of tracking tools and everyone loves a good chart. I've tried, but it just doesn't make any sense, no matter which way I turn it.


Article Team
On an excellent day I can write close to 1k per hour, give or take. On an average day, it depends where I'm at in the writing process but anywhere between 500-700 words per hour. Because I'm lucky enough to have the time, this means that I can write ~2-3k per day. Sometimes I write less. Like I said, depends on where I'm at in the story.

Once I finish a book I may not write for another month or two. When I decide on the next one to write, I'll write it from start to finish without stopping. My time spent on writing an entire book varies but right around 2-3 months is my sweet spot. When I'm working on a book I write daily.

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
I've sped up a fair bit in recent months with a new system of outlining we've been trying that seems to be working well for me. Right now I'm clocking in on average about 250 words, or a page, every 20 minutes, or about 750 words per hour. Sometimes I can get faster and have a 3-4k day, which I love! Usually, though, I tire out for a day or so after that and need a break to replenish the creative well before I start the whole process again.


Myth Weaver
I plod along most of the time at 600-1200 words per day - lots of pause and think and choose the words that best fit the mental vision. If energized, and the 'mental movie clips' are rolling along, I can top 1500 words a day. A few times I broke 2000 words a day. I tend to figure about a month for a novella of around 25,000 - 30,000 words. That's all for new composition.

Rewrites...suck. Real hard to maintain interest over the long haul; takes about double the time writing the first draft. Rewrite of 'Empire: Spiral' took five months, though I dabbled in other projects along the way. Another reason I am starting to prefer the novella length works - those usually don't require a full rewrite, merely edit passes, which are much, much quicker.