Thursday, September 3, 2015


This week, Deanna Stevens asks: “What kind of word count goal do you set for yourself? Is it a certain amount per day/week/month?”

I used to set goals of ten pages per day, though as deadlines grew closer my goal was fifteen or twenty. But now my publisher goes by word count, so I try for roughly 2,250 words per day until a
deadline looms. 

For years, I've set up a chart for each book with a thermometer-type column where I can mark off daily progress, with each little square representing five pages. It can motivating to write just a little longer so I can mark off another square. :)
Roxanne Rustand

While other authors talk about word count goals, I’m afraid I don’t set those. I try to write six days a week, although some days life intervenes, and I don’t beat myself up about it. My production
increases as a deadline approaches. As Dr. Samuel Johnson said, “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” The same can be said of a contractual deadline.
Richard Mabry

I've set big goals - like doing Nanowrimo (50,000 words in one month) a few times. But usually I set a scene goal of 2 per writing day. That's a stretch since most of my scenes are about 1,000words. However, I still have a full-time job as homeschooling mom and several part-time jobs, so not every day can be a writing day. I usually get a couple of writing days per week and indulge in churning out as many scenes as I can on those. :) 
Marji Laine

I set a goal of 2,000 words per day, six days a week. If I finish early, and no other pressing writing matters await, I'll squeeze out a bit more. If I didn't set this type of goal, I'd never have achieved the level of success I'm at now.
Cynthia Hickey (Melton)


I try to write a chapter every day, but that doesn't always happen.
My goal is to finish the first draft of my book in a month or six weeks, then edit and polish before it's due. I write a book for Love Inspired Suspense every three months.
Elizabeth Goddard


I usually try to write 2,500 words per day, Tuesday through Friday. Monday is for all the other “writer stuff” I have to do. However, sometimes I need to increase the amount if I have deadlines back to back. Then I’ll write 3,000 words a day. I’m capable of 5,000, but that only happens if my husband doesn’t interrupt me and my dog doesn’t need to go outside every ten minutes. LOL!
Nancy Mehl 

Thanks to Deanna for her question. She won a $10.00 gift certificate from the Suspense Sisters! Maybe we’ll pick your question next time. You could win a book from one of today’s top mystery/suspense authors – or a gift certificate. Just leave your question in the comments section below – along with your contact information.


God bless you!


  1. Do you use a story board for your notes and ideas?

  2. What fun to read how other authors approach their production goals. Especially loved Dr. Mabry's Samuel Johnson quote. I can so relate to that when a deadline is around the corner!!

  3. Obviously, I'm the maverick in the group. (You might expect that from a Texan). I've just been unable to set and keep to a word count--seems too much like work. Oh, and while you're sneering, I also don't use Scrivener. Yet I've managed to have nine novels published, and never missed a deadline.

  4. That was so interesting to hear your ideas on word count.. Thank you for answering my question!
    Thanks so much for the gift certificate! I'm thinking I know whose books I would like in my TBR stack :)