On writing: the daily word counts of famous authors

It’s worth noting that most of the authors listed (so far as I can tell) did not have the period equivalent of a “day job” that took up a solid chunk of their time. Throw in modern-day issues like commutes and, for many people, health issues … and that affects the ability to put the proverbial pen to paper some days. Still, any day in which words are added to the tale is a good one.

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Scott Fitzgerald once wrote to a close family friend and aspiring young writer: “nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one”. It takes time, and effort. You have to put the hours in. You have to actually, well, write (surprising, huh?).

We’ve previously asked whether there is such a thing as the ‘perfect’ daily routine for writing. But if there is no such thing as an average writing day, is there any guidance on how much you should be at least aiming to write as you start to pen that epic poem or finally look to finish that novel you’ve been working on?

R.F. Delderfield, the English author of family sagas, wrote 33 pages each day, and he wrote until four o’clock in the afternoon. If he finished a novel at three o’clock, he rolled a clean sheet of paper into his typewriter…

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