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How do your Word Count Goals Compare to these 10 Bestselling Authors

See how your own daily writing goal compares to those of these best-selling authors. It’s possible you’re setting your goals too high.

By Elise L. BlakePublished 3 years ago 3 min read
How do your Word Count Goals Compare to these 10 Bestselling Authors
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I’m sure there are many who have had this problem, you want to write like the great bestselling authors you see on the shelf so you try to pump out as many words as possible.

I’ve heard some of my writing friends say they aim to write a chapter every day while others say they set a precise word count anywhere between five hundred and five thousand words. Every. Single. Day.

I have no idea how the last one manages to still have time to eat and sleep. I assume he just runs on caffeine and the suspense from his works.

So how does this compare to famous and best-selling authors? Is it possible your own goals are being set too high?

How much do famous authors write?

  • Anne Rice: 3,000 words

American author: Age 79

Anne Rice is best known for her works in the genre of gothic fiction. She has published thirty-six novels.

  • Brandon Sanderson: 2,500 words

American author: Age 45

Sanderson has published thirty-six novels and fifteen novellas.

  • Nicholas Sparks: 2,000 words

American novelist: Age 55

Sparks has written twenty-two novels.

  • Stephen King: 2,000 words

American author: Age 73

King has an amazing ever-growing number of books. Currently, he has One hundred and two books as well as a large collection of short stories.

  • Neil Gaiman: 1,500 words

English author: Age 60

Gaiman has written forty-five novels in many genres such as Children's novels, Mythology, Horror, and Science Fiction.

  • Jack London: 1,500 words

American Novelist (1876–1916) Age 40

London wrote more than fifty novels and hundreds of short stories

  • J.G. Ballard: 1,000 words

English novelist (1930–2009) Age 78

Ballard is best known for his post-apocalyptic novels and wrote nineteen novels.

Holly Black: 1,000 words

  • American Writer: Age 49

Black is a young adult novelist with forty-one novels, graphic novels, and many works of short fiction.

  • Ernest Hemingway: 500 words

American Novelist (1899–1961) Age 61

Hemingway wrote a total of fourteen novels and nine short stories collections in his life.

  • James Joyce: 90 words

Irish Novelist (1882–1941) Age 58

Joyce completed a total of fifteen novels.

How many words do I write?

I’ll admit it, I write in my calendar the goal of reaching 2,500 words a day every single day.

I write rain, shine, blizzard, and holidays. Why?

I’m brutal on myself and keep a strict goal of finishing my novels in a month's time span so I can guarantee my readers a new story as often as I can. I also have many ideas inside of me that are just bursting to be set free

Do I recommend this?


Absolutely not.

I’m a full-time writer living at home in a time of a worldwide pandemic. The only thing I do most days is either read, write, or watch Hamilton for the hundredth time.

How many words should you be writing?

There’s no right answer to this, no magic number you should be aiming for. It all depends on several factors.

How much time do you have every day and how often do you want to publish? One book a year? One book every five years?

My own publishing schedule is insane, but it’s been my normal routine for the past few years so it isn’t a hassle for me while a few of my writing friends call ME the insane one in the group.

If you only have ten minutes set aside to write every day. Check out my article that will help you make the most of that short window of time.

Here’s the takeaway

You can’t judge yourself on the word counts of others. Everyone types at their own speed and not everyone can dedicate time to sit in front of a computer for hours every day.

As long as you’re finding or making the time to write, any words you get down on the page puts you one step closer to making your goal.

You’ll get there in the end.

Keep Writing.



About the Creator

Elise L. Blake

Elise is a full-time writing coach and novelist. She is a recent college graduate from Southern New Hampshire University where she earned her BA in Creative Writing.

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