What hope have I got? On 5000 words a day and a game of badminton!

by Anna Blanch on October 28, 2010

So Monday we start our version of NAtional Novel Writing Month by focusing our attention onto our own works of fiction  theses. As i was writing I came across this quote in Julia Briggs’ biography of E.Nesbit, titled A Woman of Passion. It left me slightly bemused, a little overwhelmed and wondering ‘what hope have I got’!


“She was now at the height of her powers and writing with exceptional speed and facility. She would plan out an episode in advance, either in her head or else in summary. Then she would simply write sheet after sheet of manuscript, on cheap coloured paper; she wrote virutally without correction, throwing the pages on the floor as they were completed. She worked mainly in the mornings and late afternoons She could polish off five thousand words by the early afternoon, and then play a game of badminton and spend the evening in animated conversation with friends.” (236)

This was Nesbit in 1904-5. I have the advantage of word-processing software which in terms of words per minute is significantly faster than handwriting (at least it is for me, though i still like the feel of writing by hand) and there’s only a handful of days in my life where i’ve managed 5000 words and even there, not having to correct them is my own form of fantasy!

Thank goodness it is more about quality than quantity….although it certainly makes 1666 words a day more doable doesn’t it. Should we care at all about daily word counts?

Let me know in the comments if you’re planning on joining us starting next week for the Diss/Thesis writing challenge!

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