When I first started writing I found it hard to gauge how much actual progress I was making and whether or not that progress would be comparable to other authors. I was unsure of myself, and to help anyone else who might be starting the journey I thought I might lay out some of my observations/advice.

-A kindle book has about 320 words per page. This is if you are writing paragraphs, not dialog. It’s a generalization that doesn’t apply to every device a book may be read on. (Obviously if your book is being read on the Kindle app on an iPhone your book will appear to have more pages).

-If it is your plan to e-publish, pick up a book on formatting your novel as early as possible. Formatting after you have started will only get more painful the longer your novel gets.

-If you are just getting started writing, and you work a full-time job on the side. Do not compare yourself to authors who are already published and successful. They are already writing as their ‘full-time job,’ so churning out a book a year is far less impressive of an accomplishment.

-Those who are writing while working full-time:
I found that I was able to consistently write about 1000 words a day during the work week. Just to be fair though, I am measuring from writing sections of a novel that I already had planned out. This is also a measurement of a First Draft. This is by no means 1000 words of finished material. (it also doesn’t count if I spend an hour blogging) This also applies to the next two points.

-On weekends I generally am able to write between 3000-5000 words depending on the variability of family/pet related responsibilities.

-I have had one week-long vacation since I started. I was not able to write nearly as often as I would have liked but I completed approximately 20,000 words.

-I have some formal training in typing but I am nothing impressive at the keyboard and have to look at the keys A LOT.

-Start working on your title and cover early. Not only is it motivational to be able to look at your cover, it will help you to develop the mood of your novel. The title is similar. Find the title you love, that would make you want to pick up the book. Picking your title early will make sure that your book is a good reflection of that title instead of having to go back in and make your book fit the title later.

-This might be bad advice but I’m putting it in. Don’t try to fit demographics, write the book you want to write. Nothing cheapened the feel of my writing more than when I tried to keep a story meant for adults PG-13 because I hoped to get more teenage readers.

-Again, this might be bad advice, but I’m just going to point out that no one is impressed by your amazing vocabulary but you. In this day and age it’s more important to not make the reader lose interest by having them stop to look up a word than to just phrase something the way the general public could understand it.

-Use technology to your advantage. Once I setup my draft on a Google Drive I was able to access it from all my devices no matter where I was. This meant I could show it to friends on a handheld device, access it for email in its latest form at any time, revise or edit it whenever I found the opportunity.

I’d Love to hear any tips or observations that other writers might have.

Writing | Measuring Progress and Some Advice
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