Ghostwriter Diaries – How Many Words a Minute?


I don’t do numbers. I prefer words. All the same, numbers can occasionally be relied upon to do some funky things.

For example, this morning I finished chapter eight of the current novel, keeping me on schedule to complete the final two chapters of the first act by 30 September – the first of my three incremental delivery deadlines.

It also means I’ve been working on this latest manuscript for almost exactly one month – 32 days to be precise. With a current word-count of just over 28,400, that means on average I’ve written about 887 words a day. Or, if you prefer, 37 words an hour.

If you want the ultimate breakdown, that equates to two-thirds of a word a minute.

Say, maybe this is the way forward. Forget trying to shoehorn the ghostwriting around the day job. Forget scurrying off to some quiet corner of the house in search of a precious hour’s peace and quiet. Forget sleeping. All I need to do is ensure that, every one-and-a-half minutes, I put another word down on the page. Keep that up, and the book will practically write itself!

Wait a second. A word every ninety seconds? That’s child’s play! If I set my mind to it, I can easily do ten words in that time, and still leave space to do other things. Like occasionally breathing in and out. At that rate, I’ll have the damn book finished by the end of the week!

Hmm. I guess there must be a flaw in the plan somewhere. Like I said, I’m not that great with numbers.

Maybe I’ll just stick to the words.

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