Writing 500,000 Words Per Year


image by livn2do


On my birthday in May, I shared my 40 things to do before 40 list with you guys. It’s a challenging list, but that’s the whole point. A challenge is something that stretches you, where a possibility of failure exists. However, if you keep striving for it, even if you fail (which I fully intend to try not to) you still do a lot more than you otherwise would have. 

That was the idea behind this list, which in turn ties into my Becoming A Polymath goal. 

Today’s update is because one of the items on this list changed. Goals are important, but they should never be rigid. You shouldn’t give up on goals if they are hard, but you should’t stick with them if they are no longer what you want. 

In this instance, one of my goals changed, because I no longer need it. I had a goal: Be Fluent in German, simply because I was initially considering studying in Germany. However, I decided against it, and as a result, I no longer need to learn German. Unlike the other languages from my Polymath Project (Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Latin to go yet), I have no personal interest in learning German. I was going to learn it simply out of necessity. Now that necessity doesn’t exist, and so I am not going to spend any more time on it. 

Instead, I replaced that goal with another that is important to me. A writing goal. 

I am a writer, and my main professional goal is to be a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction. The only way to achieve this is by doing more and more of it. Therefore, I’ve set myself a challenge of writing 500,000 words every year. (From May 6 to May 5 of the following year, as this challenge ends on my 40th birthday). 

The logic behind this 500,000 words is this:

On average, 10000 words per week, for 50 weeks (2 weeks off)

500,000 words per year

That makes it a whopping 5 million words in 10 years

But it’s not just any writing. Journaling for example, doesn’t count. Believe me, with journaling, I can write 5 million words in no time!! These 500,000 words must be from work – both fiction and non-fiction – that contribute towards my writing career. 

This year so far, I’ve written 163842 words from May 6, 2013. That means, to meet my goal, I must write 336,158 by May 5, 2014. 

Better start typing then!! 



Tell us about your challenging lists. Do you have a bucket list, or a major goal you want to accomplish in your life? If you have not set yourself any challenge, perhaps now is the time to start.