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Average Typing Speed

Average Typing Speed: Answering Your Questions


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What is the average typing speed?

This question was taken from a very long email, which detailed lots of gripes and complaints about how much they hated writers who wrote too fast. Lots of bitching and moaning about the fact that they hated NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo writers, and pretty much everything to do with any author who puts out more then 1 novel every 4 years, which is what they claimed is the ONLY realistic thing possible for any writer to do.

My answer, directly answers all the points and issues they brought up over the course of their extreme bitchiness. The many paragraphs of "You type too fast!", "Cheater! No one can type that fast!" and chants of "It's my turn to shine!" have all been removed.

Normally I would add a link to the question asker's site, because I like to help new writers get their books out there, but this asker was so over the top bitchy and full of hate for everything and every one that I am not going to link my site to theirs. So, no links here, just moving straight on into answering their question...


By EelKat Wendy C Allen


Average Typing Speed: Answering Your Questions
My Answer:

I find your message somewhat baffling, though not completely unexpected. As you are very obviously a troll, I will not grace you with an answer directly, and instead will post an answer to you on my website, for every one to read. If you truly do want answers as to the average writing

The average typing speed of the average (non-career-author) person is 25 to 35 words per minute (depending on if they typed in school or not). Meaning that if they knew ahead of time EXACTLY what they wanted to write, they could sit down and type it out in about an hour and 20 minutes. However, the average (non-career-author) writer doesn't know exactly want they want to write ahead of time, which adds time to stop and think between sentences. This brings it to 2 hours more or less. 

If your average typing speed is below this, then that simply means you have no practice in typing. Only this and nothing more. Please try to remember that people who have an average typing speed of 100 to 200 words per minute are trained in typing, practice daily, exercise their figures regularly, and THAT is why their average typing speed is so much higher then yours.

It shocks and saddens me to learn that you are so much of a narrow minded bigot that you believe anything you can not do, must therefore be something no one else can do either. The world would be in a very sorry state if everyone on the planet was a carbon copy of you and could only do exactly the same things you can do. 

Can you build a TV? No? Well, I guess no one else can either.

Can you build a car engine? No? I guess no one else can either, then, if your logic is true.

When was the last time you walked on the moon? 

When was the last time you won the Super Bowl?

Honey, there's a lot of things you can not do. Keeping up with my typing speed is the least of your worries, if you were to start looking at every thing out there that you are not able to do.

Plus if it is your absolute first time attempting to write a novel, you got to remember too that the muscles in your fingers need warm up and cool down time just like any other muscles do - remember sports players don't just jump into Super Bowl - they start out with years of practice, and each practice session starts out with warm up exercises so they don't sprain a muscle and injure themselves before the big game.

If you want to increase your average typing speed, it's really easy to do, actually:

10 Steps To Increasing
Your Average Typing Speed


  • #1: Get off your lazy ass, stop bitching in my emails, and do something useful with your life instead of wasting it being a low life, scum of the earth busy-body.
  • #2: Sit at your computer, and instead of typing bitching emails, complaining that you can not compete with my average typing speed, and instead, improve your own average typing speed, by typing something useful, instead of something that wastes my time and yours.
  • #3: Type.
  • #4: Type some more.
  • #5: Type again.
  • #6: Type something else.
  • #7: Find yet another thing to type.
  • #8: Type this.
  • #9: Type that.
  • #10: Type the other thing.

Bonus Tip To Help You Increase Your Average Typing Speed:

  • #11: Repeat all of the above 10 steps tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, and every day for the rest of the year.

Well, that part added in and allowing time for interruptions, it is safe to assume that for most people, it'll take a minimum 4 hours to write each 1,667 word segment of their story and possibly even longer. (And there's nothing wrong with that either, so ignore anyone who tells you you are writing too slow if you write fewer then 1,667 words a day. Yeah, it happens, it shouldn't, but it does. If it does, ignore them and keep going at your own pace. There is nothing wrong with not reaching a particular word count goal.)

My first year doing NaNo I struggled to keep up the pace. I struggled again my second year. It wasn't until my third year that I figured out a schedule that suited me.I think part of the struggles I had early on was, that I was trying to just sit down and write all at once, and was doing it without really knowing what I wanted to write and without warming up my fingers first. Which resulted in mental burnout and finger fatigue both tripping me up really bad.

Normally (the rest of the year , outside of November and NaNoWriMo) I'm a pantser and I just write here or there whenever the mood strikes. But during November, I had to sit down and write certain word counts every day, and that was something I wasn't used to and it took time to just adjust my daily habits into it. The first two years I just wasn't able to get into the habit of writing a certain word count every day and looking back, a lot of it was because I went into NaNo thinking of it as an assignment.

Well, turns out, when I look at a project as an assignment, I'm in the habit of "putting it off for something more fun". So that was tripping me up as well.

Like I said it was't until the third year that I was able to get into the swing of things and reach 50k (which I ended up doing on day 17 and finished the month at 183k) which is about 6k words a day, quite a bit more then 1,667.

What changed?

Several things.

First off, I spent August, September, and October doing "warm up" sessions. I'd write 200 or so words a day at first. I tried to add more words each day. Soon I was doing 200 words in the morning and 200 words in the evening. By October I was doing 500 words every morning soon as I woke up, 500 more in the afternoon during lunch break and 500 more last thing before bed, ending out most days with 1,500 words. By the time November 1st rolled around, I was doing 700 words 3 times a day (2,100 words a day) so I ended up starting NaNoWriMo doing more then 1,667 a day (which was something I had not intended to do, but after 3 months of increasing my word count every day, I figured why not keep going?) By the end of the first week I was doing 1,667 words a session, 3 times a day (5,000 words a day). A couple of times I reached 7k a day, but most of the month it was 5k a day that was my "comfort zone".

When I hit 50k on day 17 I was "YES! I can stop doing this!", but at 3 and a half months the habit was set in and for some reason I couldn't stop, I felt like I hadn't completed my day if I hadn't written anything. So, I kept of writing to the end of the month, and then December 1st came and again I was "YES! I can stop doing this!", but at 4 months the habit actually was a habit and I kept on writing every day through December, January, February... before I knew it my NaNo #4 was rolling in and I was still writing 5k a day. All but 1 year after that I reached at least 200k (6,667 words a day) (one year was 75k), with my biggest year ending at 537k (17,900 words a day - NEVER trying that again! My hands hurt so much after doing the 500k year and I slept for days on end in December I was so exhausted). This is my 12th NaNo and I'm still writing 5k a day every day for 10 years now. If 20 years ago you had told me I'd be writing 5k a day every single day for 10 years in a row, I'd have told you you was crazy. 

I think the difference for me, why I struggled so much the first 2 years and not after that was simply because I wasn't in the habit of writing every day and it's a difficult habit to get started. But the thing that worked for me was to NOT start out aiming at 1,667 a day. It was just too much. My first 2 years I burned out fast and dropped out the first week, simply because 1,667 words is a huge amount of words for someone who never did it before. I simply could not go from 0 every day to 1,667 every day cold turkey. I had to start out much smaller and work up to it.

For me, starting out with 200 words a day was the thing that made it manageable. And after a week or so, I reaching a point of "Hey, 200 a day is easy, let's try 400 a day" and a couple weeks of that I was "400 a day is easy now, how about trying 600 words a day?"

In the end it took me about 3 months of slowly increasing word count each day/week before I was able to do the 1,667 a day goal.

The other thing that helped me was, doing small chunks throughout the day. 200 words here, 200 words there. 400 words here, 400 words there.

The year I tried to do the millimonth (million words in 30 days) (the year I reached 537k) I found out some important things:

First that writing 33,337 words a day is REALLY hard. I had 2 days the first week I made it to 35k and realized, there was no way in heck I was going to reach a million words in 30 days, because at Day 2 when I crossed 50k, my hands were already screaming "THIS IS TOO MUCH!!! STOP! STOP! STOP!" I wasn't able to reach a 3rd 30k because my hands hurt so much. That got me really thinking about NaNoWriMo and why I was doing it. I mean, what was my goal? I wasn't sure. 

Next, there was the sleep issues - even at my top speeds, in order to reach the 17k a day I was doing that year, I was only getting 2 hours of sleep a day. Which resulted in it wasn't just my hands that were hurting. My whole body started aching. My back, my arms, my legs, everything was screaming "THIS IS TOO MUCH!!! STOP! STOP! STOP!"

The lesson it taught me in the end was this:

KNOW YOUR LIMITS! 

I was working way beyond my limits that year and in the end what I wrote wasn't even publishable. The higher my word counts got the worse my spelling and grammar got, the less sleep I got the less sense anything I wrote made, the more caffeine I drank the more hyper my characters got. It was a mess in the end. And I was left at the end of the month - cranky, tired, hurting, and all I got out of it was a really long gibberish mess I couldn't publish. I went into it thinking I'd have 4 or 5 novels I could edit and publish in the end, but they just were not salvageable. I had crossed to 500k mark in 30 days but I wasn't happy with the end results and I ended up feeling I had just wasted an entire month's worth of writing.

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It doesn't take hours to write a 1,000 word article. I write on average 17,000 words per day, doing so via two 4 hour sittings. My highest word count in a single day is 37,000 words. I frequently write 50,000 words every 3 days. Most months I write 100,000 words minimum, often reaching 230,000 words every 30 days. My highest word count in a single 30 day period was 537,000 words.

My average typing speed is 91 words per minute, though I have reached 175 words per minute.

Do you know how many words per hour are in 175 words per minute?? I'll tell you: 

Someone who is typing at 175 words per minute is typing 10,500 words per hour.

Do that for 8 hours a day like I do and you've written 84,000 words in a single day.

And I'm considered a rather slow typer. I'm not typing fast enough to pass a secretary test and get a secrtary job. A job that requires a typing speed of 190 words per minute WITHOUT MISTAKES.

It takes me about 15 minutes to write 1,000 words. Not hours.

Yes, look at my forum posts. These are just comments. Little SHORT 1,000 word comments. There have people people on WF who've complained my forum posts a longer then most articles. Well, maybe they should read my articles. I rarely write an article of less then 10,000 words. And they thought my forum posts were long. Ha! 

How?

Practice. I write 8 hours a day. Been doing it since 1978.

Writing is like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get at it, the faster you do it, and the less like work it becomes.

Yeah, it ain't gonna happen over night. 

No, it's not easy at first. 

Start out writing 1,000 words a day, every day, like clockwork, don't miss a day. Do that for 3 months. Guess what. At the end of 3 months, you'll be writing 1,000 words and hour instead of 1,000 a day and you won't even notice you switched.

Of course, it helps too if you have a topic you are passionate about and can talk about endlessly. I do. I have a niche I love and I literally can and do write about it every day. Heck, I have 6,000+ pages on my website now. That certainly didn't happen over night. It happened by writing a page a day since 1997. And you can't write a page a day for 20 years, unless you REALLY love you topic a lot. So, yeah, defiantly helps if you are completely and total obsessed with your topic (and I am completely and totally obsessed with Elves and wizards, and yep, that's what I write about.)


Average typing speeds:
Who is the fastest typist in the world?

I don't know who the fastest is, I've seen several different answers and don't know which is correct, but all were around 215 to 220 words per minute. So it seems that the average upper limit of the human ability to type is around 220 words per minute.

I'm surprised to see you say 200 words per minute is not reasonable. In 1994 my top speed was clocked at 175 wpm (10,500 words per hour).

In 2010 I had a stroke, and now type a slow one handed 91 wpm. That's 5,460 words per hour WITH ONE HAND.

The average person, types WITHOUT TRAINING at 35 words per minute, so sure, of course if you are not trained how to speed type, sure it will seem impossible to you, just like it will also be impossible for you to win the Super Bowl if you never once tossed a football. No different. Just because you are not trained in a skill, doesn't mean other people aren't.

Was I trained in speed typing? Yes. I took an entire semester of typing classes, geared at secretary training. I spent three weeks writing:

"The Quick Brown Dog jumped over the Lazy Red Fox" 100 times over and over and over and over and over and over...every day, hour after hour, until I was able to type it correctly without mistakes at the speed of 175 words per minute. THAT was an actual typing assignment that was REQUIRED to graduate from that class. If you did NOT reach 175 words per minute, you simply did not graduate from that class.

Yes, I did have professional secretary training on an old style manual typewriter and yes, that did effect my speed when I switched to electric daisy wheel, and in turn effected my speed when I switched to computer word processing, but the fact remains, I was not far off from 200 wpm myself at one point in my life and so I know for a fact that 200 wpm is easily possibly if you train for it and do a lot of typing as part of your career.

If you are someone who types daily (I am) you gain muscle strength in your fingers that normal people simply do not have, thus allowing you to type for progressively longer periods of time, resulting in progressively faster typing speeds over time. It's like anything else: you get better with practice - it's no different than playing a piano - the more you exercise your fingers, the faster your fingers fly over the keyboard.


This article was originally written on: October 28, 2016

This page last updated on: March 28, 2017


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