Sunday, January 10, 2016

From December 10th

See? I meant, this morning to begin with a flash, a story somewhere between 500 and 1,200 words. That will come, but I started this diary, and quickly zoomed to the 700 words, above, and now have decided to get to 1,000 before I stop to breathe, stop for a cup of tea.

And here’s the thing, here’s the thing that is so very hard to get across to new writers, to intermediates (and don’t get me started on those who think they’ve made it)… 

you really change when the work you are doing is routine, when what you are doing is being a writer

That, read casually, is “writing”, but it isn’t. “Being a writer” is a lot more than mere writing.

If you pop out a haiku once a month you are writing but is that being a writer? 

If you kick a football against a wall for fifteen minutes every Sunday, would you say, “I’m a footballer”? 

Nope. A footballer, lives, breathes, eats the game, it isn’t something s/he does, it’s what s/he IS. 

Until you get to the point where you know the difference, you are just playing at it. Next month it’ll be ceramics  or maybe you’ll try painting. Or worse, you’ll pick up a box set of The West Wing and be doomed.

A writer wakes every day and wants to write.

A writer wakes every day and needs to write.

A writer, every day, if s/he can’t write, feels sick, withdrawn, unwell, unfulfilled.


That’s another thing about writing hard, writing a  lot, writing, writing, writing (and reading). You get better, faster, slicker. 

I can’t touch-type, I two-finger type. Many years ago I went to typing classes (oh the pain!) and the teacher asked me why I was there. 

To get faster at typing, I said. 

She said I was already fast. true, it would be handy to be able to touch-type, but if speed-of-words-onto-pages is the thing (1,056 words right now 06:21)…. that’s 1,056 words in 36 minutes. I think 1,000 words in an hour is enough for anyone.

Incidentally a million words divided by 365 days a year is a little over 2,740 words a day (every day), so if we aim to write 3,000 words on a full day we can comfortably write a million words in a year.

A novel could be as short as 70,000 words. 

Typically (if there was a typically) a novel is 90-100,000 words. If you aim at a million and just 10% of your work is half-decent, that’s a novel. Think about that.

1,163 Words. it is 06:25. Time to start writing.

(That was December 10th, 2015) I wrote, by the end of the day, two flashes and two stories and a total of 10,548 words

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