I’ve been dialling in on my challenge for 2022, and with just four days to go, I have made a decision: I’m going for a million!
While I would love to think I’m going to earn a million, let’s face it, that’s not going to happen. But, there’s another million that will make me just as ‘rich’ and it is within reach.
In 2021 I wrote roughly 700,000 words (still counting). Those 700,000 words include the following:
- 13+ novellas (15,000+ words each)
- 3+ novels (40,000+ words each)
- 52+ short stories (mostly 5,000+ words each, often longer)
- plus several unfinished projects of varying length
That’s what I have ‘found’ but there’s more that I have put to one side, or simply forgotten. Note to self: better filing needed!
However, it’s still a lot of words.
The short story challenge stretched me as a writer, and gave me plenty of opportunity to have fun with different ideas, POVs, genres, etc. But it distracted me a little. Okay, it distracted me a lot. I mean, I enjoyed it, but it took a lot of focus.
The rewards included stories like Witch Bluff and Witch Hunt that I wrote for Jane, but had so much fun with the characters – and setting (it was warm), that I didn’t mind the distraction. The science fiction and fantasy stuff did the same, but I wanted to do more with each of them, i.e. I need more sci-fi in my life. (Don’t worry Petra fans, I won’t forget about her. Or Maratse!)
So, at this point in the post, some readers might think that’s a lot of words already, and it is. But they were specific words if that makes sense. Focused.
2022 is going to be different.
I intend to write 1,000,000 words of fiction in 2022.
The rules – there are always rules – will be such:
Rule 1: Countable words will be publishable fiction only. This means, in my head at least, that I must edit and proof these words and publish them. So no blog posts, or emails, or anything like that. Only fiction. Poetry – yes, there will be more poetry – can be counted, but it’s often just a handful of words. But likewise, the ‘words’ can be published in any length – from short story to novel.
Rule 2: I can count the words in 2022, but am ‘allowed’ to publish in 2023+. In other words, I can spread the publishing over time.
Rule 3: Omnibus editions and Collections don’t count. Those words are second-hand, so not valid. Only ‘new words’ written in 2022 are countable!
Rule 4: I must hold myself accountable. Meaning, I will blog about my progress, typically at the end of each month, adding an updated total of words written, and links to the works published. But I can already anticipate blogs through the month with a bit of progress, or a finished project.
Rewards: A huge chunk of inventory, and the fun of exploring new stories and characters.
That’s about it. I just need to get going.
I’ve committed to some ‘external projects’ in 2022, so there will be some weeks and months when the wordage is low, maybe very low, but I’ll make up for it along the way.
The words won’t all be Christoffer Petersen projects, and I will slot projects in under different pen names, including the secret ones, along the way. Some of the projects I allocate words to will be decidedly not Greenland, crime, or thriller related, mostly in order to stay sane.
There will also be challenges within the challenge, such as Barbarian Week, which will be self explanatory when I get that far, but will make zero sense to those following this blog purely for the mystery(ish) and crime stories. But Barbarian Week is definitely going to happen, along with other weeks through the year.
So that’s it.
All that remains is to say: challenge accepted.
Shame about the blog posts not being counted. This one clocks in at six-hundred and seventy-five!