This has been a personal project of mine this year, and in the eleventh month, I’m not convinced I’m going to make it, but I am trying to publish one million new words (in English) in 2023. My own rules restrict the counting of words to include published stories only, not introductions, no blogs, nothing like that. Just the story from the opening word to the “the end”.
Doable? Yes, if I hadn’t dawdled earlier in the year.
But what’s the point? And isn’t it about quality over quantity?
Once again, the answer is “absolutely”. It is about quality, but to get quality you need to practice.
The myth of rewriting the same manuscript over and over and over again not only kills creativity (I’ve tried it) but it’s the same as doing a factory task on a production line again and again, over and over. Whereas if I write a story, edit, publish, and move on, I can take my new knowledge of writing that last story and apply it to the next.
I read (listened to) a great book by Jeff Tweedy last year called “How to Write One Song.” The upshot of it is that Tweedy writes one song, to the best of his abilities, and then he writes the next. Is that one song his best? Probably not, but when he writes the next song after that, and that song is a hit, then he can say that the hit song would never have come to be if he hadn’t written the song that came before it.
It’s all about practice. And I realise this is the equivalent of “don’t tell me how the sausages are made, I just want to eat them”, but I’m a true believer that I will only get better at writing if I practice. My practice is the current book or story I’m writing, and the one after that. So, I’m aiming to write and publish one million words this year, which is one million more words of practice than however many words I wrote last year.
Of course, as the first picture shows, my keyboard on my much abused writing computer, is suffering. But then, I don’t look at the keys anyway. But it sure is fun when Jane borrows my computer for a second, only to give it back in despair when she can’t find the keys.
Long November is part of that million word challenge, and later today I will publish Chapter 13.
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