Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I vomit words at the screen

Writing a thousand words a day is a bitch.  Hell, writing even a hundred words on a daily basis is a pain.  Writing is one of those few things that so many aspire to do, yet is a chore most of the time.  On a good day I’ll hammer out a thousand words of something worth reading in around an hour.  No stream of conscious cop outs, no incoherent babbling.  When I write something I want to be able to share it with others and at least be willing to admit I created it.

One thousand words in an hour is about 16.6 words a minute.  That’s easy to hit if you’re transcribing something or not worried about the words making any sense.  As soon as readability is thrown into the mix it gets exponentially harder.  One thing I’m beginning to grudgingly admit is that if I’m going to make this goal, I need to read a lot more.  Only when I add more ingredients to the soup will I produce something with flavor. 

I just finished “Telling Lies for Fun & Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers” which was a fantastic read.  Actually, the moment I was done I wanted to read it again from the beginning.  The writing style is easy to follow, the advice solid with no mumbo jumbo or “hidden” tips.  At the core of it all, a writer just needs to write.  And one of the ways to become a prolific writer is to be a voracious reader.  I can tie my largest spurts of production when I was younger to my insatiable hunger for the written word.  As real life slowly creeped into the mix, a career, responsibilities, etc, I found myself with no time to read.  It had been at least a year since I picked up a book when I started up again in London. 

I’m not going to overdose on “writing” books so I’ve switched to a fantasy title, the first Dresden File book by Jim Butcher.  I may not make a thousand words each day, but I do have an overall total of 365,000 words in one year.  Hopefully, I’ll pick up the slack here and there to make up for the gaps.

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