06 June 2006

1,000 Words a Day

1,000 words a day, 5 days a week, for the rest of your life.

That's what Carolyn See says to do if you want to be a writer. I believe her.

Now granted, that system won't work for everyone, but I can see the value in it. Because, of course, the one and only thing that makes you a better writer is writing, more writing and, when you're done with that, sit down and write some more.

1,000 words a day for me represents a quantifiable goal that I can chip away at. Sometimes it all comes out in one session where the words fly out with so little effort I wonder whether I actually wrote them or was channeling some other force. More often the words come in bits and spurts, maybe 100 at a time, and I hit my word count button after every single paragraph to see the progress (which, believe it or not, actually helps).

1,000 words a day also forces me to sit down and at least try, no matter how tired or overworked or stressed out or pregnant I may be feeling. Like now. It was an early morning (Ms. Four-Years-Old came to check on me before 6:00 AM), a hectic day at work (me and the new girl are trying to put 6 or 7 manuscripts through the ringer, plus complete other projects, during the week the bosses are on vacation), and an eventful evening (looked at yet another house and put an offer on it).

I should just go lay down and read until I fall asleep. 'Cept I can't. 'Cuz the foregoing is only 268 words, which leaves me 732 more to crank out today.

Best be gettin' to it.

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