The Journal, Tuesday, 9/22: Writing Fast

Rolled out just before 3. Answered some emails, then just messed around awhile (again) with Facebook. I’m gonna have to stay off Facebook, by which I mean take it in very limited doses.

Yesterday as a writer who was currently, you know, writing, I wondered aloud in a Facebook post how many other writers were writing on their own WIPs at the same time. If they were, I asked them to click Like or comment if they wanted to.

A few did. That was great. It was what I was looking for.

Then a woman who is a Realtor posted that she was writing contracts. Does that count? Hahaha. That wasn’t too bad. Later she took some 7-question test on Facebook and it told her she was an “author.” So she came back to post that. See? I’m an author. Hahaha. Wonderful! Great fun, right?

Ummm no. Not for me. Now, is that all right? Or does it make me some sort of antisocial old grouch? Either way, I’m good with it.

I mean, say a Realtor had posted to Facebook that she was currently writing a contract and wondered how many other Realtors in the area were doing the same thing at that moment. And say I happened across that post. I can promise you, it wouldn’t even have occurred to me to write “Hey, I showed a friend a house as we were driving by it last week. Does that count? Hahaha.”

But I understand some folks are just bent in that particular direction. It’s fine. Whatever. I was nice enough, I guess. I just clicked Like on her comment and left it at that.

Okay (deep breath), time for the weather report. We’re supposed to have more rain from some tropical storm down in Baja today but I’m not seeing anything on radar. Except the stuff that pops up pretty much every day around Hermosillo.

So around 6 I got out of here for a walk. I logged 5 miles and was sleet-rained-on only the last tenth of a mile. I’ll take it. (grin)

Wait. I used my feet and legs to perambulate down the road. I guess that would make me a part-time marathoner. (grin)

No, really, c’mon, I’m over it. Seriously. Besides, I’m gonna go gas up my car later today, which is good, ’cause I always wanted to be a mechanic. (grin)

Okay, I think I’m finished now.

No wonder I enjoy writing so much. My manuscript is chock full of people who are intelligent, not afraid to take chances, and even enjoy my company. And they’re as serious as I am.

Yesterday all three of my blogs were sent out. My “main” blog posted because it was the 21st. My free short story of the week posted because it was a Monday, and then of course this one goes out every day.

Yesterday also I talked about streaks. If any of you are doing goals/challenges/streaks I’d really like to hear about it. Use the comments section below to brag a little. Tell the rest of us what’s possible.

Still trying to think of a good way to combine this blog with the main blog. But I have a little voice way in the back of my head too that says not to do that. I mean, specifically, not to advertise my numbers or my writing process to the world. Of course, most of those who read my blogs are writers or would-be writers.

Unfortunately, most writers are among those who have bought into the myth that writing “fast” means writing poorly. In actuality, as some of you know, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Judging from comments of others (readers) I have never written better than after I gave it all over to my subconscious and started writing off into the dark. That just means writing without planning, outlining, plotting, etc.

How fast someone writes has nothing to do with quality. Nothing.

In fact, “writing fast” is actually a misnomer. Most writers who Just Write do so at a rate of about 850 to 1000 publishable words of fiction per hour. (1000 words per hour is only 17 words per minute.)

Even if a writer spends only ONE HOUR per day writing, and even if he writes only five days per week, and if he takes two weeks off completely per year (vacation), he still will have written 250,000 words in a year and be considered a “fast” writer. (One thousand words per day multiplied times five days per week equals 5,000 words multiplied times fifty weeks equals 250,000 words. That’s five 50,000 word novels.)

And that’s if you spend only one hour per day doing your job. (grin)

Imagine what you could turn out if you spent four hours per day doing your job. Can you imagine any other job in the world in which you can spend considerably less than eight hours per day and yet be considered prolific?

At a writers’ meeting a couple days ago, the president of the group said to me (being convivial) “Three thousand words before you came in this morning. That’s really impressive.”

I appreciated it, but really? I mean, if I call myself a “writer,” shouldn’t I spend time doing my job?

Okay, I’m just gonna go ahead and go there for a moment. What if I spent eight hours per day doing my job five days per week like most people do? That would be 8000 words per day and 40,000 words per week.

Even if I took a two-week vacation every year, I would turn out TWO MILLION WORDS PER YEAR. Using the same 50,000 words as the basis for a novel, that would be FORTY novels. Now THAT would be prolific.
But even then I wouldn’t be a “fast” writer. I’d just be a writer with a work ethic.

I recommend you read the Topic of the Night in DWS’ blog at Very interesting for anyone who thinks of writing (correctly) as a business.

My Current Goals and Challenge
My goals are to write 3,000 words of publishable fiction per day and at least one short story per week. Stay tuned.

Today’s Writing
No real writing today. I mean, I wrote some but I’m not even gonna count it. Completely blew off my daily goal. I think after a few days of not walking, my walk kind of threw me off my rhythm this morning.

I had a good title for a short story in mind, so I wrote an opening. It didn’t work out. I went back to the novel, but didn’t quite get into the right frame of mind for it, so I knew enough to just stay hands-off.

This turned into a non-writing day. I’d much rather have a ‘day on,’ but some days just do what they want. So after a couple of really good days, the numbers will remain where they are until tomorrow.

And tomorrow will be challenging. I have to take my truck to SV for repair in the morning. So I need to hit the ‘puter running in the morning on the novel at least. Maybe I can get a few thousand done before I have to go over there. We’ll see.

Fiction Words: XXXX

Writing of “Norval Babineaux” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3405 words. Total words to date….. 3405 words
Day 2…… 1487 words. Total words to date….. 4892 words
Day 3…… 4139 words. Total words to date….. 9031 words
Day 4…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 10547 words
Day 5…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 13489 words
Day 6…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 17750 words
Day 7…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXXX words

Total fiction words for the month………… 41158
Total fiction words for the year…………… 506199