Monday, May 16, 2011

One Million Words

When I first got into fiction, it was shameful how arrogant I was. Maybe not outwardly, I wasn’t exactly pompous or an elitist to others, but I had this idea that my words were magic. I had a talent for wordsmithing, but not storytelling. No, at that point in the game, I was simply a fantastic bullshitter. I could write a vignette, and I could pound out some solid prose, but I knew nothing about effective fiction, and how the stories come together.

More than anything right now, I just want to get better. I want to make quality fiction. I have no delusions about my work, especially when judged against my peers. I have no misconceptions on my writing’s current status. I have a stack of rejections to show me where I stand, and it has shown me that quality isn’t as subjective as I once thought.

I’ve chosen a sort of arbitrary number. I need to shoot for one million words over the next few months, and likely, years. I want that number to be a benchmark of my hours put in, and the days I’ve spent sitting in this chair. Once I pass that mark, if I have spent my time wisely, I can consider myself a journeyman of the craft. I may be able to say that I am a proficient and dedicated writer.

By that time, I hope that I will have found the discipline to keep writing, even when I doubt in my abilities. Along with that, I hope to have learned the skills that accompany being a good businessman and self-manager, both of which have understated importance in the publishing industry.

This doesn’t mean I am going to trunk everything I work on, but it does mean I will keep a close eye on my ego, especially with the temptations of self-publishing.

I’ve met a lot of fantastic writers over the past few months, both through social media and in normal life. I just wanted to thank you guys for raising the bar. I know I’ll be a better writer having set my standards to the lofty heights the rest of you have shown.

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