Well, I’ve had a very busy few days of writing. Contract one is finished, done and dusted, proofread and sent off. Two contracts to go, although the second one is in two parts each of between 5 and 10 thousand words.
The 100k words in a 100 days challenge is not really motivating me to write more than I would be anyway at this point in time, although I have also been inspired to write a couple of thousand words of fiction in the last couple of days. What the challenge is making me do is keep note of how many words I am writing – and that is an astounding number. As of a couple of hours ago I’ve written almost 20,000 this year! This will naturally drop as tomorrow we go back to work (I’ve already had to do the marking and the planning – next comes the actual teaching!). However, it shows how many words we write in the course of everyday, if you start counting. I’ve only included the contract work plus the fiction, but others have included blog posts and plans and all sorts. If only you could write fiction at this rate, you could write a novel in less than a month!
Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, full of cunning advice, actually advocates that in his target-setting post. Smith is a well-established American author who writes in a variety of genres under a variety of names. He mostly now publishes his own stuff, and is a major evangelist for doing so. In his goals for 2013 post he mentioned a friend whose challenge for this year is to indie publish (their preferred term for self-publishing) 25 books. A book can be a short story published standalone, a collection of previously published short stories (about four, cheaper than one short story) or a novel. This equates to a huge number of words, but the model which he espouses is one of huge amounts of content produced. It also applies to the genres in which he writes – which could unkindly be described as pulp. It has to be said, however, that his blog offers a remarkable bank of advice on how you can make a living from writing fiction, if you can make his model work. It would not necessarily work if you consider yourself to be a writer of literary fiction. If you are interested in this model, his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch also makes it work for her, and blogs separately. If you manage to make it work, let me know!
Right, back to the grindstone.