Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Musing Journal #8

On Being a Writer

So many people want to be a writer. Why not? After all, all you have to do is sit in coffee shop everyday for a couple hours writing and you're a writer. But is that a professional writer or a hobbyist?

Stephen King wrote that he maintains 4 pages per day work load. Sometimes it comes easy for him. Other times, not so easy. But he wrote those 4 pages every day.

If you consider that, considering standard submission formatting, each page would count for 250 words, then you understand that professional writers write 1000 words per day. That's every day.

One week, then, equals 7000 words. That's enough for a whole chapter (or two). One chapter per week means 50 chapters per year. Or about 2 books per year. 350,000 words per year or 175,000 words per book.

Of course, that's assuming Dictionary size book. Normal book length is only about 100,000 words give or take. So, if you are a real "professional" book writer, then you should be publishing 3 books per year.

That is what doing 1000 words per day will give you.

Consider that. 1000 words per day. Is that so hard? If you have jobs, and other responsibilities in life, then yes, it's hard. There are people who just cannot do that much work per day. However, there is a difference between a dedicated writer and a hobbyist. A dedicated writer, will write, at the very least, one page per day. And at the end of the year, they will have the next great American novel. Think about it: one page a day. 250 words per page, and you're a writer.

The most important thing is to make a schedule and keep at it. If you're doing it every day, fulfilling the minimum required word count, everyday, then you are a writer. If, on the other hand, you like to just chat, browse the internet, and maybe write something, then I'm afraid, you're not a writer.

Unless you are keeping up schedule, you're not a writer. A true writer will keep up his schedule every day. And to that end, I recommend Nanowrimo for every one who dreams of being a writer.

Nanowrimo basically forces you to write an average 1667 words per day. This, on the month where you are guaranteed to be busy, dealing with holiday activities. Having participated twice, I can tell you that it is not at all easy. Sometimes, I just have to force things out.

The neat thing about it is that at the end of the month, when I fall back to normal workload, my normal workload seems easy in comparison! So, yes, Nanowrimo was painful, but it's a good pain. Growing pains. Once I went through the exercise, my productivity improved. And so, I will keep on participating. I like to improve my productivity. And I am keeping up with my schedule. I am a writer!

Note: I have written 1896 words today, not including blog updates. :)

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