Raymond Chandler says we’re supposed to write 1,000,000 words
Malcolm Gladwell tells us we should practice our craft for 10,000 hours
The above numbers are pretty huge, but I hope to break things down for you. I too thought these numbers were impossible, that my finger would drop off and my mind spin out of control.
I’m beginning to realise I was wrong, and this is why…
My Life In Numbers
The following numbers are rough estimates. They are no means an exact measurement, but they do offer an idea of how our lives are broken down. At the end of this post I’ll ask you to think about your own circumstances, but first, here’s mine:
- 200 Blog Posts (average word count of 750) = 150,000 words
- How To Build An Author House = 38,000 words
- What Is Strategic Marketing = 5,000 words
- Tales Of A Tiny Thai Table = 60,000 words
- Beyond Parallel (this year) = 20,000 words
- Website Copy = 10,000 words
- Business Plans/Strategies = 10,000 words
- 30 Books Read (average word count of 70,000) = 2,100,000 words
- 6 Blog Posts Read per day (average word count of 500) = 720,00 words
Total Words in 2012 (so far) = 3,103,000
Over 3 million words in 8 months! And that doesn’t even take into account all those emails, social media updates, and days of editing.
Let’s take a look at the time, shall we? I can usually work at a rate of 1,000 words an hour. This mean in 2012 I’ve been writing for 283 Hours.
Considering there’s been around 240 days so far in 2012, that’s only a little over 1 hour each day.
1,000,000 words to find your voice
10,000 hours to perfect your craft
First of all, it’s important to note that the 1,000,000 word rule, as far as I believe, is aimed at one type of writing. Therefore you need to write 1,000,00 words of fiction or non-fiction to discover your voice. Considering a large part of my writing is spent creating Blog Posts, this means I have a long way to.
When you break the numbers down, though, they become more manageable.
What I’ve Learned In 8 Months
My biggest lesson so far has been: I have a long way to go
I’ve yet to find my voices (yes, I think I have more than one) and I have by no means perfected the craft of writing. I have, however, consumed more than 3 million words in under 250 days, and for this, I have grown a great deal.
I recently found an early draft of my debut novel, Beyond Parallel, and also read my first Blog Post. I took a deep breath and read both…
The word cringeworthy comes to mind. However, it’s amazing to think how far I’ve come. Don’t get me wrong, I have a way to go yet, but progress has most certainly been made.
How Far Have You Come?
I now ask you to look back at your own life. Dig up that early manuscript. Re-read your first Blog Post. Look back at your school work and compare how you were to how you are.
Also, break down your life. Some will read and write more than me, others less.
Next year I’ll write more. I’ve not written much fiction this year because I’ve been editing. Next year will see me start and finish my second novel from scratch. In other words, my craft will be worked upon.
What about you?
How far from 1,000,000 words are you?
Are you close to 10,000 hours?
Are you edging closer to the writer you can be every single day?
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million