I like to read books about writing. And I’ve read a whole slew of them. I’ve noticed that they are beginning to sound the same, so I guess there’s only so much that can be said about the craft of writing. You just have to sit down and do it.
One author proposed that success as a writer was guaranteed if this bit of advice was followed:
Write 1000 words a day,
five days a week,
for the rest of your life.
This writing expert said it was the magic formula to honing the skills needed to be a real author. It didn’t matter what you wrote, or when you wrote, or how you wrote. Just punch out 1000 words every day.
I took the bait.
The first morning, I printed out a sheet with the expert’s lofty goal that would become my sure-fire path to success. I started typing. After a few hundred words, I began to panic. I didn’t have anything else to say. I typed out my grocery list, the weather report, and what I planned to eat for breakfast. I included the date (spelling out the numbers) and even typed “Word Count” for two more words. It was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to write 1000 words every day for the rest of my life.
So I knocked it down to 500 words, five days a week, for the rest of my life.
The second day, I got a late start and needed to get to an appointment, so I skipped my writing time. I decided to cut the “five days a week” down to a more manageable three days a week, for the rest of my life.
By the third day, I was a little ticked at the expert for bossing me around and telling me how to run my life, so I put my foot down and made my own rules.
Instead of setting unrealistic goals, I’ve decided to adopt King Solomon’s wise counsel:
“The Teacher searched to find just the right words,
and what he wrote was upright and true.”
I am still a fledgling, unpublished, obscure writer, searching for the right words. But if I can find a few upright and true words along the way, I’ll be satisfied.
By the way, there are three hundred and ninety eight words in this blog post. Word Count. 400!