Wild Wild Western Bride
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It's discouraging

Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I happened to be surfing one of my forums and someone mentioned that they write 10,000 words a day, 4 days a week.

God, I could strangle her.

*sigh* Ok, not really. But it's extremely discouraging. I know, I know. I'm not supposed to compare, but sometimes it's hard. I think my best day, ever, I probably wrote 2,000 words. Maybe. I can't remember because it's been a while.

If I wrote 10,000 words in a day, I'd be done with this story instead of still slaving over it -- a week until deadline. I'd be knocking out stories right and left. Shoot. I'd be as prolific as Nora!

Sour grapes tempt me. I'll resist.

Guess I'd better go write my piddly little amount today. *sniff*
1/03/2007 09:38:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 18 Comments


Right, I am going to have to get angry with you. STOP IT!
You write what you write and that's it.
On really good days I write about 2 k. Some days occassionally I even write 5k (usually the last chapter in the book). If I tried to write more, I would burn out.
The woman probably has hypergraphia -- a manic depressive condition that is the opposite of writer's block but results in much nonsense being written.
I write between 1-2 k per day, every day. Some days the words are better than others.
It is the consistency and the quality that counts.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 AM  

Michell Styles has something.
I had, at one point been a compulsive word-counter.
While word-counting is really the mark of the professional writer, I was contracted to produce 1,200 words a week, back in the days of column inches, picas and ems.
Trouble was, my firt drafts were crap, and I had to produce 4,000 words to make up 1,200 proof copy.
I mean, you have to turn English composition into writin'. Writin' is not English composition. It is magic. I would drink potfuls of coffee and cases of beer to produce the magic, week after week, year after year, the old Hemingway writin' machine.

This a normal person can't keep up.

I was a normal person trying to be a genius by means of legal chemicals and stimulants, by "artificial life", if you will.
You were only as good as your last piece and there was no time for a bad performance. A bad performance would soon bring your rivals atop you.

Still want to be the elitist uppperclass snob? I was certainly old Spiro Agnew's "effete snob", the man of letters.

But behind it all was the coffee-and-alchol fuelled squirrel, hell to live with and insecure as the dickens.
Well, eventually the breakdown.

Ah, fishing in forbidden streams, hunting in strange forests.

But would you want to go another way? Ha.

By Blogger ivan, at 10:14 AM  

Reality check time.

10k a day? Great for her. Now has Mrs Giggles given her a grade that other authors would willingly eat spider nests to get? So, your words a day are working for you. Let that be your guide.


By Blogger Eva Gale, at 10:18 AM  

40,000 words a week? My butt would fall off from the numbness. My knees would lose circulation.

I find it hard, generally, to go longer than 2k a day. My brain shuts down.

Maybe she is superhuman?

Between blogs, I might write 40k a week. (Wishful thinking...)

By Anonymous S William, at 11:03 AM  

I'll take quality over quantity any day Sela! ;-)

By Anonymous Alexandra, at 11:14 AM  

I HAVE done that many words in a day, but then I'm ususally worthless for quite a while after that.

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare! Slow and steady wins the race...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:29 AM  

I don't know how anyone could keep that type of pace of regularly. Maybe for a BIAW or something.

I used to think output was a sign of my worth. In reality it just was my way of trying to feel valid since I'm not published. Now I don't give a damn as long as I do something.

By Blogger Jaye Wells, at 11:36 AM  

Y'all are so good for me!!

Michelle, you're right. Consistency and quality.

Ivan, I love this: "Writin' is not English composition. It is magic." I should tape that above my monitor.

Eva, thank you. I now have a vision of her eating spider's nests. I feel better!

S Will, my butt is big enough as it is. 10K a day and I'd have to switch my office chair for a loveseat!

Thank you, Alexandra! I'll try to remember.

Emma, I've never done that many words in a day -- even in the fever of a new story.

Jaye, you're doing brilliantly. I think it was the regularity of 10K that bugged me. How DOES she do it every day?

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 11:55 AM  

I'm totally with Eva -- and totally with you. I'd much rather spend months or years crafting an award-winning story than churn out garbabe just to make a few bucks. Yeah, I want the money, but not as much as I want to become known as an excellent writer. Hastily dashed-off books come out and sell for a few weeks, but they're rarely treasured and reread and remembered many years down the road. Keep doing exactly what you're doing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:59 PM  

Honestly, when people tell me they've written 50 books (or insert some other really high number here) in a year, I question the quality.

By Blogger Amanda Brice, at 6:27 PM  

I don't believe anyone writes 10k words a day 4 days a week. Seriously. That person is a great big fat liar.

By Blogger Kristen Painter, at 8:31 AM  

Every day?
No days off for planning/thinking/imagining?
With you.
Strangle the bint.

By Blogger Bernita, at 8:36 AM  

She must count her throw-aways.

When I write for publication, I throw away eight-tenth of what actually gets into print.
Like the old Alexandrine scroll-writer, there is only one whack at it, and no room for corrections, especially in style.

By Blogger ivan, at 5:04 PM  

I agree with Kristin on this one. 10k a day? Consistently? I have a hard time believing that's even remotely possible.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 PM  

I hesitate to comment on the writer's veracity, but it does stretch the imagination a bit.

Eh. Whatever. If it works for her, fine. I write slow, but I write some damn clean copy and most of it makes it into the final product.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 2:25 AM  

One of my cps is incredibly fast, but even she can't do that on a consistent basis. Maybe one week every couple of months. It just can't be good for you!

When we were on one of our road trips, I read that Sherrilyn Kenyon can write 100 pages in like a day or two, and that just threw me. My brain doesn't work that fast!

By Blogger MaryF, at 6:39 AM  

I don't think that writing that much automatically means it's crap. A new writer who's doing that much? Chances are it is, or needs a ton of editing afterwards to make it presentable.

I took a few chat workshops from PBW (Lynn/S.L. Viehl) at Forward Motion a few years back. She openly stated she writes 7-10k per day on average, but she has a very strict writing schedule that (from what she said then) she rarely deviates from. Whether or not her books are "good" is up to the individual reader, but she's multiply published, so that's gotta say something. :)

Don't beat yourself up about it, Sela. Some people naturally write fast and well, others force themselves to it and suck, still others succeed at it through other ways. I wouldn't want to keep Lynn's schedule; hell, I doubt I could.

Comparing word counts is like comparing dicks. Size doesn't matter; it's what you do with it that does. :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 AM  

Oh Dick, said Jane.

By Blogger ivan, at 8:11 PM  

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