Monday, November 17, 2008

Word Wealth

This struck me yesterday while I sat and bichoked my way to 718 words. (I need thousands, but 718 is what I got.)

Writers mine words like those words were gold. Sometimes I hit a rich vein, sometimes it's hardscrabble, and sometimes it's fool's gold. But every day, I don my helmet and tie on a toolbelt. Some days, at the end, I look like I've moved mountains—with a smudged face and wild hair—and maybe only have 200 new words in my backpack to show for my work. Other days, I walk out of my writing space and look like I haven't broken a sweat, and that day I may have mined 718 words or 1,718 words, or more. Like buttah.

My talent for this business lies in my ability to mine everyday. To up my required load. Or is that lode?

Nanowrimo has at least gotten me to the point where I'm less than satisfied with anything under 500. That doesn't mean I don't have 200 word days, I do. I'm just not satisfied.

In On Writing, Stephen King tells us that he doesn't stop until he hits 2000 words. What he doesn't exactly spell out, but what I think is probably the case, he has plenty of days when his word count is double or triple or even quadruple his target. 2000 becomes a benchmark. A flag gets raised and a silent hallelujah is sung.

The coolest thing? Just because King and Koontz and Connelly are mining a gazillion words every day, we're in no danger of running out. (Oh shoot . . . there's that fear thing again.)

Well, I'm off to the mines.

Still reading: Field of Blood (which is a paranormal thriller and pretty darned interesting.)

It's all better with friends.


  1. I'm way behind with Nano but I'm still trying. I figure if I can write 3000 words every day, I can finish. What?!?!? The chances of that are very slim but I post the word count I want in my header so as I move from page to page, I can see it and know I'm getting closer.I always have to have a dangling carrot. LOL

    I love the idea of churning out words at the same time Stephen King and Dean Koontz are churning out words. Wow! That's a visual I'm going to keep in my head for the rest of my writing life! See...another dangling carrot.
    Thanks. I love your blog. It keeps me thinking and motivated. :)

  2. LOL. Those dangling carrots . . . make mine chocolate, please.

    Did you get the Nano bit of encouragement where the topic was doing something dasterdly to one of your characters? She said first, beat them with the stick, and second, beat them with the carrot.

    You keep plugging away, Jess. I'm not stopping and I'm waaaaay behind you.