May 4, 2010


There's no shortage of theories about writing. Take the one that says you need to write a million words before you’re any good. At 1,000 words a day, every day, you'll need almost three uninterrupted years to reach the million-word mark  (2.70 years to be exact).  

Woe to those of us who write less.

I'd like to propose another theory: Ignore everything that suggests you’re not good enough until ________ [fill in the blank].  Just write. You’ll get better.  Stick with it, get honest feedback, and your writing will improve.

Don't believe me? Find something you wrote a year ago and compare it with what you wrote today.

Told you so.


  1. Absolutely, Kathryn! And to help the process along, we must forget to read.

  2. Oh isn't that the truth!!

    I think the same person said that as said if you get a million monkeys typing randomly one of them will write a Shakespeare play. I think the blogosphere has proven that theory wrong! :)

    I look at what I wrote two years ago and cringe.

  3. Heidi: A million typing monkeys, what an image! My hope is that instead of cringing, we'll congratulate ourselves on how much we've grown. ;-)

  4. You learn by bruises. Bruises to your ego, bruises to your fingertips from typing, bruises to your concept of writing.

    Truman Capote sold the first thing he wrote. Was he that talented then? Maybe. Or maybe he just hit the right editor at the right time with the right story.

    Like you wrote -- all we can do is write and submit. May your publishing career blossom soon. Roland

  5. But when would you start counting the words? When you learn to write? In that case, we should all be geniuses by now!

  6. Forget the rules. There are no rules. Same as in painting. It's art. Just write. Or paint... :)

  7. Roland: Capote is an anomaly, I think, having been first published while a teenager. But he certainly grew as a writer, as I think we all can.

    Icy: Exactly! If I count everything written since childhood, I'm well past the million mark. However, I believe this theory refers to words composed once you've begun writing with an eye toward publication.

    Michele: Hey, good to hear from you! You've hit it spot on. We don't need no stinkin' rules. ;-)


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