A thousand words a day???
Posted March 23, 2012on:
- In: Creative Alphabet
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WOW! I feel like I accomplished so much yesterday! I am still trying to wrap my head around writing a thousand words a day (and I wish I’d NEVER seen that durn blog!) Ever since, I have been trying….trying to write just that. A thousand words a day. And I’m failing miserably. Yesterday alone I wrote over five-thousand words. The day before? Twenty-five hundred. (Not including blogs…)
PLEASE don’t misunderstand me; I’m NOT bragging. (Well, okay, maybe a little…*grin*) I am frustrated. I want to discipline myself to write a specific number of words. Many magazines; e-zines; journals, ask for a specific number of WORDS to fill a space in the publication. Hand them twice as many and no more assignments!
Argue that you simply MUST have that extra ten-words, and you’ll be told, “Then dump ten others.” It’s not easy being green…
Therefore, I struggle. When handed an assignment, I can and do complete on time and on budget (words…). However, with great effort. I am a wordy person who prefers to say something in ten words what you can complete in two.
YOU: “Nice house!”
ME: What an interesting old house! I wonder who lives there?
Editing is my saviour! I HATE it, but it can chop those unneeded words and trim articles to their respectable lengths. Still, I would like to come closer to a thousand words, than have to pare out fifteen-hundred.
I have tried jumping between assignments, (in fact, that is what keeps each assignment exciting and interesting), however, sometimes that is impractical. When my mind is focussed on the heroine in my novel and her predicament, it’s rather hard to break the thought-train and jump into: ‘How are we going to recover those lost artifacts?’ (Working title…)
Therefore, some day’s only one article is worked on. Not often, ‘cause even when that heroine has gotten herself in another jam; I may not know how to get her out of it, so I leave it and write a thousand words on ‘Dog Food, is there a difference?’ (Too ‘bland’?) Only the thousand words turn into two and I have to decide to pitch a double-length side article or a two part series? *sigh* Yup… gotta trim a thousand words.
I rarely throw those words away, cause as soon as I do, an editor calls and asks, “Hey, you remember that article you wrote for us a few weeks; months; years back? Can you do a follow up?”
“I dunno, I’m pretty swamped. When do you need it? Wow! You’ll pay double? Well, okay.”
Can I? Sure, it’s already written! A little polish, re-confirming facts and off it goes, a day early. Editors appreciate it coming in just a little early. Writers hate sending in articles too early. Editors then have more time to mangle and change your carefully plotted word structure.
Sometimes those edited bits float in a file for decades before I decide that the information is too out of date to be of any real use. Then I move it to another file…just in case. I really hate to throw anything away. I am the ‘hoarder of the computer files’.
I must say that since the invention of the personal computer it has made writing a lot easier. My hand used to get so cramped as I scribbled everything on paper before typing it into a neat article. (Then retyping, as I stare at glaring errors!) The computer has made that a breeze!
Delete? Sure. Oh NO! Don’t delete that! Undelete? Sure. Save? Okay, no problem. Whadda ya mean ‘usual’ is spelled with only ONE s? Since when??? One click up top; change all ‘ussual’ to ‘usual’; viola! Done! Boy, do I appreciate word processors!
rbrm ejrb upit gomhrtd str pm yjr etpmh lrud. You just looked up; “WHAT THE???” Highlight and gibberish is gone! Long hand? I’d have to take another sheet of paper and start over. Same with an ‘old-fashioned’ typewriter.
Yep, love word processors!
Mind you, I do have Rubbermaid containers filled with binders, which are in turn filled with pages of writing. Done before I was deemed ‘worthy’ to have my own processor… I don’t think any of it will ever see the light of day, unless I get really ambitious one year and enter it into the computer.
That’s really too bad, a lot of it is quite good. Unpolished; but good. In fact I’m sure the skeletal bones of many of my first forays into the writing world can be found lurking between those pages. And definitely my first novel.
I can still remember writing it. P*ssed off with a certain person who shall remain nameless, I picked up my briefcase and left. Driving for hours, I came to a huge park in a tiny town. I pulled over; bought a coffee and a Danish; climbed back in the car, rolled down the windows, (grateful for the sunny, cold day) and started writing. I sat until the sun went down and I couldn’t see to write any more. (I wish I had my laptop then!)
Oh, gosh! It was a really rough draft; and in truth, I had thought I was just going to write about my own personal anger and hurt. Instead, the words ran away with themselves. The story just wrote itself. (I know, please don’t hate me, it’s NEVER happened since!) My hand wasn’t even tired! I was hungry and did have to pee… (I found the gas station just before it closed – YEAH! That’s how small the town was/is.)
I went home and made up, then spent a month polishing and editing and a couple of years fielding rejection notices… NEVER give up… Accepted finally, published and brought to your attention, and thankfully some of ya even enjoyed it enough to set my career path on the upward swing! Thank you!
Dang it! Over again by, well, right now? Fifty-two words.
Okay, so chose sixty-four words and don’t read them!
PS: Not including the postscript, I managed to trim it to a thousand words! Exactly. Next? I shall travel through my time-box and see if anything is worthy to be dragged out and shared…
The ELEVATOR is coming along nicely…grrrr… I wasn’t sure it was going to turn into anything and it is headed for novel city now… hmmm… thanks?