I was talking to a woman at work today. She’s had some health problems, but she’s feeling better and has a bit more energy. As a result, she told me, she just participated in National Novel Writing Month. How did that go? I asked her. Great! she replied. I wrote my 50,000 words.
Fifty-thousand words in a month. From a woman who’s working full-time and has health problems.
Where did I go wrong? My novel Where All the Ladders Start (which I swear is coming out real soon now) took me two years to write and contains about 85,000 words. In case the math is not evident to you, that’s less than 50,000 words per year.
The key to success in modern publishing, I am told, is to publish a lot, but make it high-quality. Here’s a post making this point, written by a guy who writes 7-10,000 words a day. I’m pretty sure I’ve never written as much as 2,000 words in a day. I’m pretty sure writing 7-10,000 words a day would kill me inside a month.
But as an experiment, I’m going to see if I can write my next novel — a sequel to The Portal — in under a year. I won’t lessen the quality, but I’m going to try to get it out in 2015.
Er, wish me luck.