Those of you who stop by on Saturdays to see the things that amuse me probably remember the video I posted.
In the short version, it's about the idea that talent doesn't exist. Hard work exists. A lot of hard work. According to the author of a book I've never read and consequently don't remember the details of (they're in the video if you want them), talent is really 10,000 hours of hard work.
Well, I don't know how I'd measure how many hours I spent working on my writing. How far back in the process would learning to write kick in? I mean, education requires training in expository (and sometimes narrative) writing, so would that count? Would time spent honing ideas count towards the hours? I find hour-counting to be a hinky measurement with writing.
Units should be easy to figure out. Like in chess, they say you have to lose 500 games to be any good. It's easy to know if you won or lost the game. That's a workable unit.
I heard somewhere on the internet that, to be a decent writer, you need to write 1,000,000 words. Well, I guess there's some comfort there, in that it's a workable measurement. Did you write the word or not? Straightforward.
On the other hand, that's a hecka lot of words. One million. Part of me says, oh heaven's to Betsy, I'll be writing from now until I die to get that far. I'll never make it.
I'm currently at 183k, counting all finished drafts. 817k to go. To me, that looks at a really, really long way to go. Someone said to me yesterday, 'Oh, 183k, that's really close.'
To which I say, no, no it isn't. 82% to go is not close. That's 17 NaNoWriMos. It's 13 first drafts. It's years.
Part of me wants to beat my head into a wall.
But, I also know it's important. Because, just like you have to learn all the ways not to make a light bulb (at least 1000), and all the ways not to win at chess (at least 500), I need to know all the ways not to write a good sentence, paragraph, chapter, novel (thousands upon thousands). And, as such, I will persevere.
817k, here I come.
How many words do you think you've written? Do you subscribe to the idea you should write a million?