500 words a day

That’s the advice I was given in order to write a novel in one year. Yes, I’ll admit I’m making the attempt and with 36,000 words down feel I have made a little progress. Towards a very rough early draft mind—I’ve no time to waste editing at this stage and the consensus is complete the work first as there’s a real risk of being sucked into the vortex of forever editing, never finishing.

Why am I posting this? Oh yes. Today I wrote my 500 words! It’s good advice, even a noob like me can see the benefit. I actually managed my quota every day in June and it was great. Then I slacked off. Fool! Then I lost the plot. Fool! I’ve only just managed to salvage it back to coherent prose (with stacks of notes waiting to be slipped back in place once the time is right) which means I fell prey, for a time, to the editing-when-you-should-be-writing bug. Fool, thrice the fool!

So hopefully now I’m back on track. Coz it’s good advice, that 500 words a day. I was worried it would be too regimental, but if one is to really make a go of it a bit of self discipline is surely called for. It reminds me of my days studying animation—another industry requiring some very real dedication to the cause. Funny how I ended up in web development, a place very much driven by quick returns, dirty hacks and achieving a lot with a little. Perfect for a lazy minimalist like me.

But I’m going to get this novel written. Even if ultimately it’s never published anywhere except on a website, just to prove I can do it. 500 words a day. It’s not difficult. I write more than that a dozen times over and more just in email each day, posting comments on blogs, occasionally blogging here—there’s close to 500 words in this post alone. And never let one ever forget the reams and reams of code and configuration at work, as if one ever would. Surely I can channel a measly 500 words in the right direction.

500 words a day is the key—an achievable goal to ensure progress is sustainable, and the constant immersion means it gets easier as you go. It’s very good advice—thanks to Fiona, a mighty impressive lady who can produce a complete trilogy within a year. This time I need to stick to it.