A Million Words

I’m sorry if this is old news to you, but I’ve only just found this concept whilst poking around on the internet. It seems that you need to write a million words before you are any good at it.

At 999,999 you are writing unpublishable gibberish then at 1,000,001 publishers will form an orderly queue and start waving cheques at you.

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be reflected in reality.

It’s similar to the 10,000 hour rule, where you are judged to need 10,000 hours of practice to become good at something. In terms of napping and procrastination, I have put the groundwork in and can claim to be proficient at them. Of course, whether I’m good at napping because I’ve practised, or have merely accumulated the hours because I was born good at napping, is a moot point.

As I recall the concept from the times when I was coaching the kids. it has to be focussed practice, so just dropping off in front of the TV may not count.

Similarly, despite my 10,000 hours of procrastination, there is a lingering doubt in my mind. If I was really good at procrastination, wouldn’t I still be meaning to get round to it?

black and white book business close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And if I were any good at writing I wouldn’t just have spent ten minutes reminding myself about the subjunctive mood. It’s something that I’ve managed to do without over the last twenty or thirty years, but am having to relearn after an editor picked me up on it last year.

I’ve done about 1961 posts, and those posts have been about 350 words long. That’s near enough 686,000 words. It has, to be honest, seemed like more. That leaves me with 314,000 words to go, and I am sure I must have written them in the last sixty years, so that means I should be ready to start some serious writing.

Again, at the back of my mind is the idea that I really should have had more focus in my blog writing. I have gained fluency and a certain amount of discipline, which will come in handy, though I’m not sure it’s done me a lot of good in terms of quality writing. I have really let things get a bit slapdash over the years and need to get a grip.

Talking of getting a grip, I just wrote a post pretending to be a knitted bear – I think that lockdown is getting to me.

books in black wooden book shelf

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


17 thoughts on “A Million Words

  1. tootlepedal

    I don’t want to disappoint you but I can perhaps save you some trouble. I am well over the million words and am still waiting for the call from a publisher. From the point of view of one of who reads your prose and enjoys the poems that you share with us, I would say that your standard is very good already. I can’t think of anything that I read each day that I look forward to more than I do to your posts. There may be photo blogs that outshine yours but for literary entertainment, you are the tops.

    1. quercuscommunity

      That’s very kind of you. As an example of the effect your blog has on my life, I actually started looking at buying a bike for fitness and shopping. Then I started thinking about the strain on the spokes… However, you did make me think. 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity

      Not rude at all. Unless I was a vicar. But I’m not. Don’t be fooled by the refined nature of my blogging vocabulary – put me behind the wheel of a car and things go rapidly downhill. It’s like feeding s Gremlin after midnight. 🙂


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