A Thousand Words A Day
This is what a thousand words looks like. This is how it feels to be inside a thousand words. Welcome. There’s just enough to whet your beak without it being an overwhelming, time crunching punch in the mouth. You, reader, no doubt have better things you could be doing than being yanked in to a thousand words. Who’s to say if they’re even going to accomplish anything for you? What will it take for you to commit yourself to reading a thousand words? Will you need to learn something? Be entertained? Do you require some kind of shock value? A twisty turn from where you thought this was headed? Well, guess what…
I killed Darcy. She had it coming. And I know that sounds terrible in our society’s progressive age of trying our damndest to eradicate all violence against women; but if you knew Darcy, you might have beat me to it. If you knew her, you’d get why she had to die.
So twisty! I’ll bet you never saw that snippet coming. In fact, I’d wager good money you expected to come out of this thing with not a hint of a slightly sour aftertaste of rushed, soiled fiction on your lips. Sorry (not sorry) for that. But a thousand words, in this case, does not discriminate.
Mornings Are For Writing
If I’m to get any writing done these days, I have to do it early. My son’s been waking up, on average, around 5:30 this past week. And boy oh boy, he does not wake well. As soon as he opens his eyes, he wants the entire world to know he’s here and unhappy. He settles faster than he used to now though, once I pick him up and allow his unnecessary wake-up tears to wash over me. He nestles and becomes well and the morning begins. The second morning of the day, that is. The first one begins between 4 and 4:30 a.m. That’s when I drag my carcass out of bed, strap myself in front of this screen o’ mine, and blast off to Planet Writing, where 1,000 words is King.
This, I’m hoping, will soon become the new normal. I’ve had a few hitches since I started but I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. Four a.m. is easily the quietest, most accessible time of day. It’s also the most introspective, which is where I long to be in my current project.
If I can keep up the 1,000 words a day exercise, a rough draft of my next adult novel should, God willing, be completed by Labor Day. It’s one thing to just spout off crazy hopes and dreams like that, it’s another to actually make them reality. But with the help of my two friends, dedication and cocaine, I think everything is gonna be just fine.
He’s kidding about the cocaine right?
Of course I am, Josephine! What do you take me for? A strung out ‘80s, high-powered stockbroker? Really? Is that how I come across? Man, I gotta get me a new publicist.
How To Set Your Own Word Count
Step 1: Take a bath. You’re ripe. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you but I guess your friends are all fantastic jerks, huh? Did you just fall off a truck full of diseased turnips and land in a pile of gym socks? Yeesh!
Step 2: Slap me. I deserve it. Just like Darcy. But don’t kill me, please. I gotta finish this bloggy.
Step 3: Regroup. Focus. What do you want to accomplish? If you just want to write a haiku and be done with it then obviously you won’t need to write a thousand words a day. I’m kidding, of course, but the actual tip is in here somewhere. Or not. If not, then skip to Step 4.
Step 4: Be realistic. For me, 1,000 words a day should be realistic but I’ll most likely crash and burn because I’ve now spoken it out loud (in this writing). If you think you can do 500 or even 100 word a day, aim for that. Everyone will try to tell you it’s not about quantity; it’s quality. Well, everyone is a liar, Josephine! Substance matters not! You have to fill the world with your incessant madness and pour it on as thick as is humanly possible. Otherwise, you’ll never be taken seriously.
Step 5: Ignore all of this and do what makes you the happiest version of you. This goes for everything you do. And it’s the only part of this moronic post that’s worth a hoot.
I don’t know what the trick is, friend. And that’s because there is none. Look, I’ve been trying to be a writer my whole life and I’m only just now starting to understand what it takes. Scratch that. I still haven’t the foggiest. But I’m trying, Ringo. Er, Josephine. Whoever you are, no one can fault you for trying, right?
For me, this 1,000 word game doesn’t even include this bloggy. I only intend to prescribe that elusive, roundest of numbers to my novels. If I’m plotting on the side, editing or revising old text, that all-important work doesn’t count. So it’s actually 1,000 words a day, plus plus. Do you have any notion what it takes to reach that with cold, new prose? Do I? Here’s an example: what you’ve just read — all of it — is still under the wire by about 75 words or so as of right here. And that includes the headers. Crikey!
As much as I’d love to sit around and jaw on more about how difficult it is to reach those illustrious triple digits, I can see by the count that our time’s just about up. I’ll leave you with these parting words of wisdom my Daddy once told me. He said, “Son, can you pass me the ketchup?” I believe we were eating hot dogs at the time.
Josephine’s post-1,000 Words endnote: Well, wait a minute now, you can’t include THE END as part of your 1,000 words! That’s cheating! You only wrote 998! Hey everyone! This guy’s pulling shenanigans! Unsubscribe! Unsubscribe!
I’m tired, lady. Give me peace.