Sunday, 20 October 2019

How Many Words Do You Write?

The author John Braine once said, "A writer is someone who counts words."

Do you?

You should - because it's a sure fire way of getting around writer's block -and a good way of keeping yourself on track.

Having specific word counts to aspire to, will keep you writing more - and for longer.

You'll have more to show for your efforts, more to submit, and consequently more work coming in.

Your writing success is directly correlated to your word count.

Last night I was talking to a writer - well, someone who wanted to be a full time writer - and she told me she'd taken a year to get to her manuscript to where it was now.

I asked, casually of course, how many words she'd written so far.

"Four thousand," she said.

Four thousand!

G'ah - that's less than eleven words a day - what's she doing, I thought, chiseling them in stone?

By stunning contrast, Robyn held the whip to me yesterday (metaphorically speaking) and I produced 2500 words for a treatment we have to get to a producer by 5pm today.

And I did that between 10am and 2pm - taking a break to make lunch - because I had to pick up the kids at 3.

Talk about pressure!

But that's the point.

If you don't pressure yourself, you ain't never gonna have enough words down to make you a contenda (to mis-quote Marlon Brando in 'On the Waterfront'!)

Writing something every day is important.

Pushing your limit is important too.

It doesn't matter if you start out writing just eleven words a day - as long as you consciously try and increase that amount as each day passes.

I try to write - actually try is not the word, have to write would be more truthful - at least 500 words a day or I feel bad, like I've failed in some unannounced contest.

2000 words and I feel good- complete somehow.

Which means that I could have written my friend's manuscript in two days - rather than take a year over it.

I know this is common among writers.

People call themselves writers because they have a writing project on the boil - whether they're actually working on it actively or not.

I used to do this too.

I felt like a writer because I had a novel that I would dip into every now and then.

I spent years like this, believing myself a writer because I wrote sometimes.

Now I know different.

Writing for a living means exactly what the phrase suggests: you write because you have to live, and you live to write.

Writing becomes the center of your life - and you make a living from it!

The whole idea of that seemed like a fantasy before I took the plunge - before I realized I just had to let go of the silly 9 to5.

Before I realized that holding on to a false sense of security was wasting my time - time that could be better spent being a writer.

This would be my advice to you:

Don't wait, plan, and dream about being a writer. Just do it.

Take the chance - we're only here once, our lives are on loan.

Do what makes you happy.

Reject compromise.

Reject criticism.

Reject everything and everyone who would want to see you live a lesser life.

Simply, write, and...

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell's Writing Academy

Monday, 7 October 2019

The Bottomless Notebook

Reading through a writer’s notebook or journal is like discovering pearls, rubies and diamonds amidst a pile of rubble. That little notebook is a powerhouse of ideas for every writer: The more you write down bits and pieces of your thoughts and observations, the more you are adding into the well of ideas for future works.

Here are a few things you can record in your notebook or journal, so that in case you run out of ideas to write about, you can refer to it: Your Shoe boxed Life: Write what you know, feel and experience. Jot down snippets of events in your life. Write a sentence or a paragraph about a funny, embarrassing, happy or infuriating experience.

The Interesting People. Scribble descriptions of people you meet every day. How do they react in certain situations? How do their names fit their image? A Word a Day. Whenever an interesting word catches your attention, write it down. It may have a different meaning for you a month or a year from now. If you keep a list of words in your notebook, these words can serve as story starters for you.

Those Quotable Quotes. A meaningful quote can start you off to writing. Collect quotes you come across that interest you. Ordinary People with their One-Liners. Overheard lines in a conversation can sometimes spark your creative mind. Write down these one-liners in your notebook. They can be great story starters.

Something You Read. Read good books. Keep a file of memorable lines or quotes. Write down quirky billboard ads. Scan the papers for one-liners. These are good idea simulators. Emotions. Describe what you feel at any given moment. If you feel angry right now, write what your anger feels like. Describe it. Use vivid words.

Writers are similar to store owners. Store owners stock their supplies in their shelves, while you stock ideas between the pages of your little writer’s notebook. You can make your stock endless, bottomless. You can reach down again and again for inspiration without exhausting your notebook of reserve.

So start stocking your writer’s notebook today. A week from now, take a peek in it and you just might find something there that could connect your pen to paper. That’s about it for today. Make today a great writing day! Until the next article…Keep writing!

Best,

Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

WriteSparks!™ creator

WriteSparks.com

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at http://writesparks.com