The king is in the counting house…

some of my writing

To feel better or crazy or to procrastinate, I counted up how many words of fiction I’ve written since 2004. I didn’t count false starts. I didn’t count cut scenes. I didn’t count blog posts. I didn’t count the first three stories I’ve written for A-Story-a-Day. Total counted: 550,769 words.

The final number disappointed me, but is no less overwhelming. What to do with so many words? How many are good words? All those words and not a single one published.

And here I go, writing a story a day as if it will add up to something. All these words should be sorted out, but I don’t know where to begin.

How would you begin?

11 thoughts on “The king is in the counting house…

  1. All words are good words!

    What was it Edison said? Something about having like finding 700 ways not to make a lightbulb before finding the one that worked? So, you have half a million words, and soon you’ll have the one that says published. Faith. And perseverance. And a little bit of luck. That’s all. 😉

  2. I think you may be very close to the point where you know what you’re doing, even if not consciously, in putting word A on paper, followed by B, followed by C… all in service to some fabulous story idea. (And I mean “fabulous” literally, at least in some cases. You may not employ a lot of talking animals, but Aesop might be very comfortable — and not a little envious — reading your stuff.)

    So anyhow, I think you’re at that point. Nothing to sneer at or be unhappy about, compared to a lot of aspiring (even successful) writers.

    What you now await is simply ignition: the story idea which will knock you back on your heels, the one which you will recognize immediately when you see it as a force of its own. And when you first get to the keyboard to work on that story, that half-million words of practice will ensure that you don’t have to slow down to write the next (most critical) 50,000 words, or however many it takes.

    The 550,000 words is a gift you probably didn’t know you were giving yourself — and that story. You just haven’t unwrapped it yet.

  3. How do you start? By sitting down at the blank page, writing the first word then the next to follow, and the next.

    But you already know this. You already know.

    You have what you need, but you lack faith in yourself. You second guess what you already know. I can say this because I am the same.

    As for those hundreds of thousands of words… not one of those words is wasted, including the ones you didn’t count. Maybe those words won’t end up being the breakthrough, but it is because of those words that you will write the next. Those words have changed you into who you are now, on the verge. It is those words that have brought you to this point.

    This is good place to be.

    Keep going.

  4. I, personally, find that “teh awesome” and I agree with JES … by now, you’re doing a lot of very good writing, very deliberate writing, on pure instinct.

    Bravo for you!

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