From The Writer’s Devotional by Amy Peters, Sterling Publishing, 2012

 I’m a slow writer: six hundred words is a good day. That’s the reason it took me 20 years to write those million and a half words on the Civil War.

Shelby Foote

Remember that all writing counts and that all writing is cumulative. If you’re struggling to get started, daunted by the stack of blank paper in front of you or the glare of your computer screen, then set a word-count goal for each day’s writing. It’s both liberating and inspiring to have this clearly defined goal in mind.

Alex Haley, author of Roots, disciplined himself, even when ill, to write six hundred words a day. Hemingway famously penned five hundred words a day. J. G. Ballard, author of the best-selling Empire of the Sun, aimed for one thousand a day “even if I’ve got a hangover.”  Mega-selling author Nicholas Sparks commits himself to writing two thousand words each day.

Like the fable of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady can most assuredly win the race. Consider the math.  If the average novel weighs in at 80,000 words, then it would take only 160 days, writing at a pace of 500 words per day, to complete a first draft: less than half a year.

 

Submitted by Barbara Cairns (SSRA Member)

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