A friend directed me to the website of author Dean Wesley Smith who seems to be blogging a full book about shattering the myths of writing. I didn’t read it all, but my eye was drawn to one section in which he ‘does the math’ for us. He reckons he can write 250 words in fifteen minutes – about a page of manuscript – which seems fair enough. Drawing it out, he calculates that in a year, he can write a 90,000 word novel (average length) working for just fifteen minutes each day. Er, okay. But hey, why stop there? He goes on to suggest that he can up his game and go for 30 mins a day, maybe even a whole hour a day and produce four novels a year.
Basically, he’s saying that writers who produce one book a year are sitting around for twenty three hours and forty five minutes doing bugger all. Yup; we’re all just drama queens and prima donnas who make a whole lot of fuss about nothing, pretending we’re all torn up with angst about our art. Take that Ian McEwan. Writers are just a bunch of whinging slackers who probably faked a sick note to get out of PE when they were at school. And got picked last for the team. Tcha. Big girls blouse.
So I got to thinking. I interrupted my fifteen minutes of typing and thought about WDS’s maths.
I aim to write at least 1,000 word a day when I’m drafting (it’s usually closer to 3,000 though), and that’s a whole hour of writing according to DWS, and means I should be producing four novels a year. But mine are all longer than 90,000 words, so maybe we’ll say three. Three novels? So . . .well . . .what the bloody hell am I doing? Where are my three novels this year? Who took my novels and WHO STOLE MY TIME?
Sorry. Got all angst-ridden for a moment there. Anyway, what are you looking at? I haven’t got time to stand around chatting. I’ve got some words to get down. Fifteen minutes of hard typing, here I come.