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The New Plan

October 24, 2011

308 stories are not an arbitrary number. But assuming that the scribblings of a beginner would produce lasting income was obviously counter-productive.

My new plan is producing 1,000,000 words first, before I will start producing serious merchandise. The game is the same, just the measuring bar has changed.

It is my firm belief that trying really hard to change circumstances is treating the symptoms, not the cause. I will use some time to catch up on reading. In the last days I read “Reaper Man” and “Making Money” and I am currently 40% into “Small Gods” according to my trusty eReader (all by Terry Pratchett).

No TV, no movies, video games.

I am restoring the conditions from before I started out on the challenge in mid-August.

Then I will go on to Nanowrimo. I spent the last two days with Pratchett, another book called “Comedy Writing Secrets” by Mel Helitzer and a chaotic outline for a novel that is continuously growing.

I don’t feel shame for changing direction. I guess that ‘learning experience’ mantra has finally found its way into my subconscious. :-)

Thank you Sam and Thomas for your support and advice!

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12 Comments
  1. Thomas E permalink

    I think it is a hard profession to enter…

    But I hope you either submit OR publish every single one of the million words.

    On his site, Dean Wesley Smith has said it took him about 1 million words before he really started to sell, so I think you are right… writing a lot helps, but the only way to get to the first million is to write them.

    It seems that you’re basically going with my plan… My one is to write 1 million words, submit them all, and keep on going after that. Actually, I think it may take me more than 1 million words, since I am a slow learner… My goal is to get to the million by December 24th next year… after that, I will just keep on going.

    That said, have you looked at http://750words.com/ ? It’s a site I have just joined. It asks you to write just 750 words a day. I find the statistics page inspiring… because you see all these writers who have been writing that amount for 100, 200 days, and in less than a year many of them are a quarter of the way to their million words.Without working for more than twenty or thirty minutes a day, in the case of many of them.

    • That’s precisely what I intend to do. What I am doing has not really changed. Just how I measure it. I can write longer stuff now, though.

      We seem to have the same goal. Let’s check up on each other. Why don’t you, Sam and I all do Nanowrimo?

      The full name I gave in 750words is “Count Eric the Fearsome”.

  2. Thomas E permalink

    Oh, I was planning to write 50k in November, but not as an official NanoWriMo – as a rebel instead, my plan was to add an extra 50,000 words to a novel I have already started (I am at 23k and plan to have a finished first draft at the end of NanoWriMo).

    My name on 750words is ‘Thomas Ecclestone’. So far, I have not been using it to record all my words, though, just the 750 words a day streak for 5 days- my main way of keeping track has been a word count spreadsheet i started in June.

  3. Liking the new plan, Eric! I like the focus on getting the words down instead of the income aspect. It’s one I need to remember, too.

    >>We seem to have the same goal. Let’s check up on each other. Why don’t you, Sam and I all do Nanowrimo? <<

    Already on the schedule, lol. Just one 50k novel in November, right? :P I don't know if I'll do official NaNo, with the signup and everything, but I did sign up for 750words (I have no idea how to add you two and frankly, right now, I should be writing! lol). I'm not sure how it'll work since I don't plan to check in every day, but I'm game! I'll post wordcount on the blog, but again, probably not every day. If that disqualifies me, count me as a rebel participant. ;)

    • The reason I do Nano… well mainly there are two reasons:
      1. It has a really neat interface for wordcount. Really motivating. Really showing you the fruits of continuing effort.
      2. Last November I met up with other Nanoers in my region. Great way to meet people, even if they usually have no ambitions to do this professionally.

    • Thomas E permalink

      Maybe we should simply report back the last Friday of every month:

      1. How many days you have written: in my case. 28.
      2. How many words you have written so far this month: 68,000 words.

      Puts me at 325,000 / 1,000,000 words… or one third of the way to my goal.

      We just work on the honour system… no validation required, because to be honest there is no point lying.

      • Aye, aye. Following someone’s streak can be quite motivating, though.
        I have no clue how many words I have written in total. I am just going to count the published ones. Adding them up tomorrow. Need sleeeeep.

  4. Thomas E, that or a biweekly schedule works well for me for the million-word project, but I don’t start my mil until next year. Any plans to update weekly or so for Nano? :)

    Eric, have you tried NovProg2 (Gottcode)? I’ve only played with it a bit but it might be a fun offline way to keep progress records of your Nanowrimo project.

    I totally agree on the motivation from seeing others’ wordcounts/outputs.

    Not sure what my wordcount for the year is, either. Do I get to count the novel I wrote years ago into my million-word count? ‘Cause that would knock off 10% of my workload! (lol). Kidding, kidding. I’ll be gunning for a million in 2012 along with Joel from France, so a little after you guys but still in the same game.

    • Novprog2? Never heard of it. I will check it out.
      Nano has a public wordcount site for each participant. I will just post a link to it on the blog and you will get as many updates as you like. Twice daily if you fancy it.

    • Thomas E permalink

      Sam, I’ll post my NaNo words every week, if you want.

  5. Eric, if I’m checking twice a day, I shouldn’t be! lol.

    Thomas, that works for me. I’ll do the same.

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