Before my first book (Five Weeks in the Amazon) was published, I would repeat a quote to myself over and over, like a mantra, almost every day. I am not sure where I heard it, but it went like this;
“The only difference between someone who is an author, and someone who is not an author, is an author has written a book.”
So, I wrote a book. And I studied writing. I read books about the lives of other authors and I learned about their different writing processes, but one truth remained the same. All you needed to do, to become a writer, was write.
Ernest Hemingway would consider it a good day if he produced 500 words. With consideration to our different methods of creation, when I am writing well, an output of 1000 words is my daily goal. Hemingway wrote in pencil, rereading previous pages, and I assume erasing and editing as he went. I prefer to write with a black pen. Then I edit a few few times by hand before transferring it to my computer and it assumes a digital state.
For me, writing 1000 words per day feels like the mental equivalent to running 10km’s. To run 10km, without stopping, at a good pace, is hard physical work. If you plan on running 10km’s, six, or seven days a week, it requires an above average level of physical health.
When I am physically fit, I can run 10km’s in under 45 minutes, each day. The more days I run, the less 45 minutes feels like a challenge. The opposite can be said when I am unfit, or have not been active for a long time (like after I had shoulder surgery in September). The thought of running 10km’s (even if it is the same 10km run) can become daunting, depending on the circumstances .
Writing is similar. If I have not been writing every day, it can overwhelm me to think about reaching my daily goal of 1000 words. Just like running, the more I write, the stronger my mind becomes. The mental energy it takes to create this amount of written content strengthens the parts of my mind in the same way running strengthens the body.
When I am in a consistent daily routine of writing, I can write 1000 words with little trouble. In fact, there was one day when I was writing the story I wrote for the 10,000 word, 30-day challenge, when I added over 2700 words my story FROST for the Wattpad.com #JustWriteIt #sports challenge.Wattpad.com is a website for authors like me to share their work with other writers, and readers. It is a communal hub for indie writers and run by a young staff dedicated to helping up and coming authors.
Each month they host a writing challenge called #JustWriteIt, in which participants pledge to write a 10,000 word story in 30-days. On March 8th, I took the pledge, inspired by the theme for the month #sports, and having a story I have been waiting to write for years.
When I first accepted the challenge I trusted myself, and knew I had been writing lots and was confident I would be able to write FROST. At the 2-week mark was I was on pace to meet the goal, and within the week I had a few days of extra output and completed the challenge.
FROST, is the story of Nick and his father going on a ski trip for the day. It begins with Nick’s surprise as he is woken up by his father and told to put on his l0ng underwear. The surprises don’t stop there and from crying on the chairlift to sneaking into a closed off run, Nick’s story is filled with memories many people can relate to from those early childhood memories of skiing with their father. In Nick’s words, “Lets go skiing!”