Monday, January 14, 2013

Writer's Clock

A few days ago I read a story about Nicholas Sparks (author of many best-selling books, including The Notebook).  The interview pointed out that Sparks began writing while working another job (a long-hours and demanding job).  The interview also pointed out that, since Sparks has become a best-selling author, owns many homes and can now write as he pleases, he produces 2000 words a day.

2000 words a day from a full-time writer?

Okay, I'm not knocking Sparks.  Have some of his books.  Nice guy.  Successful.  And I suppose Sparks can concentrate more on quality than quantity.  He should.  He deserves his rest.  He has cake to eat.

But any writer (like me) who is a mid-list author and whose days are contoured around other time-consuming and concentrated work knows that writing must be accomplished in the "cracks".  I can't write during the day (not usually).  I can't write when I'm fresh.  I can't dally in the production of a book or article or essay . . . but must produce it whole, and in apple-pie-order, and very QUICKLY.  It has to be good, too . . . no matter how I "feel". 

I'd like to encourage other working writers out there . . . and I use the term "working" to describe the process of creating words on a page.  It's tough.  And if you begin writing long before sunrise, and continue writing long after the sun has set, there will be days when you will meet yourself at the keyboard in a split personality and wish you were Goober Pyle. 

Recently, someone asked me how many words I write each day.  Not sure.  But I can say beyond all certainty that it is more than 2000 words a day.  That I know!  And I've been writing more than 2000 words a day for a long, long time.  For years.  Decades! 

Why, just writing this blog is costing me!  I could be writing an essay about sperm whales, a book review about motorcycle maintenance and where to find the best tattoos, an article for a men's swimwear magazine featuring speedos, or writing my next book proposal to be entitled:  I Blew My Nose and Half My Brains Came Flying Out

Perhaps, some day I'll be able to write all day like Sparks.  When I retire?  And those 2000 words?  A piece of cake.  And I'll be eating a lot more of that, too.  Just like Nick.   

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