2014 Writing Millionaires Club
In 2013 I wrote approximately 300,000 words of fiction in the five months that I decided to track that sort of thing. That word count is significantly higher than any single year’s worth of writing I’ve amassed in the past, and this year I’d already planned to push the clickety clacking of my keyboard to the more lofty goal of one million words written in 2014 when I was invited to a group of fellow writers attempting to do the same. Joining their millionaires club gives me another venue for competition and semi-public shaming that will hopefully drive me to keep working through the times when I’d rather be doing anything but.
My million words will be a mix of those I’m paid to write for others, and those I write for my own novel projects. I’m aiming to complete several novel drafts over the course of the year. Although I’d love to produce a million words of fiction, I’m currently contracted to write 80k of non-fiction for a client, and have decided to include that effort in the yearly tally. I won’t be tracking blogging words in my total this year (not that they amounted to much in 2013), but I will probably include the writing I do as story explorations. In any given month, that’s only about 5% of my total output, but it’s something more akin to short story writing than straight up outlining—which I won’t be counting.
For anyone considering doing something like this, or the more reasonable NaNoWriMo, it’s important to remember that little games and goals like this are a secondary byproduct of Getting Things Done. I’m tracking my words as a method of ensuring my output reaches a desired rate, but I’ll sacrifice my goals the second I become concerned that I’m writing for the sake of putting black marks on a page and filling bars in progress meters. Quality should come before quantity, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to increase the amount of quality work you’re producing.
Anyone out there in readerland have any big goals for 2014? Number of books or pages to read? Number of novels or short stories written? Pitching magazines or publishing houses? Landing an agent? Having a photo published? Exhibiting new work? Leave your plans in the comments and I’ll check in on you later in the year.
Update, Fall ’14
I fell way behind on my goals and reset them to a mere half million. It’s been a crazy year, and I’ve let some projects slip to the side, but that’s how it goes sometimes.