The most important writing tip: Keep writing
October 9, 2013
It’s not easy to keep writing.
Anyone who thinks differently has not yet spent years working at her craft.
It really comes down to this.
If a person keeps writing over a period of time she will get better at it, and she will have a large body of work for her fans to find.
The late great Ray Bradbury once said that the first million words don’t count.
Think about it.
A million words.
If we assume an average book length of 60,000 words by way of example, we see how much work that is.
Sixteen full-length novels.
If we take Bradbury’s advice to heart, we learn the lesson that it takes a long time to grow an author.
Okay, let’s just fudge and tell ourselves the author of Fahrenheit 451 employed hyperbole when he made his pronouncement.
Let’s cut his tally in half before we begin counting.
Five hundred thousand words.
Only eight or so novels.
Still a formidable task as a warm up.
My first title on Audible via ACX went live in December 2011. Initially, as I learned how to use ACX, I moved slowly, with only one other title going live that month. Since then, though, as I saw sales accelerate, I began putting multiple titles into production. Just recently, my 27th title went live.
His twenty-seventh title.
Mayer wrote this blog about a year ago, so I don’t know how many audiobook titles he now has in his portfolio. But I am sure it is considerably more than twenty seven.
The reason he has so many titles is simple.
He kept writing.
I am not suggesting that every writer can match Bob Mayer’s output.
But I am suggesting that every author controls his own writing destiny. She can write one book and give up. Or she can write two and give up. Or she can give up before she finishes book one.
Or she can keep at it day after day after day. Even if she doesn’t feel like it, or doesn’t want to do it, or believes she has nothing in her worth saying.
And one day she will look up and realize she has reached the point in her career when her words count.
About a million words in.