A cool new anthology from Rune Wright Press. Contains my story, “Living.”
I’ve decided that I just don’t do the word count thing. Really. I’m breaking free. Ever since I decided to become really serious about this writing thing, to work on improving my craft in the hope of one day actually make a living at it, I’ve been besieged on all sides by word counts. Every book, every blog post by pro authors giving advice to us newbies says something along the lines of, “Force yourself to write X words per day. It doesn’t matter if they’re good; they’re first draft. Just get it on paper.”
And that’s fine and dandy for some, I suppose. Your mileage may vary. For me, I just don’t work that way. Every time I sit down to write, the first thing I do is to go back over what I did the day before. It may turn out that what I did yesterday is total shit. In that case, I may spend all of my writing time fixing it, trying out different plot lines, correcting crappy grammar, or just replacing the bad words with better ones. It may be that I read through it all and say to myself, Damn, that’s actually not half-bad, and proceed to jump right in and buzz out another 2 or 3k. But you know what? I’m not going to stress out or consider myself a failure if my day is of the first variety. The fact is, I enjoy language, and I enjoy writing. It’s just as much fun to me if I spend the whole time fiddling with what’s come before, tweaking and turning wrenches, as it were. And frankly, if it’s not fun, what the fuck am I doing here? I may as well go get a job in an office somewhere that actually pays decent wages and has health insurance. I do this because I love it, because it’s my passion and its part of me, and I do it even though I get paid something between nil and nada per week.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m also well aware that some people do have to rely on the words they write, the sheer volume, to pay their bills and make ends meet. I’m aware that I’m extremely lucky to have secured the patronage of my husband who loves me and supports me even though I don’t pay the bills, because if we had to rely on my income, we’d be living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. Still, even if we did, I’m not sure I could write that way. I need time to go over things, to mull them, to chew my cud. It doesn’t make me less of a writer because I don’t churn out 200,000 words a year. It just makes me slow.
And I’m not gonna feel guilty about that.