Particularly, Dean's article is very important to me (and should be important to any new, self-published author) because, once again, he is sharing what he learned and cultivated over two decades of experience. I shouldn't have to tell anyone how much that's worth and Dean and Kristine both do it gratis - yeah, they have a 'donate' button but not many let you eat the cake they bake and then ask if you'd like to pay something for it. Continued Kudos to both of them and my gratitude!
I'm still battling with amping up my WOP count. No, that's not my collection of Italian immigrants - it's my term for 'Words On Paper.'
I use an Excel worksheet to track my progress and when I average in my 'downtime' = days I don't put a word on paper, I'm averaging just 590 words per day ... in a word ... embarrassing. I can see Sensei Dean shaking his head in disgust "... and you call yourself a writer? Sheesh!"
I'm an engineer at heart, so I can't help considering myself a WOP machine. That's what I am or rather, that's what I want to be ... a WOP machine. It took me 47 years to conceive, invent, design, and build my WOP machine and so far, what have I turned out of it?
- One unpublished manuscript = 82,000 words
- One novel = 86,000 words
- Two blogs, a personal one 'The World According to g' and this blog, which if I had to make a guess would = @ 25,000 words
If you add in the 27,500 words that I've written for my new novel, _Signs of War_, I come up with 220,500 words in 1.5 years which = 147,000 words per year. Divide that by 200 days (used mostly in business but not really applicable to a guy that sits home and can type 6 of 7 days (I don't work on Sabbaths)) and you get 735 words per day. <shaking my head in disgust>
Looked at another way, if I work 10 hours per day, then I'm currently turning out a whopping 73.5 words per hour! Basically one tweet!
So this is what I'm turning out per hour:
"Hi, my name is Gerard de Marigny. What would I like to be when I grow up, overcome my obstacles and stop making excuses (the sign of a loser)? I would like to be considered a writer. Up to now, the problem is, I'm simply not producing enough WOP and to quote myself, "As a writer, one cannot reach the TOP without WOP!"
I need to remove distractions that prevent me from producing WOP. I--"
Yeah ... that took me about one minute to think up and type - so I'll ask myself the question that I should be asked ... "What the heck am I doing with the other 59 minutes each hour X 10 hours per day X 6 days per week X 52 weeks per year?!"
The answer: I dunno
Stupid answer ... and stupid is what stupid does (to quote the great guru Forrest Gump's mom).
How to fix it: (for me, anyway)
- Get into my 'groove' earlier in the day! I seem to get my mojo on around 2pm to 4pm. But that's the time of day that 'that-thing-called-life' kicks in (to quote the man formerly known as Prince. Now I have no way to produce the symbol for his name to quote him).
- Set target at writing complete chapters! This one could work for me since my average chapter length is @2,500 words. So, in reality every day that I sit down to produce WOP, I could be writing a chapter!
I think these two fixes are reasonable and necessary if I ever hope to become a successful WOP machine.
Hey ... if you know of any other ways to amp up WOP, please share them in the comments ... much appreciated!
Back to it!
If you self-publish or intend to self-publish you need to check out the blogs by Dean Wesley Smith and his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Here's the links:
Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing
New World of Publishing
Think Like a Publisher
The Business Rusch: On Writing
(Please feel free to leave comments – your comments can be as helpful as anything I write for others. I hope this series turns out to be less my talking at you and more – a group of like-minded storytellers that self-publish or intend to. Peace & God Bless!)