Saturday, April 19, 2014

Self-Assigned: 1000 words

How many words is 1000 words?  When writers write, they tend to put a “quota” of 1000 words per day on themselves, so as to be in the habit of “writing” 1000 words.  How long does it take to write 1000 words?  And if a writer does have that self-imposed quota, is that just 1000 rough draft words that may end up being total crap?  Or does it include editing, to write 1000 useful words each day, as a chapter start or scene or whatever?  I guess I’ll make this a blog post, but started in Word rather than on, because Word is counting the words for me in the lower left corner of my screen, and it’s not very many so far… so I’ll just keep “writing” to know.

Here is a non-story of a non-writer writing.  Stephen is an actual writer, both of screenplays and novels, and he has a partner that he works with to get their stuff either published or produced.  The partner is still living and working in Los Angeles, where we will be by July, and at that point, Stephen will be able to join him at networking events, readings and book signings, and whatnot.  In the meantime, that’s all on the writing partner, and the writing still happens in two places, to my knowledge.

I, on the other hand, am not a writer, as I’ve said.  I started a blog in December of 2013, but I wasn’t really sure why.  More than likely, I needed to supplement my sitting at the computer playing games and checking emails and facebooks with something else at the computer.  I’d already started shipping things Stephen had listed on Amazon, and I was having such a great time participating in raising funds for our coffers that way, that I decided to start selling other items on ebay.  The ebay store took off, and the Amazon store went to “simmer,” and I kept shipping things out.  I got better at taking pictures of my items; I got better at finding the right categories to list things in; I got better at writing descriptions. A-HA!  I guess I am a writer!

So it only makes sense, then, that I should also start a blog.  I didn’t need one more thing to do at the computer.  What I really needed, and still do, is stuff to do away from the computer.  That will be taken care of when we get back home to Los Angeles.  In the meantime, I still check emails.  I check bank accounts and pay bills.  I check Facebook.  I check a few film industry websites, looking for work.  I apply for film industry gigs.  I check ebay and maintain a decent inventory flow.  I play Mahjong, Minesweeper, and Solitaire.  I blog about how weird selling things online is.  The only thing I ever really do away from the computer is ship sold items, check our physical mail, and drive into town for weekly grocery shopping.

Stephen doesn’t need an excuse to step away.  He’s got a four- or five- days per week JOB that he has to drive into town for.  When he leaves for his job, he’ll kiss me goodbye and encourage me to step away from the computer.  It’s hard to find a reason to step away that doesn’t involve getting in the car but does involve a trip beyond the sofa.  Especially on a day like today, where of all the locations whose weather I check (online, of course), we’ve got the worst.  It’s not that our weather is particularly bad today – it’s overcast or scattered rainy, and only 54 degrees.  Everyone else has either warmer temperatures or sunnier skies or both.  I gotta get home.  Ain’t no place for me to go today.

So I sit at the computer.  This particular post is now at 645 words, up from 585, since I went back and added some stuff to the first paragraph.  And normally, most of my blogging would end about here, if not sooner.  It’s taken me fifteen minutes or up to half an hour to let these words spill out of my brain through my fingertips, which is “normal” for me, but then I like to “preview” my posts and make sure that everything sounds right… that can take another hour before I publish.  Then I hit that button, and go back in to “view” it so I can “share” it on Facebook.  Then off to another bookmarked page or a game or something.

My jaunts at the desk aren’t boring, at least not for me.  I don’t stay too long on any one page.  If one of the games I’m playing just can’t be won, I’ll close it and go back online.  If everything I’ve needed to check online has run out of updates, I’ll open a new game.  If both of those situations “peter out” then I’ll probably take some new photos of a couple more dolls to list, which I can then tweak in Paint before creating a new online (ebay) listing.  Everything is connected to the computer, and a good bit of it involves writing.  But between blogging and ebay listings and emails and Facebook stati and comments anywhere, I probably do not write 1000 words each day.  I’m trying to get there with JUST THIS POST but I’ve run out of commentary, and I’m still 100 words shy.  100 words!

I can see folks who carry the label “writer” and who also put the 1000 word quota on themselves being able to hit 1000 words easily in just an hour or two of inspiration.  Folks who write for their living and do nothing else probably put a much larger quota on themselves, like 5000 or 10,000 words.  Because if you’ve got ALL DAY to let the words spill out of your brain and onto the page, 1000 words will come easily.  10,000 may not.  I have just put 1000 words on this page for you.

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