The First Key

The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!

— Forrester in Finding Forrester

Most of the books I like to read are between 300 and 400 pages. At 300 words per page (a typical number for a Word doc) that’s a good 100,000 words.

How fast do you write? If you only write a page (300 words) a day it’s going to take you a full year just to get the words on paper. For your first draft!

I suppose you could use something like Dragon Naturally Speaking to allow you to dictate your words. (I’ll be saying more about my experiences with this later.) Even so, my experience with Toastmasters tells me you’re going at a pretty good clip to speak a page in less than two minutes, and it can take better than a week to get that speech polished up to contest-winning quality.

Speaking of contests, are you familiar with National Novel Writing Month, a contest held by It challenges you to write a 50,000 word “novel” (novella?) during the month of November each year. To do that you need to average 1,667 words a day. Every day. Including weekends, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.

Thankfully they don’t have to be good words, just words on paper (or electrons on screen, or whatever).

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!

That is part of my reason for starting this blog – to practice writing. My personal goal is to get so I can write 2,000 words a day, every day. It should make “winning” (spoken in a Charlie Sheen voice!) NaNoWriMo a snap.

But more importantly, putting at least some of those words out in public should help with motivation, especially if I manage to develop some readers who will keep me honest by commenting on what I post.

Here’s my pledge to you: Interspersed among my mindless meanderings will be reviews and comments on various tools and techniques I come across to make my writing better, more concise, more enjoyable, and more sell-able. Hopefully this will help makeyour writing better and more profitable, too.

What do you think? Any suggestions?


About Kurt Schweitzer

A former vampire logistics facilitator, past purveyor of Italian-style transportation, and Y2K disaster preventer, I'm currently creating websites, novels and other fictions while reinventing myself. Again.
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