One Million Words Of Crap

Lest this blog languish by my procrastination, I’m going to weigh in here on the one million words of crap to go before you become pro saying. (Lame rhyme cannot be attributed to the original author, blame is mine.)  A quick Google search turns up Neil Gaiman’s Blog, with an entry back in 2002, attributing the saying to Raymond Chandler. Basically, as an amateur writer you’ve got at least one million words of bad writing in you before you start turning out decent stuff. So by that estimate, if I was writing 1000 words/day (I’m averaging 500 over the last two weeks of consistent writing but I’m trying to bring that up to 1000.) it would take me: 1,000,000/1000= 1000/365=2.73 years or so to start getting decent. And I’ve got at least 100,000-200,000 under the belt from high school to two years ago, so I’m a bit closer than most.

Because crap is crap whichever way you try to paint it, I’m not really expecting to break the curse of poor punctuation, heavy overuse of adverbs, and cliche, but maybe I can write a really good James Bond meets William Gibson with a heavy flavour of Indian culture and tropes story that wont suck as much as the five or six aborted attempts I’ve got stashed away under the bed. Really, most of the fiction I write is like that: totally inappropriate mating between genres and subgenres that just don’t mix. But, a man can dream.  Also, there is a good possibility that I’ve overestimated my inherent genius and I could end up like this guy: Bernard Black.

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