The Journal, Monday, November 5

Hey Folks,

Yesterday evening, I saw a great little post in one of the blogs I subscribe to, and it led me to write the topic below. You can read the original post. It’s in “Of Interest” today.

Food for thought: “The first page sells this book. The last page sells your next book.” ~ Mickey Spillane

Topic: NaNoWriMo: Just Stop Already. Or Go Do It. I Don’t Care.

Sounds callous, doesn’t it?


I only say I don’t care because I’ll be too busy writing instead of and seeking or checking with online partners and concentrating on doing an outline and then writing a sloppy first draft so I can go back later, maybe, if I get time, and “fix” it.

I guess I’m just tired of hearing about the “wonders” of NaNoWriMo.

But if you do it, that’s fine by me. Hey, whatever floats your boat. If that sort of challenge is what you need to get you to write, go for it.

I left a comment on that post, and not really grouchily, because I consider the writer a colleague of sorts. We’ve never met and probably won’t ever, but I’ve seen her fiction, and she’s pretty good (in my estimation).

In my comment, I agonized a bit on behalf of NaNoWriMo participants, or at least the new ones.

I wrote (paraphrasing myself), how much better things could be for those writers if they could learn that it is Hours In The Chair that turns out “more words,” not a scrambling for speed.

But before I continue with my comment, let’s do some quick math.

The goal of NaNoWriMo participants is to turn out a 50,000 word novel in one month. Good.

To write 50,000 words in 30 days, one must write 1667 words per day. Every day. That will take most people about two hours. (More on this later.)

Or if they write only on the 22 weekdays, they’d have to turn out 2273 words per day. So about 2.5 hours.

Since the common wisdom is that participants should write a sloppy first draft, neither of those should be a problem. At all. How fast can you type?

If participants wanted to write only on the 8 weekend days of the month, they’d have to churn out 6250 words per day. Not at all unheard of. That would take about 8 hours (with breaks).

(Most writers I know can hammer out about 1000 words per hour. That’s only 17 words per minute. 1000 words times even 7 hours is 7,000 words per day and if you do that for 8 days you’ll have written 56,000 words. And of course, that isn’t just typing. Putting down 17 words per minute leaves a lot of time for staring off into space, cycling, etc.)

Okay, back to my comment.

If the participants stay in the subconscious, creative voice (assuming they ever got there in the first place) and cycled back every thousand words or so they would easily attain their current level of “perfection.”

In four days and about 4 hours per day (as of yesterday), I’ve churned out the first 13,111 words of my WIP. Just over 3277 words per day. At that lowly rate, in 30 days I could write a 98,310 word novel during NaNoWriMo.

Now, I understand that I’m fortunate, that not everyone can devote 4 hours per day to writing. But if I may go back to the math for a moment, even 3277 words in 4 hours is only 819 words per hour, or a blistering, searing, scorching pace of:

Not quite 14 words per minute. (grin)

And again, the task of NaNoWriMo-ers is to Just Get 50,000 words down on the screen. It doesn’t have to be neat or edited or any of that.

So again, how fast can you type? Most of us in typing class in high school hit 40 or 60 or even 80 words per minute.

Makes my paltry 14–18 words per minute seem a little pathetic, doesn’t it?

Yet when I’m finished, the novel is publication-ready (that cycling thing I mentioned above).

So just think, if the NaNoWriMo participants would just write and then cycle too, they wouldn’t even have to go back over their 50,000 words to revise. (grin)

Just sayin’.

And thanks for the topic, LMA.

To the Hovel this morning at 3, but I frittered away the first whole hour and a half with nonsense, including some of the above.

Since I’m still getting up early, my next personal goal is to answer emails, then ignore all other Internet stuff until I’ve finished writing for the day. Wasting these hours during my quiet time is just ridiculous.

Back to the Hovel at 6:30. A little over 1300 words in my first session, then up to the house at 7:30.

Back to the Hovel again at 8:40. From then until 10:15 I wrote another 1800 words, then up to the house again for a break.

Wow. I had a lot of little chores to do. No major thing, but just a lot of small, time-consuming tasks. That plus a quick lunch and I was back to the Hovel at noon.

And as it turns out, I had a really good day. (grin)

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “The Fevered Brain of JSB” (James Scott Bell) at

See “The Curse of Perfection” at

See “Questioning an Eyewitness: To Lead or Not to Lead?” at

Via The Passive Voice, see “Bowker’s ISBN SIte Has Been Hacked, and Credit Card Numbers Have Been Stolen” at I hope none of you buy ISBNs for the outrageous prices Bowker charges. You can get free ISBNs for both paper and digital books. There’s also a bit about getting “virtual” credic card numbers to use for one-time purchases anywhere. I urge you to read it.

Also see The Passive Guy’s take on “What’s the Matter with Fiction Sales?” at But I have to wonder, would anyone who reads this Journal still go after traditional publication of their works (other than limited contracts for short fiction)?

See “Free Fiction Monday: On the Trail” at

Fiction Words: 4870
Nonfiction Words: 1020 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 5890

Writing of Consequences (Nick 4)

Day 1…… 3894 words. Total words to date…… 3894
Day 2…… 4701 words. Total words to date…… 8595
Day 3…… 1941 words. Total words to date…… 10536
Day 4…… 2577 words. Total words to date…… 13111
Day 5…… 4870 words. Total words to date…… 17981

Total fiction words for the month……… 17983
Total fiction words for the year………… 396513
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2960
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 154066
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 550329

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 34
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Journal, Monday, November 5”

    • Lemme steal one from Nike: Just Do It. (grin) I try to write at least a little fiction every day. Right now, in this novel and series, it’s more than easy.

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