Head down and typing like a madman.

Polar Bear speed painting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_Sc_lLjRA4

So I posted a couple times, then disappeared again. What gives?

Well, I’ve been writing. Really fast. Well, not as fast as I could, but fast enough. So how fast is fast? I’ll let you decide, but according to Dean Wesley Smith, I’m not a pulp speed writer. To write at pulp speed, according to Dean, I’d need to write ~1,000,000 words per year. Check out Dean’s post if you’re curious how fast some writers back in the day wrote.

Yeah, I’m not going at that pace. That’d be roughly 2750 words per day. That’s nuts! Who could to that?

So anyway, today I wrote 4081 words. Yesterday I wrote 2661 words. Yeah, I could write that fast every day, but Jay has a job and a family so I don’t write that much every single day.

I’m on a writing streak, though. A 35-day writing streak. Over that time I was hoping to maintain 2,000 words per day. Why? I wanted to get caught up for my annual goal or 1200 words per day. I was behind and I’ve been playing catch up.

Don’t worry. I’m not stressing. Two days ago I was re-reading and editing some of what I’d written and only wrote 55 words. Those days happen. Three days ago I only managed just over 600 words. So I’m not a pulp speed writer. Some day, maybe, but not today.

So over that 35 days how much did I write? I wrote 62,920 words. On average, 1798 words per day.

I haven’t hit my goal of averaging 2,000 words per day. Do I feel like a failure? Heck no! Writing words is a success all by itself. I set the goal to push myself, not pressure myself. I wanted to sit and write words every day and get books written. I’m doing that. I’m proud of doing that. I’ve also done my day job, watched too much news and TV, seen a couple movies, spent time with the family, gone out to dinner, done some training for work. It’s not like all I’ve done is write. Imagine if I was a pro writer and that’s all I did was sit and type all day every day.

Well, with my day job I do type all day with chats and emails and documentation, but that’s different.

So let’s have a little fun and extrapolate. What if I keep up this trend over the course of a year, where will I be at by the end of the year? Remember, my goal is 1200 words per day. So with that number, I’d be writing 440,000 words (44% of pulp speed 1). If I stay on pace with 1798 words, I’ll hit 620,000 (62% of pulp speed 1). If I stop having 55 word days, I can exceed that number.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Writing just a couple thousand words per day adds up so quickly. How many books does that work out to? Well, most of my books are between 80,000-90,000. That’s what I shoot for. If we take an average of 85,000 words per book, that means I could write 7.5 books this year.

Wait… did I say that correctly? Yup. I could write more than 7 books in one year.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it? In this world, a fast writer puts out 3-4 books in a given year. I could double that. And according to Dean, I’m not even up to pulp speed. Imagine if I were writing just under 3,000 words per day and putting out a million words a year. That’s only pulp level 1. He’s got up to pulp level 6 putting out two million words per year. That’s only 5,500 words a day. Pulp books are also shorter, on average 40,000-50,000 words. That means I’d be putting out nearly 40 books a year! What?

Guess what. Looking through my daily word count, I’ve hit that speed twice. In my 35 day streak, I have 5 days over 300o words, and nearly half the days are over 2000 words. Each day when I check my word count and update my spreadsheet, I’m amazed. I’m excited. I’m ready for the next day to do it again.

You could do this too no matter what type of art you do. Paint a little every day. Write a little bit on a song every day. Type words for a book or short story every day. Sketch something. Draw a cartoon. Art something! All those little days add up to a big payoff.

At the top of this post, I embedded a video that inspired me this week. Just like a book doesn’t get done in a day and perhaps not even in a month, all those little bits add up until you have something completed. The video shows a man painting a polar bear. The video is under two minutes, but it took him two months to paint. A little bit each day. That’s all it takes. You can do it too.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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Posted on February 25, 2017, in Blog Post and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. That’s so awesome! I just discovered Dean and all of his Killing the Sacred ache myths of writing. They’re incredible! I’m trying to follow them. I’m super impressed with your streak. That’s so awesome man! That’s got to feel good. Keep up the great work man!

  2. Harvey Stanbrough

    Commenting mostly so I can click the “new post” thing below.

    To be fair, DWS uses “pulp speed,” a term he coined, only to set his own goals. He doesn’t label anyone else or even push anyone else to try it.

    Also remember that those guys back in the pulp era wrote those words on old manual typewriters.

    Personally I like having pulp speed dangling out there. I don’t look that far ahead, but at present I have 196,525 words of new fiction on this calendar year. I’ll probably have only around 218,000 at the end of March (so I’ll be behind the curve for Pulp One by around 32,000 words).

    So hitting “pulp speed” isn’t easy, but neither does it really matter. What matters is getting to sit down and let my characters tell me a story. 🙂 Once I realized that, and that everything else is secondary, it became a lot more fun and a lot easier.

    Just for interest, I also keep track of my nonfiction, but only my Daily Journal from the “Of Interest” section up. With fiction and nonfiction combined, I have 249,675 words over all on the calendar year.

    I also publish a weekly craft blog, but I don’t count those in my nonfiction count. And increasingly those are derived from topics in the Journal, so.

    Hope you won’t mind me mentioning my website here for your readers. Check out http://harveystanbrough.com some time.

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