Embracing a Million Crappy Words – A Guest Post

How best to describe my life the past few days? Let’s just say “wet”.  We have the daughter switched to underwear only, and that has gone well, save for the few times of soaking the couch or carpet. Then, we have the baby, who has decided to try out a new hobby of spitting up for distance.  Finally, my baby sister had her bridal shower yesterday, which went well and a few tears were shed (I’ll share that another day).

A week or so ago, my friend Mike over at the  BeAGoodDad blog was nice enough to offer  to write a guest post.  I’m glad I decided to take him up on it, because now’s one of those times I could use a pinch hitter.

I’ve known Mike for a few years now. He’s good people.  You should definitely stop over to his blog and say hello and find out more about him.  In addition to working in IT, Mike also is being a good Dad to three children as well as working to become a writer.  Without further ado, here’s Mike:

Embracing a Million Crappy Words
Mike Miller
I read way more about writing books than I should.

I’ve heard so much about developing characters and plotting and genres and how to get published that I should have all the tools I need to write a pretty good book.

Unfortunately, I’m nowhere near good enough to think about that yet.

I have also heard several times that aspiring writers should just shut up and write and get through their first million crappy words.

A million words. Wow. That’s a good way to get us to shut up and quit asking questions for a while.

That’s 1000 words a day for 1000 days! Three years straight of over half of the frantic NaNoWriMo pace!

But think about it for a second. If you wanted to run a marathon, you could train for a few months and then trot around a city and complete your marathon. That’s kind of like writing your first book. But if you want to be a professional marathoner who makes money competing in races and getting shoe endorsements, you are going to be spending years getting in shape and practicing racing. That’s kind of like your first million crappy words.

Instead of being annoyed that there is a good chance we will be spending 3 or more years and several finished novels just trying to figure out how to write, we should just shut up and write. Duct tape ourselves to our chairs and write. Stay up late after the spouse and kids are asleep and just write. Forget that agents and publishers exist and just write.

And hope that someday we will have practiced enough to finally have a chance of writing something that people not related to us will be willing to spend money to read.

So, excuse me but I have to go. I have some crappy words that are fighting to get out of my head and onto my computer.

Read more from Mike at BeAGoodDad.

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3 thoughts on “Embracing a Million Crappy Words – A Guest Post

  1. Pingback: Becoming a Writer | Be A Good Dad

  2. Well said.

    I’m several years in and have about a quarter of that under my belt. I’m pretty good at not thinking about the publication side of things, but occasionally I get distracted but a shiny local conference with a lovely agent or editor on the schedule. Oh well, off to write a few hundred crappy words for the day.

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