Million Word Challenge

When I went out to find a graphic for this post I looked up the title and found that there actually are million word challenges for reading. Looks to be primarily in California, but we have one in Denver Public Schools too. Wouldn’t it be great if this went national? Or if authors and publishers got involved and donated 1,000,000 words annually to each public school library. Let’s just say that’s an average of 20 books and there are nearly 99,000 public schools in the U.S. That’s nearly 2 million new books in school libraries across the country each year.

Now that I’ve reassured myself I can still use a calculator . . . what is this post really about? One of my goals that I didn’t achieve was to write 1,000,000 words in 5 years and my deadline was January 1st, 2013. I only wrote 507,157 and whatever I wrote this morning that didn’t get added in yet. 🙁

Here’s what I had posted as a goal back on November 19th, 2010. As you can see, I like using the calculator.

1. Achieve 50% towards remainder of 1,000,000 words of written fiction.
This is a goal I set, in September of 2008 after listening to an early episode of Writing Excuses. Basically they mentioned that the first one or two novels you write are likely crap. I know my first two were both more personal stories I’ll probably never publish. They also mentioned that it takes writing one million words to begin mastering prose. These are all professionals’ opinions, and who am I to argue, right? Anyways, I set the goal back then to write a million words of fiction within a certain time frame that never happened. Actually I stopped tracking it and have since written over 120,000 new words, which really surprises me considering the writer’s block I went through this year.

Well, IT’S BACK for 2011 & 2012. I started a counter in the right column, but have the rest of the year’s writing, so I’m not exactly sure where the total count will be for 2011 and 2012 other than an estimated 300,000 per year which is less than the 480,000 I should be able to write if I stick to a 2000 words a day for 20 days a month. WOW! That’s 4-6 novels or who knows how many short stories a year . . . .

I’m over half way there, although barely. And I’ve extended this goal to January 1st, 2015. The counter is back in the right column and I’ve got my calculator in hand. There are 88 more weeks to achieve this goal, so I have to write 5600 words a week. So far this year I’m averaging 1000 a day. DOABLE!

To aid in my reaching this goal, I’m joining the 3-Day Novel Contest and NaNoWriMo this year. Combined they’re good for 75,000 words. That ups this years goals by 3.

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