At the beginning of the year, I set out to see if it were possible for me to write 366,000 words in a year, 1000 words a day on average. My methodology is perhaps a little controversial. I count first draft 100%, but I've also been giving myself partial credit for rewrites, and also giving myself bonuses for getting books into print and a few non-writing activities like cover design. Still, most of my word count is coming from novels, either first drafts or revisions.
I was on pace for the first half of the year, closing out June just slightly over 180,000 words. July, alas, was something of a speed bump, though for a good reason, since I was on vacation for two weeks and not writing during that time. I kept tracking my weekly productivity, but stopped adding it up in July since I was seeing myself slip further away from my goal. Fortunately, in August I started clocking in several weeks in the 8-10,000 word range. Since I just need 7000 words a week to stay on track, I started making up lost ground. Today, I finally decided to do the math and...
YES! I've got 257,092 words written for the year. I've only got a 103,000 to go, and over three months to get there!
The rest of September will probably not yield many high word counts, though I will be getting some bonus points for having a book go live on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc. (Which book? I'll reveal the answer this week! Hint: It's longer than the Brother's Karamazov by 100,000 words.)
Then, in October, I've got a vacation and two conventions. Still, I'll start a project that month that should take me over the top on my word count. I've got several different options.
1. I can revise Cut Up Girl and Big Ape to get them ready for printing.
2. I can write a third novel in that universe and plan on revising all three next year and getting them into print with just a few weeks between release dates.
3. I could write a third novel set in my Nobody Gets the Girl universe. Basically, I have Nobody and Burn Baby Burn as a duology, but I'm finally getting it into my head that more books in a series equals more sales, and I actually have a pretty kick ass idea for one last book to cap off series. But, that pushes back Cut Up Girl and Big Ape even further. On the positive side, the last book in this series, Covenant, is one I've been thinking about for a long time, and I think it would come together pretty quickly. It also is a good vehicle for tackling an ethical question that I've grappled with for a long time. Is it enough in life to simply do no harm? My libertarian and nihilistic ethics have for a long time led me to believe that people can do whatever they want with their lives, as long as they don't hurt other people. But, after years of living with this belief, I can't help but wonder if this philosophy isn't merely selfish, but actively harmful to collective humanity. Of course, I've long believed that if individuals just take care of their own interests, then collectively mankind is better off. But what if I'm wrong? What if the world really is a better place if we're all our brothers' keepers? If Nobody Gets the Girl has a coherent theme, it would be that good intentions are dangerous things, and that some of the greatest harm is done to mankind by people convinced that they alone can make the world a better, safer, happier place. It would be interesting to explore this theme with a more positive spin.
Lots to think about. Lots to write. 103,000 words to go. Forward!
Welcome to my worlds!
I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!