One word at a time

An old Chinese proverbs says a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Today my writing seemed in line with that proverb.

I didn’t soar with a writing flow as I did a couple days ago. One the other hand I didn’t fight to get words written. The words came, but I seemed more to be plodding along, one word at a time. And that’s all I need to do, is it not? If I string enough “one word at a time” together I will eventually have a novel.

Today on my two hours commuter train I added just over 1,500 words. I the only time I wrote was on my commute in a week I’d have 7,500 words and after just ten weeks—that is a month and a half—by writing just on the train my total would be 75,000 words. I have heard that is the length of an author’s first novel. Theoretically if I kept up that pace I could write four or five novels in a year.

Now I know that’s not realistic. For what I write I must also edit and polish. Still I find the figures comforting. What I have viewed as a negative situation—my long commute—may in actuality be a wonderful opportunity to hone my writing craft. If I say I want to be a writer. If I aspire to be published. Then I will do what it takes to become what I want to be.

Yet it all boils down to writing one word at a time. Words form sentences; which in turn coalesce into paragraphs; paragraphs progress through scenes; when placed together become chapters; and ultimately a novel is birth.

Today I commit to the basic task of writing one word at a time.

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