I am the itch.

You Should Write a Thousand Words A Day

“You should write a thousand words a day.”
“What? A thousand? That’s crazy! That’s way too many!”
“No, you should, you really should.”
“Why? That’s just unreasonable. I don’t think that’s even attainable. And even if it were for a short while - definitely not sustainable.”
“Well, one thing at a time. You said you wanted to become a better writer, right?”
“Ok, so hear me out - I think if you want to be a better writer than the best thing you can do is just to start writing. A lot.”
“Alright sure, but a thousand words?”
“What, what would be so hard about that?”
“Well, like I said, it’s a lot. That’s a lot to just sit down and write. And every day? I just don’t think I could do that.”
“Sure you could, it’s easier than you’d think.”
“Come on though, a thousand words - after 10 days that’d be 10,000 words - a novella in just a week and a half! After a month - assuming I was able to keep it up - over 30,000, the size of a small novel! Ridiculous! There’s just no way.”
“Why not? I think you’re being too hard on yourself.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you said you want to be a writer, right?”
“Just think of it as practice. The more you do something, the better you’re going to become at it, right? You wouldn’t become a great athlete if you didn’t train, or a famous musician if you didn’t rehearse, right?”
“Well, yeah, I guess so. When you put it that way.”
“And it doesn’t need to be perfect. Just write anything! The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it and the easier it’ll be.”
“Ok sure, but I want my writing to be good!”
“No, it doesn’t have to be good!”
“What do you mean it doesn’t have to be good? I’m not just going to write a whole bunch of crap every day.”
“Well, why not? How do you think you’ll get to be good if you don’t? That’s the question you should be asking yourself.”
“Look, it doesn’t have to be good. You probably speak thousands of words every day, right? We’ll probably say a thousand words just in this conversation we’re having right now. So just write something - anything - every day, and the more you do it the better you’ll get.”
“So it doesn’t have to be any good?”
“So it’s okay if it doesn’t even make sense?”
“And it’s full of spelling errors?”
“Of course. It will almost certainly bee.”
“And that’s okay?”
“Absolutely. The idea is just to get the words out there. And the more you do it, the more natural it will become. Sure, it’s going to be hard at first. You’re going look down on what you’ve written, you’ll be tempted to self-edit, or to throw it all away - as you should. And that’s perfectly okay. But you know what? I bet if you stick with it, over time you’ll find that, just from writing that much, it will become better. It will even start to be good. And that’s the goal isn’t it?”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“Ha, you don’t sound so convinced.”
“Well, I don’t know, it can’t be that simple can it?”
“Becoming a writer. There’s got to be a lot more to it than that.”
“Oh, I would think so. I’m sure there’s a lot more to it. But this isn’t about becoming a writer and everything that goes along with it. It’s just about instilling a habit and becoming better at the activity itself.”
“You still don’t sound very enthusiastic.”
“Well, I mean, sure, I get it - but what will I write about? I mean, I had my novel I was working on, I guess I could dust it off and try to pick it back up again and…”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“What do you mean it doesn’t matter?”
“It doesn’t. It doesn’t matter.”
“Sure seems to me like you say that a lot.”
“Maybe I do.”
“Ha. So I can write about anything?”
“Anything? Anything at all?”
“Of course. You’re the one writing. It’s all in your hands. You’re the one creating. You can create whatever you’d like.”
“But it should have to make sense.”
“I mean, ideally… but no, it doesn’t even have to really.”
“Geez, you’re something else, you know? Aren’t there any rules?”
“Why should there be?”
“Well, what do you mean?”
“I mean, you’re the one who said you wanted to become a writer, right?”
“Yes, why do you keep asking me?”
“Well, I’m just trying to point out that it’s entirely up to you. You can write about whatever you want.”
“Yes, anything.”
“I know. It’s kind of freeing, isn’t it?”
“You know, I’m beginning to think you may be right.”
“Maybe I am.”
“You still don’t look very satisfied. Honestly, sometimes I feel like there’s no pleasing you.”
“I just… I want it to be…”
“No, I told you it doesn’t have to be.”
“But I don’t want to be a bad writer.”
“And you won’t be. Look, look, friend - I said that some of your writing will be bad. Some of all writing is bad. But that doesn’t make you a bad writer. You’re being too hard on yourself. All you need to do is just keep at it. Have consistency. Just try to get out those thousand words a day, and soon you’ll find not only will it stop being bad, and not only will you not be a bad writer, but you’ll start to become a great one.”
“Do you really think so?”
“I do. I know so.”
“Ok. I think I can try it.”
“That’s the spirit! So when are you going to start?”
“Amazing! And what are you going to write about?”
“It doesn’t matter.”