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Halfway there! And still livin’ on a prayer

on October 5th, 2010 by Shannon

I know I’m late to the party, but I just came across an interesting statistic – the average writer will write 1 million words before they are published.

1 million.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to see how I matched up, seven and a half years into this crazy dream of mine – that being the time before my 30th birthday when I took a good, hard look at myself and knew that if I didn’t write a book now (or then) I was never going to do it.

Well, now I’ve written five. Or six if you count the novella I wrote for my second year of Nano which alternated chapters of a fake mystery involving adult film star Silky Maine and a family roman a clef that I promised my husband will never see the light of day. Add to that 3 middle-grade novels, one novel of gothic suspense, and one of psychological suspense, and the grand total of noveling words is . . .((drumroll)) . . .

367,000!

I was both humbled and disappointed with that number. Humbled because when I pulled out the computer and sat down to write those many years ago, I had no idea if I’d ever finish a chapter, much less a whole novel, much less 6. So, yay me! I’m more stubborn than even my husband suspected.

And disappointed that I had oh, so many more to go. Now, I realize this is just a guideline. But still, I would have liked to see a big number there. On a billboard maybe,  surrounded by theater lights. 367,000 is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s much lower than my credit score.  Just saying.

But then, eureka! I remembered my short stories. And – and this should give you some idea of my level of OCD when it comes to these things – I went back through my files and jotted down the word count for every short story I’ve ever written. But only the finished ones. And only a single draft of each.

Which amounted to 51 stories, 16 of which have been published (see links at right), for a grand total of  . . .((more drumroll)) . . .

68,145!

An even smaller number. But still. 51 stories! That’s an accomplishment. And I can’t help it if I’m succinct. After all, brevity is an art unto itself.

Which, if you’ve been keeping up, brings my grand total of written words to 435,150.

And that means I’m almost halfway there! Anyone else feel like singing Bon Jovi with me?

*Note: I only included one draft of each novel and story. There’s no telling  how many darlings I’ve written and then murdered in revision. Only the survivors can be counted.

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