This is so true, and eye opening. I never really thought about those first drafts of books, stupid, odd plots, and the first really crappy years of writing was me trying to find my style. I still am, because I don’t think I have made it to a “million words.” Read this post!

T. James Moore

I have heard it said, or more likely I have read, that we writers don’t find our voice until we’ve written one million words.

The first five times I read this it didn’t sink in.  I read “million words” and thought ‘it will take me forever to write a million words – I’m just not going to worry about it.’  But you know what I did worry about?  For the last twenty years I have lamented the fact that I did not have a real, independent and bona fide style.  I had no idea where this ‘style’ thing came from, how my favorite writers got it, why I couldn’t find it.  I was like David Banner trying to discover the answer to the tragedy of why I couldn’t make an important difference when things depended on it.  But even then I was no closer to becoming the Hulk.

For writers…

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  1. Wow, this IS really good. I’ve heard the ‘million words’ idea before — and every time I’m reminded of it, I find it helpful — but it’s great to be reminded that everything you do helps, and that if you feel like you’re lost in your writing and can’t remember who you are as a writer, it’s because you’re not writing enough.

    Also, realizing that if you haven’t hit your million words yet, you really are free to play around and try things. Somehow I always have trouble giving myself permission to just ‘doodle’ with writing.

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