When I started writing, I was very excited about it; I loved the process and felt in my heart that here was something I could be good at. My enthusiasm met very mixed reactions. Some people were excited for me, some had scepticism written all over their faces. Some bluntly told me I was no good.
I spent a good deal of time thinking about what to do. Should I only write in secret? Or stop all together. At first, they were my only options; I don’t have a great deal of self-confidence and in the past backed away from something if someone told me I was incapable of doing it. I am afraid of being laughed at.
This time it felt different. I love the process of writing, and I want to write books and earn a living from it. I then came across this quote. You can’t call yourself an author until you have written one million words. The combined minds of the internet attribute the quote to several authors in several forms. To me, it was the answer to my dilemma. I can tell people I will decide about my ability once I have published one million words.
I now needed a commercial goal. At what point will I have failed commercially? I didn’t want to set a financial target, partly because there are too many variables, partly because I have no direct control over who buys my work. So, I decided on a specific number of books. The number would have to be greater that twelve, because it was going to take me a million words to become competent to write. The first few books might sell a few copies, but probably wouldn’t count toward commercial success. I settled on twenty.
I am sure by now you realise that I think too much and in a rather convoluted way. But I now have an answer for people. I won’t stop writing before I reach one million words and I will have neither succeeded nor failed before I have written twenty books.
The one thing I hadn’t counted on is becoming addicted. Writing is like a drug: the more you do, the more hooked you become. Soon I will have to answer the question, “Can I stop?” I suspect that the answer will be; only with treatment.