Ten Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
June 22, 2012 by Lillie
Excellent advice from Brian Clark. Thank you, Copyblogger!
I have heard that an individual needs to write a million words before they are a really good writer. I’m sure that number varies for different people—some may have more natural talent and can achieve greatness with less practice and others may need to write more. But regardless of whether it’s a million, half a million, two million, or some other number of words, it takes a lot of writing to become a good writer!
Just for fun, I estimated how many words I’ve written.
Published works (total of 314,000 words) include the following:
- Look Beyond Tomorrow, nonfiction, 25,000 words.
- How to Get Started in Network Marketing, nonfiction, 9,000 words.
- Six short how-to ebooks for Your Information Center, average length 7,000 = 42,000.(Three of these ebooks are available from Smashwords.)
- Stroke of Luck, contemporary romance, 73,000 words.
- Trapped by Love, romance novelette, 7,000 words.
- Dream or Destiny, romantic mystery, 86,000 words.
- Self-Publishing Primer, 10,000 words.
- Editing Primer, 5,000 words
- Creating Fictional Characters, 9,000 words
- Fern’s Fancies, contemporary romance, 48,000 words.
Other writing I have done includes the following (total of 165,000 words):
- Research and other papers in high school and college, estimated 40,000 words.
- Employee manual, policy and procedures manuals, and training program for my interior landscape business, estimated 50,000 words.
- Articles for interior landscape industry journals, estimated 5,000 words.
- Articles for newsletters, estimated 20,000 words.
- Manuals, brochures, and other materials for clients, estimated 25,000 words.
- Unfinished manuscripts/works-in-progress, 25,000 words.
So outside of blogging, I’ve written nearly half a million words—only halfway to becoming a great writer. Since my blog posts vary in length and some are videos, guest posts, or thanks to commenters, it’s hard to estimate the total number of words I’ve blogged. However, I think it’s reasonable to guess that I’ve written close to 1000 of the 1223 posts on this blog and that the average length is 500 words. That’s 500,000 words, which added to the other things I’ve written puts me close to a million words. So I should be a great writer by now!
Okay, I did say above that the number of words required to achieve greatness varies. So I may need to write two million words or three million … I’m continuing to write!
How many words have you written?