Writers need to pace themselves (or else)

I try to write 100 words a day come hell or high water.

If I were to write more words, my writing career would be compromised. Why? I wouldn’t be pacing myself. I’d be like an old Chevy racing at Daytona and that would mean the engine would soon be toast. Well, not actual toast, but you know what I mean. A blown engine in a Chevy is a bad thing. A worse thing is a blown engine in oneself that happens if you work harder than you should. I’m very superstitious and so I won’t tempt fate by writing 101 words.

I did NaNoWriMo some years ago. I wrote all the words I needed but was a nervous wreck, fast-tracked to boot hill. After doing it, I wondered just what was the rush anyhow. If you take years to complete a novel you have years in which you can hope that reviewers and readers will love it, somebody will nominate it for a Pulitzer Prize, and the movie will bring in $100000000 and a truckload of glamorous movie stars.

If you don’t pace yourself, the book will come out sooner, and all the hope you could have had by writing slowly is suddenly toast. Not actual toast, but you know what I mean. Nobody reads the book and those who don’t read it refuse to write loving but fictitious reviews that say the novel is the best thing since sliced bread.

Another problem with writing too fast is discovering 50,000 words into the book that you’ve written past what your muse told you to write. Now your book–and probably you–is stuck in an Area 51 status which, as we have seen, brings the Feds to your house, and let me clue you in that in these woke times, they’re no longer whistling Dixie. They (the Feds) have hard questions like “when did you realize the novel you were writing was being beamed down from the mother ship?”

You better not respond by saying you just thought your muse had been drinking too much Jolt Cola. Truth be told, a lot of writers drink too way too much Jolt Cola because they think anonymity might be gaining on them. And they’re right because excessive use of Jolt Cola causes them to write really bad stuff like, “I’ve kissed a prince, Mom. I hope it doesn’t turn into a frog.”

Suffice it to say, writers should never exceed the posted speed limit because the grammar police are always hiding behind billboards for Rice Krispies and other innocent products waiting to pull over anyone who seems to be powered by Jolt Cola, a mother ship, delusions of grandeur, or bad writing advice from the dark web.

If you pace yourself, you’ll always be in the clear. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it until I hear a more expedient story.


My only NaNoWriMo book was “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire” (now titled “Investigative Reporter”) and the AudioFile Magazine reviewer said, “a vehicle for sex, cigarettes, steak, and zinfandel.” All good, but it sounds like a review for “Fifty Shades of Grey.”


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