I was listening the Freedom Fast Lane podcast the other day, and a few lessons that have been lurking in the darkness below finally came to the surface. The host, Ryan, leans a bit more conservative that I’m completely comfortable with, but he has the right motivations, in that he ultimately seeks to provide value for his customers. Nothing that he does is for a quick buck at someone else’s expense. He is what capitalism should be. It gives me hope for the future of the USA.
The first lesson was a question of “why do you do it”. Why do I write? What is my end purpose? The short version is that I write because I want to impart my knowledge onto others, so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did.
Now I know that everyone needs to learn things for themselves, but if some people can learn things faster and even slightly less painfully that I did, then it will all be worth it. I seek to embed life lessons for how people should behave into my books, without the reader noticing at the time. It must be unnoticed by the reader, because you are much less likely to believe a lesson if you know someone is preaching at you.
Now you know my evil plan.
The second lesson is that you’ll never make 100 million dollars next year if you’re spending all of your time trying to make 1 million dollars this year. Now I don’t expect to make 100 million right away, but if I’m planning on that kind of scale, then I’m much more likely to make 20 or 30 million.
I don’t even expect to make a million over 10 years, but the main point is that I need to plan my production and shoot for what I really would like. He posed the question “if you had a magic wand and could achieve any goal, what would it be?”
That one got me thinking. What do I want to produce? How many books do I want to write? How many words do I need to write each day in order to meet that goal?
I said to myself “I want to write 5 books every year.” I meant that as a crazy huge number, something way beyond my capability. Then I started running the numbers, and the results surprised me. I can do it, and without too much change to my life!
If I write 1,000 words per day each weekday, that’s 5,000 words per week, and if we assume 50 work weeks per year that’s 250,000 words. 50,000 words is very respectable for a short novel, and would mean 5 books in a year!
I’ve found that I can write about 500 words in an hour, and I’ve been working an hour per day, so if I double that for weekdays, then I can totally do that. Granted, that doesn’t take into account editing, but I still have the weekends, and if I write 4 books per year that’s still awesome. So I’ve started writing for 2 hours per day as of this last Monday. I get up at 5am and walk on the treadmill and write. I have a board across the arms of the treadmill where I sit my laptop, and I only walk at 2-3 miles-per-hour, so I can easily work. I do the same thing after I get home from work, so now I have my two hours per day, and still get lots of exercise.
It does mean that my only running days are on weekends, which is a significant blow to my identity. I’ve been a runner for 20 years.
That’s crazy even as I just read those words. But you know what, I really want to be a writer, and now I am a writer. 4-6 miles per day, even walking, is still very respectable.
I’m really happy with all this. It’s possible. I can do it. I am doing it.