Writer’s Log: 2500 – one quarter complete

In my endeavor to learn to write well, I’ve fixated on Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hours to expert” theme.

Thus far I calculate I’ve spent 2500 hours on the task. How many words might that be? Four hundred thousand could get me close.

Regardless, the journey has presented numerous obstacles, time, or the lack thereof, being the most egregious. Had I the time, I’d have applied myself tenfold.

Creative energy certainly offers a close second. A writer writes, they say. Well, a slave slaves. A programmer programs, a father fathers, a husband husbands and so it goes. What is left for writing after such a list?

No little distraction includes my infected life’s philosophy. As a self-professed existential Nihilist, what is the point in learning to write well? A rhetorical question. From this perspective there is no valid answer. To forge through is not an option. Around is the only path.

And so around we went. And here we are, 2500 hours complete. Was there nothing learned, gained, accomplished. A few things come to mind:

  • Do more with less. Err with too few.
  • Passive kills the energy.
  • A square block of text is a visual turnoff. It need not be read, its presence on the page cripples the reader.
  • Conflict, always. A constant struggle for me.
  • Any critique is worth understanding.

Accomplishments? Aside from two early, sophomoric novels, not much more than fragments. But in those fragments, some polish could be detected, some self-satisfaction. Write for yourself and you’ll never disappoint. What starving baker wouldn’t eat their own failed cake?

Future? At this rate the next 2500 hours will take years and years. 10,000? Yeah, right.


22 thoughts on “Writer’s Log: 2500 – one quarter complete

  1. I could try to calculate how many hours I’ve put in so far, but my math is terrible. Probably too many to count, and not enough to matter, lol. At any rate, I like your writing and don’t think it needs anywhere near the editing that others have suggested:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t heard about the 10K hour thing, but I know it took me 13 years to publish my first book, and I thought I knew how to write when I began my apprenticeship. Pity how-to manuals never hit the bestseller lists.
    Seriously? Your goal should be to become the best writer you are capable of being, which involves learning and refining your craft until the day you die. From that perspective, you will have notched up far more than 10K hours so stop worrying. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I don’t stress over it. It’s just a curiosity, a pastime to wonder if there’s anything to it.
      All my stress is directed toward my job, which I hate and the sector it does business in, which I despise.
      Other than that… It’s like anything, a million variations of the same ol’ story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah… yes. Writing can be cathartic. Perhaps write about the things you hate, and why you hate them. Those writings need never see the light of day, but they can act as a safety valve. :/

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Is it safe to assume that you log the time spent on writing by the hour? Or a half-hour? Or do you do smaller increments? Do you always write for as long as you set out to, or do you ever get interrupted? I wondered how long it took you to get here (yes, 2,500 hours but throughout… months? years?) but if you say that to get the other 3 parts of the pie would take years and years… Good luck!

    Some things just are not meant to be, it seems.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your only issue is a refusal to adopt (learn) the concept of editing content for cohesion (forget grammar).Your constant quest for the “it” that will magically make everything gel is a waste of fucking precious time. No shit, really, Learn. To. Edit. Or buy Pro Writing Aid and have arguments with it. Yes, it’s boring. It forces you to look at your work. But what’s worse, looking for the Holy Grail of writing advice or being able to see junk on the page and the satisfaction of fixing it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A bit of philosophical sleight of hand here – “Creative energy certainly offers a close second. A writer writes, they say. Well, a slave slaves. A programmer programs, a father fathers, a husband husbands and so it goes. What is left for writing after such a list?”

      Argue for your limitations and they are yours.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Another bullet point to own: cognitive inability. There exists a spectrum of intelligence, and no doubt Y-axis variations in disciplines along that spectrum, a grid. It’s entirely possible I just ‘can’t’ see these incoherences.
        A scattered mind produces scattered thoughts, upon reflection look normal. To an outsider, they’re just scattered.
        I am my failures, my failure are me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There is mere separation of self involved. I do the same things. This here, danglers, oops, this goes up here. Like you do with code, look at every line. Read your work looking for clams. And it’s a learned skill. Step back from “your creation” without any love for it. I say this over and over – one sentence at a time.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. You get paid to Program. So, Programming relates to your very survival and has a purpose. Writing? Conflict? Yeah. I’m meditating on removing conflict from my life, so I’m focused on the infinite Void. I want to invite conflict back? No one’s paying me to write (anymore). So I take a deep breath…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would think even an existential Nihilist would get satisfaction from accomplishments. Maybe the accomplishment and satisfaction are meaningless, but nevertheless the emotion is there.

    I’m with you on more being less. (Or is it less being more?) A lot of fiction is just too verbose.

    The square block of text is definitely a turn off for online text (particularly blog posts and comments). But it doesn’t seem like much of an issue in actual books (even in ebooks). In “Self Editing for Fiction Writers” (highly recommended), the authors point out that paragraph size can be used to control the pacing in a book, with longer paragraphs slowing it down, and shorter ones speeding it up.

    Conflict is the big one. Although it seems like it can often be mild. Just about every scene in the movie Apollo 13 has conflict, but very little of it is internecine. Most of it is just to make the conversations more interesting than polite competent people talking with each other politely and competently.

    Anyway, 2500 hours is a lot more than I have, at least for fiction writing. So you’re well ahead of me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d written a 10 word sentence with the theme of do more by doing less. And so its whittled version resulted in not quite my message, ironically.
      Do more with less was my intent, which, thankfully came across. Be terse, but precise might work as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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