Can you improve as a writer by writing a certain amount of words every day? I have heard this advice over the years or read this advice over the years. I remember Ray Bradbury in particular. I think he was encouraging a thousand words a day. There are other great writers that said similar things. The problem is in this equation is that these writers usually were very well educated, really well grounded in the classics, and they had. A much deeper well of inspiration than most of us do today, I think.
That that time, if you were going for a thousand words a day, I think a lot of that time would be better spent reading great writing or great poetry. There has to be some source of inspiration. There has to be some sort of background. And without it, then if your background is only, oh, I don’t know, newspapers today and blog posts like mine, if you’re not reading Melville and Conrad and Tolstoy and wanting to read those writers, Huxley I.
Your exposure to beautiful writing and beautiful turn of phrases, turns of phrases is going to be limited to none. And so. Your thousand words a day may just be. Reciting from a very limited vocabulary. I think it’s a well, let’s back up. If you are having to write, if you’re forcing yourself to write a thousand words today, then something right there and then is. Questionable, you, as a writer, like a bird, has to sing, you probably writing already.
I don’t play guitar, but I follow some guitar guitar players on YouTube and they want to practice. They want to play and no encouragement needed. I know in the third grade I tried to play violin. I was encouraged by my dad, thought a good idea at the time, had no interest in it. Learn to hate it more than anything else. I really wasn’t drawn to it. And so starting at the beginning, I think you have to want to write to begin the process at all.
If if you do find yourself naturally drawn to writing rather than that thousand words a day thing, I think. Direction is better and you can come up with any number of exercises on your own, try to write 750 words without any commas that will force you into thinking and looking at things differently, really practice journalism or newspaper openings in the old style, who, what, where, when, why, how. And you can look at any news report and try to rewrite what they’ve done and make it better.
And that can all lead into. I really encourage people that want to get into writing to get a relation going with a local newspaper, especially a weekly and. It’s take a look at how that’s done, because what happens is if you get on with the newspaper, even as a freelancer, even if you’re paid very little, you will be under deadline and you will be under somewhat of a style restriction. And that will help you improve much more than directionless writing, just simply writing to write.
You’re just going to be repeating your own thoughts. And that’s another. Speaking of deadline, if you’re going to do this thousand seven hundred fifty words, then try a complex story that probably needs three thousand words and put it into seven hundred and fifty or. You’re going to do a thousand words, try to do something in a half an hour. Something really readable, somewhat polished that quickly direction, writing with direction, but I’m not I’m not trying to organize your life.
I’m I’m just I think we’ll get back to what I think the question is originally is, does writing a certain amount of every day help you? And I think, again, you would be better spent. These writers encouraging it, had a great background in the classics. And I think that’s the missing part of the equation when they give that advice. So good luck to you and your reading and especially Conrad. Talk to you soon.