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1 million words in 2009 or Damn, I need to acquire some writing discipline

by Jan 28, 2009My Writing, On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, The Love of Three Oranges, The Trading Assistant's Assistant, Works in Progress0 comments

There was an article that I read somewhere that I didn’t care enough to take note of where it was that said that the English language would reach 1 million words in 2009. Oh, fine, you guilt-ed me into looking it up. Here is the article.

Because there is something wrong with me, I read that and my first thought was, “I should make that my new writing goal.” Yes, Hillary. You failed to even complete 50,000 words this year during NaNoWriMo (yeah, notice how I’ve been real quiet about that? It’s a sore issue, we’ll get to it later.) For those of you playing along at home, 1 million words in a year means writing about 2,740 words a day, 19,230 words a week or 83,333 words a month. Yeah, that is like 20 NaNoWriMos in less than 20 months. In short, that is insane.

I wrestled with the idea for a few days and then finally decided that, even if I were to count all my blog posts, this was still insane and I should drop this idea. This was a rare moment of sanity from me and I think shows growth.

Of course, however, some of my writing buddies that I follow online had the same idea and are actually doing it. We aren’t even done with January and quite a few of them are finished with 100,000 words or more. I would love to say that they make me sick but, frankly, I am jealous. Every book about writing that I have ever read makes it clear that the most important thing is discipline and making time to write every single day. Dude, I don’t have time to sleep every single day so I am definitely not writing every day. The only reason The Whine Seller is a mostly daily blog is because I write a week’s worth of posts in advance and just schedule them to post one a day. But I really should be writing every day and that is the problem.

It all comes down to discipline though, in my case, a little time management wouldn’t hurt. I am becoming convinced that I should be able to work less than I do if I just order my work better. I’m not saying I am ever going to have gobs of free time but I think I could have less, OMG OMG days.

I was thinking of setting myself a 250,000 words in 2009 which is a far more conservation estimate but then I decided instead to just make a list of projects and go with that instead of word count. Ready for the list?

My writing goals for 2009 are:

  • Finish that damn novel I have been working on forever. You know the one.
  • re-write and start to send out to agents/publishers a children’s story I wrote 3 years ago and only just found in a pile of junk on my desk while cleaning
  • Type up and polish the play I wrote, by hand, in a crazed fit in the middle of the night like a nutcase
  • Re-do The Love of Three Oranges into the long awaiting school age version (that people have been begging me for for years)
  • The podcast of The Author (about 1/3 done and sounding really awesome!)
  • Do the newest edition of The Trading Assistant’s Assistant and podcast of that
  • Complete both Script Frenzy 2009 (for which I have a really awesome idea for a play that I haven’t told anyone about besides Jill who told me it sounded cool though, to be fair, she is one of my best friends so what else was she going to say?) and NaNoWriMo 2009

Yes, this is a tall order. But I also think its a do-able order. I just need to kick my butt into gear.

What do you think? Impossible or possible?



  1. Hillary » Looking back on past writing goals and tweaking them for the future - [...] was going through old blog posts the other day and I came across a post called 1 million words…

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About the Author

Hillary DePiano is a playwright, fiction and non-fiction writer who loves writing of all kinds except for writing bios like this.


The original “fairy tale on crack”!

Forget all your dusty misconceptions about the traditions of commedia dell’arte as Hillary DePiano's The Love of Three Oranges, based on a scenario by Carlo Gozzi, provides a wild, raucous slapstick comedy that is completely retooled and revised for today’s audiences.

Now available as both a full length and one act play.

Books and Plays by Hillary DePiano


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