Which takes longer? Reading 13 books or writing 1,000,000 words?

On August 22, 2011 by Aimee

If reading that many books would require you to start at age 1 (like this little cutie) … then how about a simpler question:

Which would take longer .. counting to 1,000,000 or writing 1,000,000 words?

Counting for me because I’d be messing up as I hit the first hundred or two hundred thousand numbers. And then I’d get bored and want to count in other ways. Or make up numbers just to break the monotony. You see those numbers are all the same. 1, 2, 3 …10, 20, 30 … repeat, repeat, repeat.

But in fiction, it’s all different. I can use 100,000 different words (probably more like 20,000) to reach 1,000,000. It’s putting them together in a logical and useful order that is the harder part.

Then again … maybe not … let’s dissect this question a bit more.

There is a saying, by some authors and writers that getting published takes 1,000,000 words … meaning it takes 1,000,000 words to have practiced enough, to have understood enough, to have done the right amount of work before getting a book ‘out there’.

Granted, in this day and age of self-publishing and electronic gadgets galore, there is no forced waiting for that moment. One can place words 100, 1000, 10,000 or 100,000 or any number in between ‘out there’.

For me though, I’ve been waiting for, working toward and counting the words to prove I’ve written 1,000,000 words.

That day has come!

To prove it, here are the stories I’ve written or started and the 1st draft word count or the word count where I ended when I quit. I have rounded down in all cases for simplicity.

  • Mirage (a never to be seen again novel) –>  111,000
  • Grace’s Gift (unfinished, never to be attempted again) –> 25,000
  • Two for Tuesday (unfinished, even I got bored with this one) –> 50,000
  • LWL (PUBLISHED!) –> 101,000
  • Mystic Therapy –> 95,000
  • Hide & Seek (coming in March 2012) –> 98,000
  • Late Bloomers (unfinished, may relook at this one!) –> 35,000
  • Do Over –> 96,000
  • First Kisses –> 80,000
  • After Dark –> 85,000
  • Silent Echoes (#2 behind Hide & Seek) –> 92,000
  • Surrender (#2 behind Little White Lies) –> 94,000
  • Misguided (A short with characters from Little White Lies to be published December 2011) –> 9,000
  • Day After (My 2011 Nano project and #2 to After Dark) –> 2000
  • An Anthology that I’ve been working on with a friend under a different pen name –> 12,000
  • Flash fiction and Articles 24,000

That list ads up to:


1,000,000 words written!

Now, if I guesstimate at my 6 years of blogging, that number would increase by probably another 100,000 words. In 2011 alone, at two, 500-words articles a week and 52 weeks, that’s an additional 52,000 words right there. So, I’ve probably been over this number for ages. But that’s okay.

Today is a day for celebration because with the completion of novel #9 last Friday night — August 19, 2011 — I topped my official 1,000,000 word mark.

So … what’s this lovely moment get me?

Nothing much. 🙂 A few pats on the back. A celebratory drink with my hubby and another 500 words blog post to add to my cumulative totals.

Here’s one extra tidbit of trivia for ya.

I started writing that very first novel May 1, 2009. I finished number 9 on August 19, 2011. That’s 1,000,000 words in 2 years, 3 months and 18 days. I won’t count the minutes or seconds because I have no idea what time of day I started that first one.

Suffice it to say: I’m psyched about this little (or huge!) milestone and just had to share it with you.

Have you reached your million?

Here is where the opening question arose: Did you know that the ‘average’ book (middle grades through adult — not counting Dr. Seuss to skew the number) has about 80,000-90,000 words in it? If you’ve read just 13 books, you’ve read the same amount of writing as I’ve produced so far. How many have you read?

Little White Lies by Aimee Laine

Buy it at:
your local bookstore
Barnes & Noble