1500 Words

Now that we have finished planting and are about caught up with the crop spraying, I’ve had more time to catch up on my reading. It may shock many of you, but I don’t subscribe to any geek magazines anymore. I think there is a DB2 magazine that keep showing up, but that is only because I haven’t figured out how to get myself off it. Hell, I’m not even certain why I started receiving it, but I believe it had something to do with my days of subscribing to DevCon for my OS/2 development.

Much of the reading I’ve been catching up on has to do with the writing magazines I receive. I actually pay for these magazines, unlike the vast majority of geek magazines I used to receive. When you take the time to pay for a magazine in this day and age, it means that you actually read it…or that you are in that financial world which spends $20 million per year on “entertainment and living” expenses and simply can’t keep track of all the $20 magazine subscriptions you have floating around the world.

I have noticed one thing which strikes me as quite odd in all of this reading. The bulk of the “successful author” interviews I’ve been reading talk about how they force themselves to write 1500 words per day when they are writing. What struck me as odd is that so many seem to be tossing out this exact number. It is almost as if the magazines themselves agreed on that number and stick it into every interview article. Perhaps these writers don’t partake of nicotine, caffeine and booze? Mayhap the publishing industry won’t exist if they raise taxes on any of these. Okay, they can raise taxes on coffee all they want since that is the beverage of the damned, but not the other sources of caffeine. We’ve all read the statements and seen the television commercials which talk about how Hemingway was “at his best in the morning”. If you actually read up about Hemingway you will find that he was thought/known to be an alcoholic and that he smoked various forms of tobacco. The TV commercials simply didn’t finish out the sentence: “Hemingway was at his best in the morning when he was imbibing caffeine and nicotine to get rid of the hang over.”

Back in mid-April I gave up on the nicotine, not because it was ruining my life or health, but because they jacked the tax on it yet again. (See blog about Holier Than Thou Tax.) I have noticed that my writing, when I have time to write, doesn’t come as easily without it. Oh, I have things to say, but I simply can’t “chase a roll”. When I was writing “The Minimum You Need to Know to Be An Application Developer” it was nothing for me to write 18-26 hours at a stretch. I’m working on four books right now and haven’t managed to put more than a four hour stretch into any of them. I have to jump to a different project rather than chase a roll.

What really strikes me about 1500 word comment is how unrealistic it sounds. Just a little while ago I completed the blog entry “Book Publishing and the Porn Industry”. According to OpenOffice the article weighed in around 1300 words. I didn’t spend 45 minutes on the thing. (Yes, I have to use OpenOffice for blog entries because Lotus Symphony doesn’t have a plug-in to publish directly to my Blog.) This article will weigh in at more than a few hundred. The question which keeps haunting my mind is “Do they hate what they are writing or is it simply because they cannot type?”