One Million Words – Four Years Later

Four years ago, back in the days when I was on blogger, I wrote a post called “The Weight of One Million Words.”  In it, I wrote about Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that if you do anything for 10,000 hours, you’ll become an expert.  In writing terms, that’s often translated to 1,000,000 words.  Back in 2010, I calculated that I had written a million words already and I was hoping that meant I was finally ready to reach the next level.

I guess I wasn’t too far off the mark.  At the end of 2010, I got sick.  Sick enough to be off of work for long enough that I eventually didn’t have a job to go back to (Don’t worry, I’m fine!). And while I was stuck at home, unable to do a whole lot, I got the inspiration to write a book.  Or more accurately a new version of an old book.  And that’s the book that got me super-agent Laura Bradford.

Since 2010, I’ve written, rewritten, edited, and re-edited.  I’ve taken a job as a professional freelancer and left that job.  I’ve blogged, I’ve guest blogged.  I wrote some more.  I thought about writing at inappropriate times.

After poking around my hard drive for a bit, I was able to get a rough total of what I’d written since January 25, 2010.  Turns out, it’s right around another million words.  Some really incredible things have happened in my writing life since the last time I took stock, and right now I stand on the precipice of even more.

Was one million words the secret? Not in a magical incantation kind of way.  But in terms of prioritizing writing and writing as much as I can, yeah, it was the secret.

Two million words might seem like I’m standing on top of a mountain, but in reality I know I’m just in the foothills of the Himalayas*.  I’ve got a faithful team of sherpas to help me and I am raring to get climbing!


– Liz


* Note: This is the closest I would ever even dream of getting to the Himalayas. I’ve watched those shows. I don’t go places with an official Death Zone.




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3 Responses to “One Million Words – Four Years Later”

  1. Tiffany says:

    So Very excited to see some portion of those million words in print. No ebooks for this girl here, I want to hold that pretty purple wonder in my own two hands. Can’t wait!

  2. Karen Newmark says:

    So proud and impressed, Liz. What a fine example you are for your
    Hope this will inspire your super talented cousin, Kate, to put her
    writing out there more. After all, she got into about 6 MFA programs with her writing.
    Love to you and your whole family.

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