The Difference Between an Amateur and a Professional Author

I Write Daily and I Have a Word Count Goal

By John Irvin

            Ever since I started writing at the age of 14, I would only write when I felt like it. Here a little, there a little. If I felt like finishing a book, I’d cram in several hours then wait weeks or even months to start a new book.

            But one day, a couple years ago, I read this quote by someone I forget, “The difference between an amateur and a professional is to write every single day whether you feel like it or not.” I may be paraphrasing, but I write the point I’m trying to get across.

Even a simple journal entry can be considered writing for a day.

            Now, I write every single day—yes, there are those days I can’t get in any writing in a book. But even a simple journey entry can be considered writing for the day.

            When it comes to writing first drafts—this is my favourite stage of writing a book, I’ve found. That and holding the published version in my hands—but even then, after 23 books now, when I’m holding my newest publication I feel more like, okay, what’s next?

            Back to first drafts, I try to get a 2,500 to 3,000 word count in per day. Yes, it is doable! Depending on writing speed, it could be anywhere between thirty minutes to 2 hours. My time varies from day to day so this works out usually.

            Every writer has their own set goal. Edgar Allen Poe required of himself 500 words per day, no more, no less. How on earth he was able to get by on that, I’ll never know. To each their own, I guess.

            For me, I have to have at least 2,500 or I get this anxious sense I’ve wasted a writing session. But, I think this is just one of my demons taunting me, trying to discourage and depress me on my journey.

            Even ten words is an accomplishment—it’s more than most get down.

            The point is, get those words down every day! No matter how you feel—sometimes you’ll feel like you’re on a great adventure, exploring the worlds within you. Other days you’ll feel like crap, like your fingers are just plucking those keys, scraping the words out of the muck at the bottom of the barrel.

            In time, if you keep going, keep pushing, you’ll reach the finish. The goal is what you want to make. If you make more one day, pat yourself on the back, but make sure you don’t allow yourself to slack off the next day.

If you keep pushing, you’ll reach the finish.

            Life happens, sometimes you are just unable to make the goal on a day. Make it up the next day? Or just move on, whatever you do, don’t wallow.

            Presently, I’m about a fourth of the way through Book 4, When Nights Bleed, in my Magic’s Time Split series. It’s fun, but it’s also a struggle keeping up with the time limit I’ve placed on myself.

            I shipped off my manuscript for Book 2, Independence, in my Longevity series to a professional editor. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear back from them. What’s worse, I also sent Book 1, Revelation, off to the American Wholesale Book Company for approval from Books-A-Million for in-store sales.

            I feel like I sent out my child for his first stage performance. Will they accept him or reject him?

            If you’d like to help me out, order your copy here: LONGEVITY: REVELATION read it, then write a review on its Amazon page to boost its credibility. If you are able, thank you so much! You don’t know how sincere I am when I say that—because you don’t know how much your purchases and reviews actually help!

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