Write a million words. Your first million is practice.
Hugh Howey‘s response:
This is so difficult to appreciate and even harder to do. Writing a novel is such a brutal undertaking, something we dream about but put off for years and years, that when we finally succeed, to say that this was nothing more than “practice” is heart-rending.
After three years and four drafts, I have now written 986,000 words in these two novels. Ah, and I see that I’ve got a file called unused_chapters.txt with another 43,901 words. Throw in one or two short stories, and I’m just past the 1.1 x 106 mark.
Now I’m ready to write for real.
(and now, an image of a man standing next to one million pennies.)