When I was younger, my dad would try and get me to read what he loved reading: The Bible and specifically, Eschatology. At ages eight through ten, I could barely pronounce the later, let alone have any interest in reading it.
In seventh grade (12yrs old) we were living as missionaries in Holland. One Sunday our family was visiting a church. The old, brick building church had a small library and that Sunday the library was having an even smaller book sale.
One of the books for sale was a novel titled, “Lilith” by George MacDonald. My first thought was, how strange for a book sale in Holland to have a book completely in English and not the mother language of Dutch. My second thought was amazement at the cover. The cover had fantastical creatures and the like; something that got my imagination going and made me want to read it (exact cover below).
But the second book combined with the first is all it took for me to fall in love with the wonderful world of speculative writing and start reading around six to ten books a year. Thus, in the years since the early 1980’s, I’ve read my fair share of made-up worlds and fantastical magic.
Magic, isn’t only found in the words we read from others. We as writers have the ability for magic every time we sit down and add new words to the paper.
Without trying to sound sacrilegious, we as writers come incredibly close to divinity — while maintaining our mortality and humility — every time new words are put in a new order and context.
WHY I WRITE #85
Because creating something that didn’t exist before is as close to magic as I’ll ever get .
If we as writers can create magic every time we write, shouldn’t we do this every day? How does one perform these feats each and every day?
Answer: By setting a goal of writing 1,000 new words a day, and meeting that goal.
From the literally hundreds of books on Writing I’ve read, one common theme in many of them, is the 1,000 words per day habit. There is something magical about 1,000 new words a day. There is something that seems to create itself out of nothing some 30, 60 or 90 days later. When we suddenly have 30K, 60K and 90K new words written, we look back and ask ourselves, “How did that happen?”.
Ninety thousand words is more than an adequate novel length (or 10 to 30+ short stories). . .and in only 90-days!!
Set the goal.
Practice your magic.
Write 1,000 new words today and see what magically appears.
Side note: The first magical book was State-side and was “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” by Madeleine L’Engle. In sixth grade, the school library was having a sale and that is where I found this book. I didn’t know I was reading the book out of order or that it was part of a series. All I remember was a cover with a boy on a Pegasus flying through the clouds, being chased by demons.
As a sixth grade boy, it was the perfect cover to pique my interest. Too bad the 2010 reprint cover is bland and uninspiring.