Last month at the Saturday Writers group here in Des Moines we got to talking about a post from Dean Wesley Smith about pulp speed writing. The gist of the article is this, everyone writes at a pretty much steady speed, so speed writing is not, as critics contend, about sacrificing quality for speed. Rather its about writing more, spending more time in the chair working.
Like Smith, I admire the pulp writers. They worked hard at their craft and they spent hours writing. Many of my favorite science fiction and fantasy authors were enormously prolific. Ray Bradbury, my favorite author, claimed in Zen and the Art of Writing to have written a novel in a week. Given that he penned 27 novels and over 600 short stories in his life, it’s not surprising. Isaac Asimov, another one of my favorites, was published in 9 out of 10 dewey decimal categories.
I am myself moderately prolific, having published four novels last year. I have another four on the table for this upcoming year.
I am considering giving Smith’s approach a try. My goal for the year 2015 is to write a million words, an average of three thousand a day. Can I do it? I’ll keep you posted. I hereby declare this The Year of Writing Dangerously (Fast).