Can I publish one million words before the end of 2020?

One Million Words

What does one million (1,000,000) words look like? How long would it  take to publish that much work? Is it a meaningful target to aim at or merely an aspiration, never to be achieved? As regular visitors know I like to targets to help me get a sense of progress through the year. Can I aim for something larger over a longer timescale?

What does one million words look like?

William Shakespeare is said to have written 884,647 words (according to the Folger Shakespeare Library) and 118,406 lines. In comparison, Dame Barbara Cartland wrote some 700 books; taking those at 50,000 words each gives an astonishing 35 million words!

How many words have I published?

So far on Kindle I have three lots of short stories published at just over 25,600 words. This is around 2.5% of one million. I said published, not written. I hope to get to at least 40,000 words this year but have well around 150,000 words in uncorrected / unfinished book drafts lying around. Winning NaNoWriMo each year can give you 50,000 words in stock. I don’t want to measure those, I want published words.

What might I achieve by the end of 2020?

Counting 2015 – 2020 gives six years. If I can get 75,000 words published in each of those years it would yield 450,000 words. Add in this year and I get just shy of half a million. The full million is a stretch and that’s what I need. Certainly my first 100,000 words could happen in 2015 and I need to get more productive.

How will I monitor progress?

Every year or when something sizeable changes I will report progress. I may also set a meter tracking the total words on my front page. If nothing else the exercise will give me some focus;-)

Do you set targets in this way? Let me know.


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