The value of every word

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
—Linkin Park

The 2000s were a horrible decade for me, personally, professionally and creatively. I lost several jobs, lost my place to live twice and after finishing Between Heaven and Hell in 1997, "Do Over!" in 1998 and the "In shining Armor" screenplay in 1999, I didn’t finish another work of fiction until the very last month of the decade, December of 2009 with the first draft of Revelation.

And yet, I grew more as a writer in the 2000s than any other time in my life.

My single biggest lesson of the decade in terms of writing is that all writing counts. All of it, anything you can do helps you grow and develop. While I didn’t finish much in the 2000s, I wrote 80,000 words of the sequel to BHH, a story that will now be modified as book four of the Unification Chronicles. I wrote 60,000 words on Homeworld, my Mars novel. But the real kicker is that I wrote half a million words of nonfiction between my various blogs and freelance work for other sites. and coming back to fiction after my "lost decade," it’s amazing how much better my prose is because of writing all that nonfiction.

Words are words, people. Everything you write makes you better. Every word. And this lesson is what makes it possible for me to give away a seven book series in Unification Chronicles. because even if these books don’t get published in the traditional sense—and keep in mind I very much intend to get my later work published traditionally—they still make me better as a writer just by writing them.

Not a single word you write is ever wasted, published or not. It all helps you learn the craft. it all teaches you. It all increases your mastery of language. So write as much as you can, as often as you can. Don’t worry about marketability, don’t worry about selling, just write. It’s all worth it, especially if you’re lost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *