A Million Words

Apparently the author Ray Bradbury once said something along the lines of every writer needing to write one million words before they’d write anything decent. He might not have actually said this at all, but the internet believes that he did and that’s just as good as a fact.

I’ve alway thought it would nice to be a good writer, so I obviously need to get to the million word mark. First of all, let’s work out where I am at the moment. I have made 21,055 tweets on Twitter. Let’s assume an average of 100 characters, and that a word has an average of 6 characters. 21,055/100 * 6. That’s over 350,000 words right there. Let’s assume another 50,000 on various essays, unfunny blog posts, articles for ropey student publications, begging letters, etc. That’s only 600,000 words to go!

Possibly because it’s not really clear that he said it at all, no-one seems to mention if Bradbury was any more specific than “a million words”. Do they all need to be different words? Presumably not, as even with a thesaurus you’d still end up having to list a lot of medical conditions. Or possibly switch languages every so often. Maybe you can cheat and just write “A a a a a a a a a…” until you have written the word “a” one million times. If that’s not enough variation you could just count up to one million, although that might get confusing as numbers like “one hundred and four” have four numbers in so you would get to a million before you got to a million and the whole thing would be an aesthetic mess.

Perhaps the best solution would be to buy lots of Ray Bradbury books and just copy them out onto your computer until you hit a word count of one million. This is ideal as a) since all the words after that are supposed to be better you are guaranteed to be a better writer than Ray Bradbury, who has published a lot of books which caused him to make “mad bank” and b) because it will annoy Rad Bradbury who is old and mental and thinks the film Farenheit 9/11 ripped off his book Farenheit 452 which is stupid because Farenheit 9/11 is about a big fat man pretending to cry.

I can’t really be bothered to find some Ray Bradbury books but I have read some of them so I will attempt to reproduce what I remember in order to get a little bit closer to one million:

‘What do you mean, the President is a butterfly?’, asked the man who was burning all the books in a fire.

It turns out I don’t really remember very much about Ray Bradbury. Oh well. Only 599,563 to go!

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