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Words, Words, Words -- Writer's Poke #142

For writers:

I understand the value of deadlines, but what place do deadlines have for the artist?

One writer I know made herself write at least 3,000 words per day. She would say, "I've got three weeks to meet my deadline, so I've got to crank out 60,000 words." On the one hand, I appreciate her effort. She's taken an assignment, and she's broken it down into daily chunks. And assuming she stays on task, she will meet her objective.

The problem I have is this: her objective is quantity, not quality. Seemingly nowhere in her thought process is: "I have to write 3,000 quality words." The objective is just to fill pages, and that's what makes this writer a hack. Her goal isn't to make art, but to make deadlines.

When is it okay to be a sell out? When have you sold out, and did you regret doing so?

"Bad art is a great deal worse than no art at all." -- Oscar Wilde


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