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Writing

The Pratchett Principle

Sir Pratchette wrote 400 words a day to create Discworld. Imagine what you can do with yours.

400 words a day will get you there.

“For more than three years I wrote more than 400 words every day. I mean, every calendar day. If, in those pre-portable days, I couldn’t get to a keyboard, I wrote hard the previous night and caught up the following day, and if it ever seemed that it was easy to do the average I upped the average.”

Sir Terry Pratchett

Just 400. That’s the deal Sir Terry Pratchett made with himself back when he decided to become a professional writer, back when he still had a day job and all the usual responsibilities that pull us away from creation.

He chose to sit down, no matter how tired he was, and write 400 words.

400 words a day. Do you know how short that is? That’s an average of 3 minutes of talking.You could literally open up an app on your phone and speak 400 words of or about your next story in 3 minutes.

400 words a day.

Sir Terry worked his way from that to Discworld. He worked his way from that to 34 books.

400 words a day. They don’t have to be good words. DO NOT EDIT THEM while you’re writing them. Get to 400 first before going back or you’ll get stuck in an editing loop.

You can do this, fellow writer. Sit down today, write your 400 words, and know that you’re on your way to making your world.

By Ruthanne Reid

Ruthanne Reid is one of those pesky fanfiction authors who made good, and thus eschews most labels. Except for being a Generation X-er (or maybe Xennial, according to some guy’s webpage), a musician who loves music but also carries a ton of baggage about it, a self-taught graphic artist who designs her own covers, a spoonie who wrestles Fibromyalgia not unlike yon Hercules and the Nemean lion, a Christian who hesitates to use the word because too many of them are crazy but Jesus is pretty great, a rabid shipper who’s too smart to lay out precisely which ships because of the wars, and an avid reader when she isn’t busy caretaking for some pretty ill folks.

You know. Unlabelable.

Currently a resident of Long Island City and a loving mommy to one current cat and numerous future ones, Ruthanne is happily married to a fellow geek who loves good stories and great games as much as she does. Between the two of them, they own a lot of things that need to be plugged in.

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