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Monday, February 8, 2010
Are You Going to Finish That?
Frederick Pohl, the 90-year-old science fiction writer and editor, wrote under a dozen pen names in addition to his own name. He authored more than 30 science fiction novels, five non-fiction books, and countless short stories, articles and essays. He was Isaac Asimov's literary agent and lifelong friend.
He won both the Hugo and Nebula awards (the major, annual awards for the science fiction genre) and edited both Galaxy and If magazines. Obviously, Pohl knows a few things about writing and publishing.
Pohl offers three rules for anyone who wishes to write.
1. Write every day. Yes, that means that you must write 365 days a year. No excuses.
2. Write 600 words a day. If it takes you 45 minutes, fine. You are done for the day. If it takes you 18 hours, fine. That's how long your writing required that day.
3. Finish every piece you start. That way, you never fail as a writer since a writer's only real failure is the abandoned piece.
A finished story, book or article may or may not find a publisher. As such, it may become a disappointment, but it can never be a failure. You completed the piece, and that is its own success.
My first love was reading, and my second love was writing. Deciding how to string words together fascinates me.
My interests and pursuits are wide ranging. I'm a self-employed educational entrepreneur and book packager. During my career I have worked as a consultant, professor, business owner, author and ghostwriter.