There's a number floating in the Noosphere, and no, it isn't a DBZ quote, but for all of you in the know, it is ONE MILLION.
Yes, that's right. One Million means a lot not only to Goku, but to writers as well. The theory goes, "If you're an aspiring writer, don't expect to become even remotely competent until you write ONE MILLION words."
It sounds arbitrary and demeaning, right? So I thought, too, but there it has a certain logic. I appreciate it.
This is the time to work out all the kinks in your writing. To get over the self-important nonsense that you dreamed of championing. To get to the point where you actually want to be understood and encouraged by your progress. This is the point where you feel like you're no longer a beginner. This is the point where you can start taking yourself very seriously.
Well, I've just made it to the 400K mark, which means I'm still unprofessional and still unpaid, but I do have the weight of momentum behind me and a dedication to sitting down every day and making something come alive. It feels very good. Hell, it feels fantastic, but I'm not going to assume that I'm a competent writer. Not yet. I'm going to keep working at the craft and discover even more interesting vistas in my novel writing.
Most of this will never see the published light of day, of course, but I still feel as if I've broken through to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL! Da, da, da, daaaaaa!
Maybe one day I'll be about ready to take on Frieza. Without the filler episodes, tyvm. ;)