Actually, 1,269,800. That's published in books and stories words. It does not include any blog posts either here or as a guest author on anyone else's blog. It does not include any of my academic writing or letters to friends or posts to Facebook. Nor does it include the dozens upon dozens of stories I've started but not finished.
Nope. That's 1269.8K-- PUBLISHED -- in stories and books since September 2003. That was the month Secret Submission came out as an ebook and launched my career.
And I owe it all to my husband's comment years before that.
I'd been working on a fantasy novel for nearly two decades. I had scraps of it written on all sorts of paper (the back of bank notes, backs of receipts, pieces of cardboard from the paper pads that had run out of paper--whatever was at hand); these all were shoved into a folder in no particular order. In 1991, my daughter was not quite a year old and he looked at our finances (and my mental health) and said, "I don't think you need to get a summer job this year. Why don't you write that book instead?"
I kissed him. Hard. And a lot.
What happened between 1991 and 2003? I learned a lot about writing books. That first novel? The fantasy one (working title: Discoveries)? It's still on my computer at 95K and counting (and no, that number isn't in my one million + figure!). I made a lot of mistakes and to rewrite it would take a great deal of time. Time I'll get too one of these days. :)
I also had another child (who just got married!) and wrote Hardship and Hardtack, a Civil War historical fiction based on the real Lieutenant Richard Bassett and his brother, Erasmus (Rass). That book collected several rejection letters before I self-pubbed it when that option became available (that 68.6K is included in my grand total).
All-in-all, I have written and published 36 titles (short stories, novellas, novels and poems). There are at least 55 stories in my "story starts" file - ranging in length from a few hundred words, to ninety-five thousand. I've written writing workshops and hundreds of blog posts over the years. Maybe someday I'll count all those up, too. Today, however, I'm celebrating!
I broke the one million mark. Here's to the next million!