30 Days. 50,000 Words. (2 small children, 1 full time teaching job)
There’s over 200,000 other people trying to do this who can attest to the fact that I’m only partially crazy.
It’s a little daunting to know I’m going to be starting a novel on Tuesday. Not Monday. Tuesday. In the past when I’ve written novels (I’ve started over six and finished three, only one of which is any good), I’ve waited for inspiration to strike, and it’s known to come on any old day of the week, or just as often not come at all. This time around, I guess I’m going to have to do the striking.
My biggest fear isn’t the word count. My biggest fear is a disease well known to novelists the world over, and it goes by different names in different dens, but I like to think of it as “25,000 Word Disenchantment Syndrome.” Side effects include disengagement, frustration, hair wringing, dark circles under eyes, bitterness, and sudden bouts of not finishing what you started. 50,000 words in a month I can do. But can I do it if I decide half way through that what I’m working on is utter bollocks, the likes of which not only doesn’t deserve to see the light of day but doesn’t even deserve to be finished? That remains to be seen.
I take no solace in the fact that Ray Bradbury claims to have written Fahrenheit 451 in less time. And on a rented typewriter. No solace at all. Geniuses do things like that and later pretend like it was simple kismet. Save it, Bradbury. Save it!
No, I take solace in E.L. Doctorow, whose writing I don’t particularly love, though he said something sage once about writing a novel. He said “it’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
Not Monday. Tuesday.