Next week I’m going to live my dream. Starting Monday, I begin a full-time effort to finish my novel for the next 90 days. This is meaningful for several reasons.
1. If you’ve ever called yourself a writer, or simply love to write, or want to write a book one day, and have any respect for the profound and tortured experience of not having time to, but wanting to, pen a novel, you’ll understand that having the next 3 months to do just that is truly an extraordinary gift.
2. For me personally, I’ve been whining about “wanting to write” for as long as I can remember. This is frightening because now I can. Now, I have NO excuse for why I’m not doing what I claim desperately to want to do. Gulp.
3. Three months MAY seem like a long time if you’re NaNoWriMo Craaazy. Those folks take on the challenge of writing an entire book in just 30 short days during my birth month, November. If they can do it, I can do something over the next several months. So the question is, how much can I get done in the next 90 days, with nothing holding me back but some final summer law classes, some fear, and a dash of lack of discipline?
So what’s my plan? Is a plan even necessary? Larry Brooks of Storyfix.com will tell you that a plan and an outline are absolutely necessary elements to writing the best book possible. Many others would agree. And though I’ve bucked and reared under the saddle of the “outline” approach, I’ve found that it IS helpful. At least I know where I want to go. So let’s see how I get there.
Aside from outlining, one writer friend, the accomplished bestseller Eileen Goudge, told me this:
1. Set a writing schedule for yourself.
2. Write at least a little bit every single day.
Eileen Goudge has recently released a new novel titled The Replacement Wife. She would not allow HER dreams to STAY dreams – she’s been making a living as a professional novelist for years, having published over 15 books! On her website she explains, “Natural-born talent is basically useless without the persistence to go with it.”
And so MY plan is to persist, to write for at least 3 hours each Monday through Friday. The goal will be 10am to 1pm after a light breakfast, some coffee, and a work out. However, I won’t take the approach of the yoyo dieter. If I eat a piece of pie I won’t call the day wasted and eat the whole damn thing. Believe me, I’ve done it and the stomach ache just wasn’t worth it (cherry pie gas is the WORST). If I have to write from 1pm to 4pm or from midnight until the wee hours of the morning, I’ll do what I have to do to make sure I satisfy my 3-hour quota.
How bad do I want this? Let me prove it. To you. To my friends and family. But most importantly to myself! This idea burns inside me like some writhing alien baby kicking and screaming to be freed, to transform from reoccurring dream into the tangible – a FINISHED manuscript. But what good are words without action?
And so the “action” starts next week. Monday, wherever I am, however I’m feeling, the sweet, but scary process begins. No excuses. Along the way, I may post here about my progress, my set backs, my frustrations, and my successes (if there are any!). I know I’m not alone is this dream – to write a book! Maybe someone, somewhere, will be able to relate.