I took this picture of these three shelves of my bookcase. These are all my books on writing. From Roy Peter Clark’s “The Glamour of Grammar” to “Writing Fiction” by Janet Burroway, to “Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird.” I look at all those books, and the collective writing knowledge contained therein, and wish like heck that I had a search engine in my brain that would allow me to pull up just the exact advice I know I will need in the next two weeks.
Here’s the thing, now that mom is safely tucked away (I’ve been to visit and she is doing really well, thank you so much for ALL of your good wishes), now I get to work on my new book. I’m so excited I could spit. I’ve decided to go big, my plan is that in the next two weeks, factoring visiting mom, going to the gym and the trainer, and eating meals, I will churn out 8,000 words a day, the goal is to have an 80,000 word first draft by January 19.
Now, I can hear you now? Are you freaking kidding me? That’s a lot of work! Yes it is and I can’t wait. I’ve been doing my pre-planning and my pre-work between wheeling mom around the house and during times when we’ve had caregivers to take care of her. But I have not had big stretches of undisturbed writing time. I have been keeping track, when I set the egg timer (a writers best friend, by the way) for 30 minutes, I can consistently produce 1,500 words. That translates to five hours each day to work.
What really excites me about this adventure is if you’d asked me to do this a year ago, I’d freak out. I’d tell you, “but I don’t have an outline. It’s a murder mystery, I have no clues, I have no suspects.” What is the difference? I have confidence in myself, and more importantly, I have confidence in my characters. I’ve written out their sketches, listened to them chat, found photos of people I would use to cast them in the movie version. And if you have read my other post, I’m also ready to trust them. It’s their story; I’m the lucky freak who gets to experience it first hand. I know after the first “crank out” the real work comes. The re-writing. That’s when all these books will come in handy. To find out how to handle point of view issues, to remind me that I need tension in every sentence. That I have to maximize the conflict. That I have to enter the scene just at the right moment, and leave when the deal is done.
During this two-week period, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging. I thought I’d line up some articles to post along the way, but that just doesn’t feel authentic. There will be times, I know, when I’m re-writing, and that’s when I’ll need a break and I’ll come and chat with y’all. By the way, have I told you lately how much I appreciate you guys? Those happy few who take the time to stop by. You really make me feel like a “real” writer. That my dizzy weirdness has found a home in your fertile minds and wondrous souls.
I’ll let you know how mom is doing. I’m thinking that I’ll begin sharing idea to start sharing more of her story with you, it is a doozy, from farm girl to “rosie the riveter” in WWII to a PhD in Botany and starting her own business that she worked at until she retired at 80. God bless her.
Thanks again for stopping by, I look forward to my new adventure and to sharing it with you. Catch you on the book of face and in the twitterverse.