I do 90% of my writing on my lunch breaks at work using a bluetooth keyboard paired with my smart phone. Tonight though I’m sitting up in bed writing late at night. I’ve gotten only about 6 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours but I needed to stay up and do this. After many months I finally finished the first draft of the first chapter of my first novel. Now you are probably saying to yourselves, “It took you that long to write one chapter?” Yes I know it’s pretty bad but I’m proud of myself none the less. At 3,988 words it is the single longest piece of fiction I’ve ever written. And now your probably saying “that’s the longest thing you’ve written and you’re trying to do a novel? Your mad I say, mad!” Okay hopefully no one gets that worked up over my blog. Part of the reason that I’m jumping into writing a novel without writing too much other fiction is because I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea of short stories. All of my story ideas are of such a larger scope than could possibly fit into a short story. And probably 85% of short stories and novelettes that I’ve read by other authors all feel like they are just a chapter in a larger story that they author couldn’t quite write so they just pasted some ill-fitting ending onto the story and it ends like a car wreck. I definitely want to avoid that.
And while 3,988 words over the course of several months probably doesn’t sound like much at all, I feel the need to mention that during that same time period I wrote more than 20,000 words on this blog. So I’m not quite as lazy as it may seem. But those kind of lopsided numbers do call into question how I spend the time I have available to write. I enjoy writing non-fiction but I love writing fiction. There’s something about crafting a good story that lights a fire in a person’s soul.
At this rate I will probably have the novel done by the year 2012. Which is no good at all. I do hope to increase my writing productivity but I’m also realistic. I’ve seen some authors say that a book should take about six months to write. That’s fine if you make your living as a writer. But for us aspiring writers, we have to keep normal jobs that pull us away from writing if we would like to continue to eat. It took me four months to write the first chapter. I’d like to write the next one in a month. That would be like quadrupling my productivity. Ask me on September 1st if I achieved my goal.