Every writer I know has, at one time or another, had the following conversation with themselves: “If I write X-number-of-words for X-number-of-days, then by this date I’ll have the first draft of my novel finished!” The theory looks something like this: if you spend 30 days planning and 60 days writing, at 2000 words a day, then you should be able to write 3 books a year and still have plenty of time to have a life. Adjust the figures accordingly, but you get the gist.
Here’s the problem: my mind isn’t a word-widget factory. The theory describes a mechanical process when, in fact, writing is an artistic endeavor. Some days, it’ll be near impossible to put 2000 words down; in fact, some days will be downright Joyce-ian (twelve words and no idea what order they go in). This is why I tend to take a year or more to write one book. But, to quote Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings: “The world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air.”
The world has changed. Publishing is a different beast, now. Writers no longer have the luxury of time. Books must be written; schedules must be maintained. And damned to oblivion be ye who cannot keep up!
Thus, here I am. Twilight of the Gods needs to be finished and handed in by the end of the year. I have approximately 60 days; in that 60 days, I need to write 100-120K words. 2000 words a day. I need, then, to be a better writer than I have ever been before — more focused, more driven, more passionate. I’ll be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the first half, and then punching forward on my own for the second.
I am not at all confident I can pull this off. My past says “not damn likely, monkey boy!” But I have to try. To quote Von Moltke the Elder: “No battle plan survives contact with the Enemy.” In this instance, though, the words aren’t the Enemy. In this instance, I am the Enemy.
And I must defeat myself in order to triumph . . .