A Christmas Carol, As I Lay Dying, and A Clockwork Orange were all written in a few weeks.
I’ve given myself sixteen.
In my senior year of college.
I…am not so smart.
But, damnit!, I’m driven like hellfire to write this book.
So, the deal is that I write a chapter a week and hand it in for credit as an Independent Study, in lieu of an internship. I must complete my novel by May 5, the end of the semester, for this venture to be a success. Along the way I will be keeping writing and reading logs to account for how much work I’ve done.
Yes, I said reading logs.
One of the stipulations is that I watch no T.V. Whenever I want to watch a show, I must write, or read, instead. If you don’t think reading is as important as writing, as a writer, then you’re building a house with no foundation. It will crumble, people will die, and you will go straight to federal prison for criminal negligence—and good riddance I say!
My biggest distraction is T.V. Last summer I watched all the classic X-Files (202 episodes), all of Star Trek: The Next Generation (178 episodes), every Justified episode (78 total), the complete Breaking Bad series (62 episodes), and every Doc Martin episode (54, including a movie). That’s (roughly, of course) 575hrs spent in front of the tube. There were only 2,208hrs total last summer. That means that a little over a quarter of all my time off, my final summer before I have to go back to work, was spent in PASSIVE entertainment (not to mention all the movies I watched, either.)
I stopped when I started into Dr. Who.
I have a problem.
T.V. had to go. There was no way I was going to get anything written if I stared at the boob tube for that long. For many, their distraction may be social media, or video games, or a litany of other time pillaging endeavors. They’ve got to go if you want to get down river in your novel. Need proof?
Since the beginning of the semester, last Monday, I’ve written over 6,000 words.
There will be other stipulations, too, which my professor and I will hammer out this Tuesday at our first meeting. Speaking of the Good Doctor of Writing, his name is Dan Williams, and here’s a link to his blog. Check him out.
Every Sunday I’ll report on my progress with all you good people, and put up samples of the work I did that week. My hope is that I might inspire you to turn off the T.V. yourself, and put pen to paper. Remember, no one else is going to write your novel but you.
Isn’t it time we got to it? A-hmmm?