Just let me share a trivia fact with you. Did you know that Elizabeth George wrote ‘A Great Deliverance’ in 19 days? Yes, that’s right, only 19 days to write a whole book –432 pages. It’s hard to take in, that kind of productivity and creativity; that’s about 23 pages a day. Interesting, but so what you might ask. Well, November is National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo for short, so this is a quick reminder in case you want to take part too. Thousands of writers all over the world have been inspired to write 50,000 words over thirty days, that’s a mere 1,666 words a day.
Still sounds like too much?
Maybe you’re just like me? October’s over, and we’re rushing toward Thanksgiving, then it’s the holidays and before we know it we’ll be straight into another new year, another year when I haven’t quite managed to write that New York Times best seller, again.
It’s all very well for the likes of Elizabeth George to write a novel in 19 days, but that’s not for people like me. People like you; people who have lives, and jobs, and work, and in my case, far too much laundry. It’s called procrastination. For many a potential writer that’s exactly the problem; the embryonic novel is perfect but it’s still in our heads. Until it’s given birth and written out, that’s all it will ever be, a dream corked in a skull.
But maybe you’re not like me. Perhaps you’ve already written your first novel or even a second, more, but they’re not quite finished or need more work, what then? Whether this is your first attempt or your fiftieth makes no difference. There’s still every reason to have a go.
I know for a fact, well probably, that Ms. George’s work didn’t end with the final period. After that, she had a dozen re-writes, edits and revisions. It took much longer to reach the final draft, but she still had to take the first step and write the book. Maybe we can’t all be best sellers but we can all write the first draft.
If nothing else, you can think of it as therapy for free– be your own life coach – let your inner demons out, but don’t unleash them – instead, slap them down on a page.
As the canvasser asked on the telephone last night – “can you commit to completing your postal ballot today?” How many pages, I wondered, by hand, I groaned, with a pen, I thought? Personally, I can’t promise A Great Deliverance, but I can guarantee a little package, no matter how small.
Let me know if you’re having a go? For me it’s not just laundry, but one IEP, parent teacher conferences and all the other stuff, but then, we all have other stuff don’t we.