Saturday, March 25, 2006


So I have decided to write a novel in 100 days. I found a site that has tips and exercises to help you do it. I’ve got this idea for a novel—not a heavy, high art, post modern, literary novel. And don’t laugh, my brain says that’s what I should be writing. Or maybe it’s not my brain, maybe it’s my insecurity saying if I am not writing “literary” stories I’m a hack.

The reality is I read far more science fiction and fantasy than I do literary stories. Although I am so picky about what I read that I can only bear the very best sf/fantasy, so don’t read very many new writers. If my brain were simply my brain, without all my little-girl insecurities popping up, then I would quite logically be writing science fiction. So I won’t win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but I might have an easier time getting published. I might even be able to have a real career. Plus, I actually am a good writer, and a good writer in genre fiction has a fighting chance. Grrr. Warrior Girl.

However, as you can see, I am still trying to convinve myself that genre writing is worth while. I’m going to choose to ignore that perfectionist, elitist attitude lurking below the surface of my skull, and just have fun.

Hmm. Having fun while writing… it’s been a while since I looked at it like that, let alone did it. I put too much weight on it, unlike when I was a kid and was writing for pure enjoyment.

Ofcourse, in order to finish a big task like a novel, you have to do it more than just for fun, because if you’re focused on the “fun” part, if you aren’t in the mood, or are very busy or stressed or tired, then it’s really easy to say, awww, I’ll do it later, or not tonight, or I don’t feel like it.

Commitment is the key. You have to commit to writing. So I am going to commit to writing this only vaguely imagined novel. I am going to commit even though I said I was going to revise my novel from 10 years ago that I finished the first draft of. I am not throwing away the poor neglected first draft, no. I am just choosing to focus on this one, for now. For 100 days. I am going to commit, right now. In fact, that is the first day task on my 100 days assignment. I am on day 2, actually. And that task is to carve out a specific time for writing.

That’s a tougher prospect for a mother of a baby. I think what I’m going to have to do is get Sean to watch the baby in the morning when he first gets up. I’ll take a shower and dress quickly then, instead of waiting for first nap. That will leave first nap open for writing. Atleast, unless he drops the nap or does some other random thing that mucks up my schedule, like teething or getting sick.

I will also try to force myself to write at night, after the baby goes to sleep. I will try to ignore the “I’m so tired” echoing through my head. Good luck to me.

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