Back To School Book Beatdown: TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BOOK AGAIN
TODAY’S BREW: Not Pumpkin Spice, folks. Too soon.
Is it too soon for Pumpkin Spice because I don’t want to see the end of godforsaken summer? HELL NO. It’s because I love the anticipation of September, and getting my first Pumpkin Spice Latte on my birthday.
*looks at camera* On September 6th. *winks*
Writing parents suffer during the summer. Enjoy summer all you want, those of you who don’t burn literally every time you step out the door, but if you write or work from home at all, you know I’m right. I’ve stopped whining about it and given myself a Get Out of Jail Free card for the month of August. If I can write, I do, but it’s just too impossible to hold myself to a goal until school begins.
WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT YOUR CRAP, JULIE?
I’ll tell you why, jerks.
Because I’ve committed to myself to finish the first draft of THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS by the end of September, and on Twitter I’ve gained a few folks who follow me blindly to come along and commit to the same. People like Ludella Hahn (squeeeee!), Matt White of Fireside Magazine fame, the ginger fool and Book Riot contributor, Peter Damien, who I will drag kicking and screaming and shedding his ginger hair to the finish line of a first draft, and some moms and dads who need some support to get their words out.
I AM THAT SUPPORT, WRITERLY TYPES.
So, this is what it means. Starting SEPTEMBER 1st, I want us to have a weekly check-in on Thursdays, right here in the comments, or feel free to email me, or tweet me your progress to your goal. And I will come looking for you if you don’t find me first.
I won’t brow-beat you, but I will expect you to do this for yourself. I want you to get to the end of your book because I know how important it is. I know you want it. I know how good it feels to have completed it, and emptied your heart of those words. And I want us to support each other, run writing sprints together, encourage each other, and let you know that we’re here for the goods and bads of writing.
THERE IS NO PENALTY OR BEATING FOR NOT MEETING YOUR GOALS WEEK TO WEEK OR AS A WHOLE. BUT WE’LL ALL BE HERE EXPECTING AND CHEERING FOR YOU, AND THAT’S THE GREATEST MOTIVATOR EVER IN MY EYES.
HERE’S HOW WE DO IT:
1. Figure out how many more words you need in your first draft. (If you need help, consult my superior math skills privately.) Give me your starting word count.
2. Divide it up by the number of days you’re going to work on your book. For me, it will be 30 days–I do best if I write every day. If I miss a day, I make it up another day. Pretty easy. For you, you might only like to write the 3 or 5 days your kid is at school. Whatever it is, just tell me.
3. Mark it on your calendars. If you don’t have a calendar, use your phone or get a goddamn calendar, all I’m saying is, I don’t want to babysit, I want you to hold yourself accountable. And come looking for me for a pat on the back.
4. SHOW UP. Show up every way there is. Show up every day at your laptop or in your notebook, and WORK. Writers write. And then show up to tell us how you did.
SUCCESS LOOKS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. If you don’t ever meet your weekly/daily goal, OKAY. I won’t slap you for it. But I WILL be looking for you to tell me what success you did have. Did you learn something new, get past a scene you never thought you could, get further in a day than you ever have? I want us to grow this month.
AND THIS MAY ALL SOUND VERY TOUCHY-FEELY, AND IT WILL BE AT TIMES. These characters that have been screaming at you to write while you’re at Playdate #297 deserve your time! But I want us to beat these books that have been haunting us all summer or longer into submission. I want them to know we’re the bosseseses. I want us to work together to take control of our processes and remember that writers write, and it’s a community where we all suffer the same troubles a lot of the time.
SO DO THIS. LEAVE ME A COMMENT THAT YOU WANT TO FINISH YOUR BOOK THIS SEPTEMBER, AND I WILL HELP YOU DO IT.