Don’t Forget to Write

I did. I totally forgot to write this article. It was supposed to come out yesterday, which means I would have written it the day before that. I forgot. It was for a good reason though! Promise.

I set a goal this year. It’s not a resolution, I don’t do those. Resolutions tend to be open ended with ambiguous targets. This is a goal with a clearly defined finish line. It’s a simple goal to achieve—in theory at least. All it requires me to do is write a bunch. My goal for 2024 is to publish a book. In order to be able to do that, I have to write it first. The goal isn’t to write a book, it’s to publish a book. A proper self-publish. Editor, artist, layout, jacket design… all that. 

I didn’t get this article written in time because I have been writing that book. Small bits each day. I’m not setting a word count for the story or a progress track to follow. The book will be however long the story is. Writing a novel is a big task. I’ve done it once and 50,000 words is a big target. I did it in a month during NaNoWriMo and that required me to keep a 1,600+ words per day pace. That was a lot—maybe too much. I don’t need that pressure on this project and in order to make a book, there’s a lot more going on than just writing the thing. Rewrites take time. Editors take time. Artists take time. Learning how to properly format it for printing takes time. There’s more going on than I expected when I set this goal—but I think it’s very achievable.

Could this book turn out to be novel length? Sure. I’m not saying it won’t, but I don’t need that pressure. If it’s a novella, that’s fine too. The goal is to make a book, not write a story. That’s what I keep telling myself to make sure I don’t lose focus. I’ve tried writing stories and I’ve failed every time. I’ve never tried to write a book though. It’s semantics, sure, but these are the stupid tricks I play on myself to maintain focus and energy.

What will the book be about? It’s speculative fiction. Specifically a sort of contemporary horror/thriller/mystery hybrid. I’m giving myself a huge head start by basing this on several other stories and bits and pieces of my personal life. This way, I don’t have to try to map out every little detail beforehand. I have the broad strokes in place and I can pull those details out of my real experiences. I will warn you in advance—in case this sounds interesting to you—that this book will be built on a series of well-worn tropes. It might be the trope-iest story you’ve ever read. That’s fine. Again, I’m not writing a story, I’m making a book.

More importantly, my intention is not to forget to write. Write daily, even if it’s just a few hundred words or a half page of rewrites. Whatever it is, make progress towards the finish. Giving in to my procrastination would mean that I sit on this thing until November, then try to jam this project into a few months. That’s the last thing I want to do. I’ll keep you updated. As of writing this, I’m sitting at 1,572 words. That’s about 500 words a day for the three days I’ve been working on it. Not bad. Not great, but it’s better than zero!

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