1: Where Do I Begin?
This is a follow on from the National Novel Writing Post. In order to write a novel in a month you would have to maintain an output of two thousand words a day. As yet I have not even written that many words this week, let alone today. So last night I thought could I sit down and write two thousand words on the task of writing two thousand words or preparing for a novel. I have distractions, but am going to give it a go. This is not about quality, but entirely about quantity. I know there are people who can sit down, type and not be distracted. I am not one of those creatures. I have my first distraction about a hundred words into this task but will continue this later. It is eight thirty now, fifteen and a half hours left to complete my task!!
2: Here I Go Again
The second of today’s instalments , and still I haven’t made any impact on my two thousand word target for today , but every journey starts with a single step and that just added another twenty words to today’s target. I will be going out , again to Alnwick to visit the Garden , Treehouse and maybe Barter Books , so there will be a great big gap in today’s writing , but that is the nature of thing. Life tends to get in the way of what you actually want to do!! It is Nine twenty now so an hour has passed since my last entry , there are things to do like showering, putting contact lenses in , getting dressed , and obviously driving to the Garden and parking up.
I’ve already breakfasted on coffee, burnt bagel with raspberry jam and cheese and onion muffin , so I am replete and prepared for the day ahead . Amazingly I suddenly realise that this morning I have already written five hundred words, that’s a quarter of the way there. I would be quite hopeful of reaching my target if it wasn’t for the days excursion , but really it’s only ninety minutes since I woke , so in theory four and a half hours is all I need to make the two thousand for the day , although the more I write now the less I need to do tonight.
Another thought is that my intention is to post this as a blog entry, and I hope it can actually take the two thousand words that I aim to fill this bit with. Though if not it will just consist of part one and part two or however many bits I need to do the post.
The more I write the closer the end of the line gets, and I’m quite amazed about how fast this is developing. As I stated this isn’t about quality, or being interesting, it is just a test as to whether I can keep words flowing from my fingertips via the computer keyboard into this document , and therefore reach my goal. Really I don’t expect anyone to ever read and finish this entry in my blog , but it will give me the satisfaction of knowing that I can actually produce text at novel writing speeds. The next thing is obviously to think about concocting a short story and god forbid actually doing the novel thing.
Well I am quite pleased as this diatribe a now hit eight hundred words, forty per cent towards my target, meaning that I should be able to hit the line in under three hours when I return tonight. Of course I am now going to shower and dress and will no doubt add a little more before I leave, so I am now getting a bit cocky in my attitude towards actually doing this. God, I may actually start to think that I can write! Shower time, contact lenses and time to dress, I am sat in the front room looking out on the grey North Sea. It is incredibly peaceful and I wonder if this is something that is enabling me to produce this. There are no distractions barring everyday necessities. By the way at this point I have hit two thousand words for the week!
3: On The Road Again:
It’s just after ten o’ clock and I’ve just discovered that you should never rub your eyes after applying Deep Heat cream! This task I’ve set myself reminds me of those essays you would get from your teacher after transgressing some rule or other. One hundred words on the inside of a ping pong ball. I was always tempted to dismantle a ping pong ball and transcribe “One Hundred Words” on to the inner skin, but never actually did it. I think that a stiffer punishment may have been my reward for such inventiveness, although I am sure someone must have done it at some point. Anyway this is my last entry before I depart for Alnwick Garden , nine hundred words to go tonight , and I think I have a very good chance of making it assuming I can think of something to write.
4: Again and Again:
I am back in the house now; it is twenty past five, so just over six hours to go. Nine hundred words to write about something. I’ve just noticed that the word count in Microsoft Word sometimes counts spaces as words, I think, so the word count may not be as accurate as I would like. Still it’s the only guide that I have so I will have to go with it.
The main thing is that if you are willing to write and talk about nothing in particular, you can start to hit your targets fairly quickly. It’s like when I buy a weekend paper with all its supplements. There’s no way that I’m ever going to read everything in there, so it could be lots of meaningless drivel. But I’m sure it isn’t as they must have some quality control even in The Mail and The Express!!
Although I have already written twelve hundred words today, the remaining eight hundred still seems like a hell of a lot of typing to do . Harking back to the punishment essays from secondary school, eight hundred words on the inside of a lead pencil. I’m sure that inspiration will rear its fickle head and let me limp over the line of two thousand words successfully before the midnight hour strikes. Remember this still has to be pasted into a blog entry. I do hope they use memo fields so that I can fit the whole of this into a single post.
The sea is getting rougher, but is still remarkably calming and I’m now only six hundred words away from my target. It’s hard waiting for inspiration to turn up, looking round the room hoping something will give me the green light. We’re still without a mobile or internet signal but that may be a good thing. All the ideas have got to come from between my ears, which is becoming a bit dead at the moment. Maybe I will go out for a walk and let the sea air blow away some of the mental cobwebs and unearth some of the obvious nuggets that must be lying around waiting to be discovered.
5: Four Seasons In One Day
Just watched episode three of series four of The Sopranos , which finished with a Four Seasons song featuring the falsetto voice of Frankie Valli. It’s an amazing series despite its eighteen rating. I now have four and a half hours to make up around four hundred and fifty words. Can I do it? It has gone dark outside, and its time I took my drugs, before having tea and watching more Sopranos. Obviously despite all that is happening and the fact that I am trying to keep my own interest up, the thing that is on my mind is the number of words still to go. I have done far better than I expected but am almost at the seventeen hundred word mark which is eighty five per cent of the way to the finishing line. Three hundred and thirty more words to be precise, so really, to be honest I do have the speed of word production to actually produce a novel. I just need to think about planning, story line, diction, grammar, spelling and generally making the thing interesting. Obviously the addition of a few expletives could always be used to pad out the piece although that would make it more readable for some and less than enticing for others, still you can’t please all the people all the time , though I doubt this piece will please any people. Still it may give a little insight into the general machinations that go on within the confines of my skull. Anyway this little section has taken me up to eighteen hundred words, two hundred short of the target , and I still have four and a half hours of the day left. I made a mistake before in my timing. The section was start at seven fifteen not seven thirty as I thought. It is now seven twenty five, so two hundred or so words in four and a half hours should be well achievable. Admittedly I need to eat tea, watch more Sopranos , take drugs and the like but I’m sure I should be able to easily do that. The more I write the closer I get to the end.
Anyway time for a drug break now and my next entry should be the one that rolls over the line. But before I do that I’ve just remembered that this is not set up to save a backup copy of the document. I have now rectified that in the Word options.
6: Here I Stand
I’ve arbitrarily chosen lines from songs or song titles to split this up in the belief that white space makes things more readable. I certainly find that with technical documents and with prose as well. Ths is the final paragraph and it’s going to run over the two thousand word in one day mark. It’s actually taken me less than twelve hours elapsed and maybe about two hours actually typing. So there is no doubt I could actually write enough words to fill a novel within a month. The trick of course is to make those words worth reading and that is a whole other ball game , but I’m just really pleased that I set myself a task today and I did it. This is the end. I wonder if anyone else will actually read this. I could mention Saddam Hussein and Al Quaeda and get picked up by a CIA search engine who will then search the piece for coded messages , but that’s a bit of a cheap shot, preying on peoples stupidity ….