Friday, 19 March 2010

A novel experiment

I am going to write a novel in 30 days. I know it sounds like a tall order (and it is) but I have a plan. I’ve sketched all the plot, characters and main details already; all I want to do in the 30 days I’m allotting myself is get the story down. A rough and ready first draft. I can concentrate on refining and re-writing once I’ve done that. I can’t leave work for a month, but I can leave everything else. I’ve written myself a contract. I’ve called it a Certificate of Promise; an agreement that I will promise to abide by the rules written on the document I have signed.
Here’s a bit from the certificate:
I will write 1,650 words every day for 30 days.
I will check my email only once every day, during work time only.
I will update my blog once a week only.
I will update Facebook via my blog and Twitter only.
I will update Twitter no more than once every day.
I will close my Folksy shop for the 30 days.
I will only watch one television programme per week during the 30 days.
I will not watch DVDs during the 30 days.
I will not play Xbox or Nintendo during the 30 days.
I will not miss out on sleep during the 30 days.
I will only listen to one playlist of pre-chosen songs during the 30 days.
The 30 days will start on Tuesday 23rd March, and end on Thursday 22nd April.
A night off may be ‘banked’ by writing that night’s 1,650 words the day before. This means writing 3,300 words.
Situations may arise whereby I cannot complete the allotted words; therefore I am allowed to pass on writing three times only. If a day is ‘passed’, then the end date of the 30 days shall finish as follows: 1 day passed = end date Friday 24th March; 2 days passed = end date Saturday 25th March; 3 days passed = end date Sunday 26th March.

I had to give myself some leeway: I’m still allowed to watch Glee; I’m still allowed to do Folksy Fridays; I’m allowed to listen to some music – I’ve made a playlist of songs that either put me in the mood to be creative, or directly inspire the story.

To make it all official, I’ve printed the Certificate out, and have sealed it in an inspirational book (Kirstie’s Witnesses by Sheenagh Pugh), then wrapped it in pages from a Dead Poet’s book (Tennyson) and tied it with blue cotton rope. It’s almost like a magick spell. As I was tying the knots, I tied in my intentions and loads of good energy. It’s now hanging on the wall where I will see it every morning when I wake up, and every night before I go to sleep.

So (apart from Folksy Fridays, and maybe the odd sneaky update) I will be offline until April 22nd. Wish me luck.

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