First draft week announced

Here it is, in black and white. Building on the musings from the last post, I’ve now committed to a week dedicated to nothing but the task of completing the first draft of the novel.

Work? Cancelled. Family? Restricted to outside business hours. TV? Later. Any other crap? Put on hold. And the task? Probably around two-hundred pages of manuscript, probably around 40,000 words. That’s 8,000 words a day for a five day week. 1,000 words an hour for an eight hour day.

Holy crap.

The purpose of the week will not be to stress and agonise over detail, but to get the words down, quickly, possibly badly, but to get it down nonetheless.

I guess I’ve hit a critical point. Novels take ages to get published and I can’t afford to spend another five years writing one manuscript, only for it to spend another five years hawking around to publishers. It’s time to get serious about the business.


The fact that I’m doing this in a rather public way is quite unnerving, but necessary. I can be a failure to myself, but I can’t be a failure to a transient bunch of faceless internet audience people. Actually that’s disingenuous. Actually I can’t fail my family. A week from work is neither her nor there, but a week from family is a big deal. If I don’t have a manuscript by the end of it, even my three-month-old will tear into me (in a cutsie kind of way of course).

Does that mean I’m afraid of my family? Is that weird?

In any case, it’s already starting to work. I’m already 20,000 words into the story and I’m going to be working hard right up to First Draft Week, since, I figure, the more I do before the week commences, the easier it will be to get the job done.

Of course I will also be posting here during First Draft Week, probably a lot more frequently than usual since the blog will now become the only other outlet.

17th September. Coming, ready or not.