Yes, I said 10 days. As in, writing a full, complete novel in 10 days.
Dean Wesley Smith is ghosting a novel contracted by a major publisher for an author who is a bestseller and whose name would be recognizable to all of us. (Yes, the world of ghostwriting is sometimes a shady place.)
He's set himself the goal of finishing the novel in 10 days, and along the way, he is documenting his progress with regular updates to his blog. It's really worth reading. Here are the posts so far:
And you might want to read this one as well:
When Smith says he writes fast, he means it–he gets up, gets to the computer (he uses two–one with no internet access and thus no temptations) and gets to work. It appears that he writes in bursts, knocking off a 1000 words or so before taking a break to eat or answer email (at the second computer) or what have you. And then he rinses and repeats, on and on throughout the day.
But here's the deal: he's writing. Not endlessly revising, not thinking about writing, not wondering if his work is any good (confidence is not this man's problem), but writing.
I think we can all learn a lesson from this. I know reading his posts inspired me and afterwards, I polished off the first draft of a short story I'd been agonizing over. I'm sure I spend way too much time pondering deep thoughts and not actually writing. Even if we don't want to emulate every aspect of his practice, we can learn from parts of it.
Oh yeah, and guess what? He starts out with no idea where he's going. And he doesn't rewrite. This draft will be it.
Here are things I noted/wondered about as I read:
–When does he take a shower?
–When does he exercise?
–He has a wife to cook for him. Or someone. Dinner magically appears.
–He probaby has a house cleaner as well. There's no attention paid to such mundane matters.
–He's able to set his own schedule (stay up until wee hours of the morning, sleep until 1 PM).
But even with all that being said, his accomplishment is amazing.
What do you think? Does this appeal to you or do you think he's a hack (he's got a gazillion novels to his credit)? Do you write slow or fast? I'd love it if you left a comment.