On January 31st of this year, I made a proclamation:
to finish the book I’m writing, titled Of
the Night, by May 1st of
this year. It was 90 days. I made a commitment. I made a plan: a minimum of two
pages typed, or about four handwritten, a day. I followed it pretty diligently –
damn near as close as I could without completely ignoring the rest of the
It’s May 18th. I failed (technically), but I
learned a lot. And I’m writing this to let you all know it, because in
committing to a date I also committed to sharing on a near-daily basis on
social media with the hashtag #wordseveryday, among others.
#Wordseveryday is still alive and well, but the process of
writing a novel – the product – demands more than 90 days. That’s okay, because
what I was forced to confront was my real goal. Was it meeting a deadline or
making something worthwhile?
I burned myself out in those 90 days. I realized I wasn’t
going to meet my goal and had become too close to the story. I was (am) still
working a day job. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day – Sam Cooke has told me
as much – but I doubt it was built in three months, either. I went in with what I thought was an outline. Then the story
changed, and adapted, and grew, and matured, and became wiser, and realer, and
I realized I only had a pulse. “Only.” Like having a pulse is a bad thing. In the first iteration of #wordseveryday, I proved I can
write every day. But as for building Rome, it’s going to take more time. I’ll
keep you updated along the way.