I read with interest the description of a 12-week course in writing a first draft of a novel. Pacing, plotting, building tension – these are familiar topics to me. I see the instructor intends to explore the writing theories of Chekhov, Hemingway, et al.
No me interesan. Seriously, these things interest me about as much as the driver’s manual interests a driver on race day. I want to move! For me, the intriguing part of the writing course is the last two weeks listed on the syllabus: setting goals and maintaining a routine.
I know from past experience that I can’t follow the schedule of full-time writers. It would require me to take a leave of absence from my job – and possibly fake my own death. So I’m following the model of writers with full-time jobs who treat writing as a very important second job.
The “textbook” for this section of the DIY Writer’s Summer Camp, I’m reading Writer with a Day Job by Aine Greaney – specifically the section titled “Setting Objectives.” I’ll be reading about setting weekly word-count goals and objectives, as well as something called “attitudinal shifts.”
However, the challenge in the next few days is to make a permanent home for my writing tools. I can’t keep using the dining table as a desktop!