Yeah, you heard right – I am going to write two novels in 2019! This is the year that shit gets done! And no, that’s not hyperbole; I am actually deadly serious about this. I know it may seem like a lofty goal, but I do have a plan.
As you may have read in my end of year post for 2018, I achieved a lot of my personal goals. Not only did I get this blog started, but I also got a bunch of short stories written and published, started a successful writer’s group, and created my first screenplay. The one thing I didn’t do however was write a novel. This was something that I was keeping for 2019… well, maybe not exactly for 2019, but it was on my agenda for the future. I wanted to get into writing first, if you know what I mean, then take the next big step towards a tackling a novel.
Then something happened during the final days of 2018. I had an idea for a sci-fi book. A great idea in fact. So good that whoever I told (family, writer’s group, strangers) – they all fell in love with it. So, that’s a keeper for sure. All I can say for now is that the working title is, “Six Chances”.
Then something else happened… I had an idea for another one! This time for a children’s book, called, “Robin and Crow”. This one is aimed at kids at a middle-grade level (ages 8-12).
So, what’s the plan?
As many of you writers will know, the main piece of advice that we all receive is to, ‘write, write, and write again’. It pops up all over the place. Pick up a book about writing, listen to a YouTube video about writing, heck, even follow some writers on Twitter, and you will come across it. And you know what? It’s actually good advice. You will only get better with the craft by actually committing to it. So, that’s my plan. I will start writing – every day.
Actually, it’s a little more specific than that…
Between January 2 and October 11, 2019 there are exactly 282 days. Taking an average of 500 words per day that makes a total of 141,000 words. Now, the average children’s novel for the age range I mentioned is about 40-50,000 (but usually higher). So, if I create a 55k word novel for Robin and Crow, that will leave me with about 86,000 words for the adult novel, which will be just shy of the seemingly 90,000 sweet spot recommended.
So, what do you think about this? You might be thinking that this is too ambitious; that there is simply no way I will be able to sustain a five hundred word count every day for over ten months. But it’s probably easier than you think. Just take a look at this article – how many words I have written to this exact point? Including the title, that point was approx. 500 words. Or, to put it another way, my expected daily word count. And that took me about an hour to write. Even with a full-time job already and a young family, I should be able to do it. Will my writing be perfect? Probably not, but I won’t let that stop me. I will write – not edit. All that will come later after birthday on October 11.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I know that it’s not about the word count – it’s about the story. But, at least for me, the word count is a tangible goal that I can work towards. This mightn’t be true for everyone, but it is for me. I know that some days I will write less than 500, but I hope this will be balanced by other days when I will write a lot more. To keep myself motivated, I will be posting updates here and via my Instagram and Twitter accounts… and I invite you to come along with me on this journey to see if I can do it.
This also means that I will not be writing as many short stories or blog posts like I did over 2018, but if that is the sacrifice I have to make, then so be it. Writing and completing a book – two of them in fact – will be a dream that I have been harbouring for quite some time. I just need to commit.
Well, here’s to dreams and a successful 2019! Feel free to reach out to me via this blog or via my social media channels should you want to get in touch. Talk soon!
Article written by Shane O’Halloran. Feel free to reach out to him via this blog, or on Twitter and Instagram under @SomeOddHat.