This post is one I've agonized over. I frequently post goals on my blogs as a way of giving myself a little extra accountability. A goal you keep secret isn't as motivational. If you don't hit it, who will know? Some of my goals work out well. I announced I would write Burn Baby Burn in a week, and I did. On my other blog, I announced I would lose 20 pounds in three months, and wound up losing 37. But, later, I announced I'd get to a target weight of 220 by the end of June. Today, I'm at 225, a pound heavier than when I announced that goal.
This morning, I'm announcing my most aggressive writing goal yet: I plan to write a novel in four days. Not four consecutive days, mind you. But, I know from experience that, if I duct tape myself to a chair and make myself write, I can get north of 10k words in a day. I've made it over 13k words a day before. So, my goal for writing my new superhero novel is to write 15k words a day. Four days of this will give me my 60k word novel.
I also know that intense writing days always drain me. If I write 10k words plus one day, my chances of putting out that many words the next day are seriously compromised. So, I'll be building in rest periods and writing every other day. I plan to write on July 1, 3, 5, and 8. I'll post the raw first draft to this blog each night. This goes against my rule that writers shouldn't show people their first drafts. Honestly, I'm not posting it in hopes that people will read it. I'm posting it to keep myself honest.
I'm not under contract on this book, so I have no real deadlines. So, why choose such a crazy approach? First, I still like the results of writing fast for Burn Baby Burn. Yeah, I can point to flaws in the book that likely came from the speed I wrote it, but I can also point to passages that are some of the most honest and emotional moments I've ever allowed myself to write. Writing fast helps me get past my internal filters and write more from the heart than from the head. Second, I feel like artists should always push themselves to try new things. I know I can write a book if I give myself four months to crank it out. But four days? Can it be done?
In the end, there's only one way to find out....
Welcome to my worlds!
I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), the superhero novels Nobody Gets the Girl and Burn Baby Burn, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collection, There is No Wheel. In 2017, I'll be releasing a new superhero series, The Butterfly Cage. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public.