Paula’s Post #110
Ah, Labour Day Weekend. The last weekend of summer. The weekend we look backward with some wistfulness at the days and weeks of summer that somehow sped by like someone pushed fast forward on the PVR.
We’ve talked about Labour Day before. About this special time of renewal. For many of us it evokes memories of the start of a new school year. New pens and pencils. Notebooks with crisp white narrow lined pages (never wide), unmarred and ready for scrawled notes and random doodles.
Hmm. There’s a word to make me flinch. Because for this 5writer, one can say it fairly accurately reflects my approach to writing this past summer.
You know what else makes me flinch?
The date: September 5th. Not just part of the Labour Day weekend, but also the precise date on which we 5writers launched our original challenge (and subsequently this blog) back in September 2012.
For those of you who discovered the 5writers blog ‘after the fact’, you may want to take a look back and read the heady excitement with which we launched our original 5writers challenge.
Reading back through those early 5writers posts from mid-September 2012, I must admit I never dreamed that this “September 5th” date thing would come back to ‘haunt me’.
But that’s exactly how I feel. Haunted. We thought it was cute. We thought the five of us would start on September 5th and finish on February 5th. 5writers5novels5months.
But now, the date haunts me. No … more like taunts me.
Because while I reached our stated objective and in fact completed the first draft of my 5writer novel in the ‘challenge’ period of 5months (while blogging about it on a weekly basis), I haven’t completed a novel since.
Sure, I’ve started a few, but somehow, my initial enthusiasm has always petered out. Or I got distracted. Or both. Ditto for this blog.
Many of you will be familiar with Stephen King’s famous “20 rules for writers”. I see you nodding your heads. Good. Now put up your hand if you remember the one that says:
Write the First Draft in Three Months.
Don’t remember that one?
Hmm… I’d kinda forgotten it too, to tell the truth. Now I’m wondering what else I’ve forgotten. Maybe – just to be safe – I better go back and reread “On Writing“. Click on the title and you too can order it to be delivered (sound of snapping fingers) just like that. And in a variety of formats.
I opted for paperback. I like to thumb through my writing books and dog ear the pages.
And I’m pretty sure I’m going to need that Stephen King book and I’m also pretty sure there are, inevitably, going to be a plethora of dog-eared pages.
Because today, on this memorable, haunting, September 5th date, my challenge gauntlet is out and ready for smack down.
My challenge. To myself.
Write a first draft of a novel. Start today. Finish in 5 months. 5 months from Start to Finish. Not a 5writer challenge, but a 1writer challenge. Because right now (for a variety of very understandable reasons), not everyone of our original 5writers is ready and able to take up this September 5, 2015 challenge.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t jump in to fill the breach and join in my 1writer1novel5month challenge.
Yeah! That’s what I’m gonna call it.
Kind of catchy, don’t you think?
I hope so. Because I have another challenge. This one’s for you! (And not just my writing group 5writers you, no – this challenge is for all of you. For any writer who has read or followed our blog. For anyone who has ever wanted to write a novel.
I challenge you to take up the gauntlet.
All you need to do is leave a comment and add your own ‘number’ to the string, as in and say “I’m in”: 2writers2novels5months …
And then the next person who accepts the challenge will be:
3writers3novels5months … followed by:
Hey! Wait a moment.Think about it. Some brave soul could even manage to jump in as 5writers5novels5months.
Wouldn’t that be great?
But why stop there? I know there are a lot of other stalled writers lurking out there. This is your chance. All you need to do is ‘take up the gauntlet’.
I double dare you!
Paula Third (aka 1writer1novel5months)
(Attribution: Wikicommons photo by Sandstein)