If you’re just jumping in and need background, I wrote a post here about why I’m going to write, edit, and publish a novella in the month of November.
Last Tuesday, I finished the rough draft for a brand new novella. That put me right at two weeks of writing, which is perfect, because it left me with a little over two weeks to edit. With the way my schedule has been these past three weeks, I couldn’t have asked for much better.
But even with sixteen days to edit, format, and publish, I know I’m going to end up with a flawed manuscript.
I’ve known since Day One I wasn’t going to churn out something perfect, and that’s been okay. For me, this whole exercise hasn’t been about literary excellence. It’s been about letting loose, breaking mental blocks, and generally having fun.
But still, there’s that nagging question that I still ask myself every now and then: If I know this book isn’t going to be perfect, why publish it in the first place? I can have fun, let go of my vice grip on perfection, and teach myself just how much I’m capable of writing in a short amount of time without publishing an imperfect story. Why would I share it with other people?
The answer I keep coming back to is that publication changes the way you think about a project. When you know someone else is going to see what you’ve written, you work a little harder on it. When you tell someone you’re going to post something for everyone to see, you can’t back out when it gets too hard. You’re in it.
I didn’t want to take this book too seriously, but I also didn’t want to take it too lightly. It would be really easy to vomit 20,000 words onto a page then lock it away in some drawer for no one to see. But here’s the problem – If my only goal was to write those words, all I’ve done is improve my typing skills. By publishing this book, I’m forcing myself to think – if only minimally – about the details of my story that make it compelling…or boring, if that’s the case.
So even though I’m slapping a different name on this book, even though I’m explaining on this blog the challenges I’ve placed on myself, it’s still going to be out there for people to read, and that’s going to make me work just a little harder on it.
And in just a week and a half, you’ll be able to see how that worked out.
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