Last week, a fellow writer and all-around stand-up guy that I follow – Danny Evans – decided to start an ‘online support group’ of sorts. This group would be comprised of writers who wanted to start writing more often and needed some support and encouragement. Here’s how he put it:
Here’s what you need to do to participate:
- Decide that it’s finally time to stop talking about writing a book someday and actually do it.
- Leave a comment at the end of this post declaring yourself part of this writing group.
- Commit to writing 500 words per day, everyday.
- Log off and write 500 words, today.
Since I needed to get off my duff and actually do some writing, I promptly put my name in the comments field at the end of his article and decided to actually do something. Of course, life got in the way immediately, and I wasn’t able to get in my 500 words that day. But, I didn’t slack off or give up on the idea…I put in that time the next night. And the night after that. And the one after that.
That brings us to today: my fourth consecutive night of putting 500 (or more) words to disk. And, this is the first time I’ve dedicated some of my promised 500 words to a project outside of the one that I’ve unexpectedly begun. I wanted to share with you a bit of my excitement. I’m beginning a project that kind of came out of nowhere, and it’s exciting and exhilarating and daunting and scary, all at the same time.
I’ve begun my first novel.
I don’t want to give out too much so far, but there will come a time in the next few months that I’ll be sharing bits and pieces, at least. I really like the story (or idea of one) that I have, and the goal of 500 words a day keeps me motivated to keep chopping away at it bit by bit. I have an entire outline of the story completed, a couple of scenes already with a bit of meat in them, and 8 characters written…with an idea of how those characters will interact in the story.
This is further than I’ve ever gotten with the notion of writing a piece of fiction. At least, further than I’ve gotten since my high school creative writing class back in Bangor, Maine. Those days in Mrs. Christakos’ class were heady ones, for sure. The inspiration rolled in from many sources: homegrown and those culled from my classmates. The words went to paper pretty easily, and I didn’t trouble myself with the invented roadblocks I’ve discovered since. There are times now that I’m able to re-capture that ease of writing. Usually, they come after hockey games when there’s been a particularly compelling storyline, and I get to share it with other hockey fans. And I have moments here and there with my personal writing as well…displayed here on this site (there are plenty of misses here, too, but I’m not going to get into all of that).
Now, I’m really excited to be writing some fiction again.
So, thanks very much Danny. I appreciate the spur onward. I’m going to keep knocking on your website’s door, looking for that same kind of inspiration I used to get in creative writing class. And I’ll be looking at my friends, some of whom have also been bitten by writing bugs, and taking from their examples. And I’ll be looking deep inside myself and my imagination, where these new characters I’ve just met over the last few days live. Getting to know them should be fun. I’ll keep you all posted!