I tell people I write and yes, I do--every day, but am I diligently working on a "serious" project? I'm ashamed to admit that ten of my projects are resting in peace right now, completely out of pen's way.
Are you diligently working on your project? The one you have dreamed of since age 10? The catharctic work that will heal you, redeem you, prove your writing is real?
To qualify for "serious," the project must be:
1. An ongoing or beginning work of fiction or non-fiction: Book, short story, screenplay, journal, essay, memoir, how-to manual, poetry, thesis, bio, dissertation or exposť, or anything else that you want to write.
2. A piece that you have titled and, A) intend to finish for personal reasons, or B) intend to finish and flog around the country for publication.
Are you now reminded of a forgotten writing kernel you dunked in oil only to deprive it of heat? Now is the time to sizzle that kernelómake it explodeóbefore it fizzles into a Big Nothing.
Beginning March 28, my goal is to write every day for 10 days on my piece, "Maddie's Choice," for a minimum of 20-30 minutes each day. It doesn't matter if what I write makes sense, I just have to write words DOWN and keep going no matter what.
Would you like to join me in this challenge?
Here is what you do between now and Monday, March 28.
1. Write loglines for your story, or a pitch. Here are some guidelines that I copied from a friend:
CHECKLIST FOR YOUR LOGLINE can contain any or all of these
- Reveal the star's SITUATION - Reveal the important COMPLICATIONS - Describe the ACTION the star takes - Describe the star's CRISIS decision - Hint at the CLIMAX - the danger, the 'showdown' - Hint at the star's potential TRANSFORMATION - Identify SIZZLE: sex, greed, humor, danger, thrills, satisfaction - Identify GENRE - Keep it to three or four sentences - Use present tense
2. Gear yourself up; read some motivational material; clear your desk; buy inkjets and paper; tell your loved ones you need their support, because if you don't write you might die. They should take you seriously.
3. Post your loglines if you wish.
4. Let's all be extraordinarily supportive of each other.
Here are the loglines for Maddie's Choice:
"A single mother's hard-won independence and peaceful life are shattered when an old lover returns and she revisits her sordid past. Floundering in guilt over a decision made ten years ago, she is sucked into a dangerous web of lies and confessions when the lover persuades her to contact the estranged father of her child. The alcoholic father becomes obsessed with revenge after she rejects his advances and he manipulates the vulnerable child, utilizing a cutting-edge parental rights law to gain custody. As this real-life account escalates to a murderous climax, the mother is forced to choose between her own and her daughter's happiness while fighting the biggest ethical battle of her life."
Then, when I post on Monday, March 28, tell me in the comments (Yes! I crave your comments) that you are game to go. We will write for 10 days, until April 6.
Then write. Write 20 to 30 minutes each day at a designated time without fail, and without getting up for food, drink or bathroom. Inflict pain upon yourself if necessary. Keep writing whether or not it's trash, treasure or toilet paper. Write in rough draft free form and don't use your minutes to edit. Edit outside of the 20-30 minutes if you must edit. I don't plan to edit but if my Muse insists on attacking me, then I will respond by writing more.
Be accountable. I am going to post my progress daily and you can join the fun and fear by doing the same. Tell everyone how it's going, or not going.
On or after April 6, we can share some, all, or none of what we wrote, and we can describe our experience. Just don't post 20,000 words and break the robot, okay? Our goal is to begin a discipline and then continue it for 10 days.
C'mon......are you ready for the Robot Writing Challenge?
Some writers are born. Some writers are made. Either way, a writer writes.