Okay, so I did it. Not only have I, for the first time, written more than six chapters of a book, I have actually finished the thing. Incredible!
After a day of sulking with myself about being a waster, i.e. never finishing any of my grand book-writing schemes, I asked myself why? Why is it that I always come to a standstill somewhere around Chapter? The answer was simple.
I have a small brain and an even smaller part of it that is my memory. You see, by the time I get to chapter six, I generally manage to convince myself that I deserve a prolonged break: a day out charity-shop browsing, a catch-up with an old friend, or (even more exciting!), a day tidying up Sprog 3’s rubbish tip. And therein lies the problem.
After just a day out of it, I return to my masterpiece of an incomplete book, and find that – surprise, surprise – I cannot remember the finer details. Which character was it who lost his memory? And which character was so-and-so’s half-sister, and did the siblings share a mum or a dad?
I scroll back to chapter 2, then forward to chapter 4, then back to chapter 1, and then … I feel dizzy. Too much scrolling, too much time wasted and all enthusiasm gone! At this point, I hear Ancestry.com calling me, telling me that I have more DNA matches to explore, more hints to delve into. The chapters – all six of them – are abandoned, as I find my family tree branching out into all directions, never reaching a conclusion, just going on and on and on …
Now, if only I had been able to devote so much time and attention to my writing ambitions, my book might also have gone on and on and on … instead of coming to an incomplete and final breakdown. Like my family tree, it lacks an ending, but unlike my family tree, its bud hasn’t even got as producing the foliage.
The solution? Don’t stop!
Don’t shop, don’t gossip, don’t clean, and don’t, just don’t, do anything other than write.
Breaks are for numpties.
And, thanks to this very simple plan, I am now the proud owner of a completed manuscript, which even has the added bonus feature of the chapter 1 of the sequel. Wow!
Jay Cool’s Simple Plan:
- Drop sprogs at respective schools and return to base.
- Starting at 9am, sharp, begin to type.
- Keep going until a minimum of 5,000 words has been produced.
- Greet sprogs as they return from school and procure some nosh for them.
- Tell sprogs to do their homework.
- Fill up the dishwasher and watch telly.
- Tell sprogs to get off their laptops and go to bed.
- Go to bed.
- Repeat the above as many times as it takes for your word target to be reached or exceeded (in my case, 38,000 words).
- Write first chapter of next book.
Word of warning: Do not allow anyone else to read even the first page of your complete novel, unless you want to be told to start the whole process all over again from scratch (cheers, Hubby!).
Copyright owned by Jay Cool, 18th November, 2019