24 May 2006

Now that I'm on track I can tell you

Spalding Gray, in his monologue movie Monster In A Box, talked about being in Los Angeles and asking random people (the person behind the checkout counter, someone in line in the grocery store, whoever), "How's your screenplay going?"

The usual response: "How'd you know?!"

Everyone secretly working away on their story. I feel a little bit like that now.

I can't remember whether to blame this one Neil Gaiman's blog or Stephen King's writing memoir, but I think it was one of those two who wrote that if you can write 200 words a day for a year, you've got a novel at the end of one year. Somehow, that little piece of advice has ferreted itself away in my head, and I've decided to give it a try.

I'm trying to write a book. Not a novel, not a work of fiction, but a scientific book. (I don't have enough imagination for fiction.) The idea to write a book has been rolling around in my head for a while now. Originally, the idea was to do a review article for some journal, but somewhere along the road, I thought this might work as a full-blown, proper book.

At the end of the semester, I decided to try to get it off the ground. I was promptly waylaid and did nothing on it for several days. But I'm keeping track (that's the graph -- I am that geeky), and trying to keep to that goal of 200 words a day. It's taken until today to get to about where I should be.

I'm hoping that by posting about this process, it'll help to force me to continue steadily writing. 'Cause now someone might, you know, be watching. I know, weird, but I can't explain it better than that.

I'm not going to tell you what the book's about yet. It's too early. After all, I am often overly ambitious and this might just fall apart and I never finish it. But it's better better to try stuff than not try it.

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