October 28, 2009
It’s time to write that book you’ve always wanted to write.
We’ll start together on November first and in thirty days or less you’ll know if you are meant to write a book or not. Your commitment is to sit down every day and write pages. They don’t have to be good pages—they won’t be great pages—you’ll have plenty of time to fix them later. Keep writing.
Less than a month to find out if you can do something you’ve always wanted to try. Such a deal.
I’m not saying you will finish the book in thirty days nor that what you write will be worth publishing. I’m saying that by December first you’ll know.
You’ll have a pile of pages or you won’t.
On one hand, if you don’t, then you are one of the many people who wants to have written a book but doesn’t want to write a book. There’s nothing wrong with that. In a month you’ll know if that describes you or not.
On the other hand, you might find that you love writing. You’ve got something to say and you love the hard work it takes to craft words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into passages that people want to read. Then you are meant to write a book. You won’t be able to stop. You still might not be able to publish your book, but that doesn’t keep you from being an author who has written a book.
In between those two hands are the vast majority of us. We write when the planets align. We have blogs but weeks or months might pass between our posts. We can participate in this month of writing by posting a solid blog entry every day for the month of December. Then we might go back to the once in a while or we might continue.
If you’re writing a novel or need more infrastructure, check out National Novel Writing Month at NaNoWriMo.org. Really, we’re just piggy-backing on their idea. If you are writing a Pragmatic Programmer style book (either for the Pragmatic Bookshelf or for the Pragmatic Life series) then NaNoWriMo may not be for you. We’re encouraging you to write anyway. Even if you’re not joining NaNoWriMo, check out their web site they have a lot of great resources.
For today, ask yourself if you’ve always wanted to write a book. Tomorrow we’ll try to figure out what it should be about.
This post originally appeared in the Pragmatic Life blog.