30 days hath the writer

Can I really write a novel in a month and if I can, why haven’t I written hundreds in my lifetime?


At last consideration (which is not as often as it should be) I realised I have been writing on and off for over fifteen years. That’s a long time to do something repeatedly and get no where with it.

Lots of words. Lots of ideas. Lots of distractions, of course, but not a single final draft has been achieved and surely that, among all the other reasons, is the point. So, with this in mind, I have unashamedly bought a book that offers to help.

I figured since I’ve used personal trainers to get fit, hired gardeners to tend my lawn why not at least look at the ideas of an already published writer to help me at least finish what I continuously start?

The book pictured is by Jeff Gerke who implores me to ‘Write your novel in a month’ in lowercase Rockwell font. To remind me of how short a time that is, the numbers 1 to 30 are illustrated to the right unseen. Presumably you can only do this in September, April, June or November. Or February which has one day more, once in… never mind.

Helpfully divided into three parts (planning, writing and publishing) it is obviously marketed toward those taking part in Nanowrimo but Jeff grabbed my attention with this early promise in the introduction: that writing is like mountain climbing (I may have paraphrased there), “once you get to the highest elevation, it gets easier”. As a life long climber of hills and mountains, this appeals to me on two levels. One, it’s true and two, it finally helps me understand the block I’m stumbling against. It’s the same reason why I struggle more to walk down mountains than I do climbing them; you have to save something for the trip down.

I have no idea if I will complete this draft in a month, as a full time classroom teacher that is almost certainly a push against realistic expectations but I am going to try and I am going to document the advice and extent to which I heed it here.

First up, the plan. I have a plan. It’s a very wonky plan but it exists. To help keep me focused, I have a notebook with pictures and notes which include time lines and story maps. Jeff advises to put the reader first, to hook them into the story by making it intriguing to them.

I just wish it were that easy…



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