How to write like a mad woman in the attic

Jane-Eyre-2011-jane-eyre-2011-25507868-1920-1040See that mad woman in the photo clinging to Michael Rochbender?  That’s me after the writing week that I have had.  Because I have been writing like a nutter this week.  Big aim for the week – get a 30000 non-fiction book down in rough draft.  Result?  Boo yah – in the bag!

Honestly, I blame the New Year.  I got sooooo serious about my New Year’s resolution process this year.  I mean,  I started thinking about my resolutions in, you know, October.  You know the kind of thing – visualising how great it was going to be to make those resolutions.  What pen I would use?  What notebook I would crack open?  How wonderful it would be to start a new journal…..  Like I say, I got really into it.

And then when 2015 actually, really, truly arrived, I went all out.  I mean, I was onto it like a rash.  Not an area of my life was safe from the crazy manic gleam of my New Year torch.  I dusted away those cobwebs from my ‘Writing Projects’ folder, wiped the inch of grime from my keyboard, spray-cleaned my ‘I am A Writer’ mirror and MADE A START.

How I wrote 40000 words in 10 days

My first mission was to finish a novel that I started way back last March, and then abandoned  about April in a fit of ‘I am rubbish, why bother’ syndrome.  A syndrome which, I should add, lasted all year.  ALL YEAR.  By the end of the year I was so bored of going with the flow, I was positively comatose.

This year, I am going decidedly upstream.  In the first ten days of January, I had macheted my way through 40000 words.  I will say that again – FORTY THOUSAND WORDS IN TEN DAYS.  You heard it here folks.  Imagine if I kept up that pace.  I would be able to write ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY THOUSAND WORDS in a year. I put that in capitals because I am shouting that very loudly.  Know how many ‘novels’ that is?

I do – because I have a calculator, get me!

That would be the equivalent of …..TWENTY NOVELS in a year.  Twenty, can you imagine?  I mean apparently, according to the title of one book I recently ‘sampled’ on Kindle, “twenty books maketh not a kindle empire”.  According to that wise epistle, I should be aiming to have a hundred books on Kindle if I am to stand a chance of buying myself a cup of coffee and a biscuit once a week.

So I need to get onto it, don’t I?  Come to think of it, we all need to get onto it.  I mean what are we doing?

Here are some ways that you are wasting your time when you should be writing:

  1. If you brushed your hair this morning, well that’s about 25 words right there.
  2. Four toilet breaks a day = 150- 300 words, depending on… well, you know!
  3. Getting dressed.  Male writers – 5 words, women writers – 500 words.
  4. Cooking a meal – Male writers – 5 words, women writers – 1000 words.
  5. Household chores Male writers – minus 50 words, women writers – 1500 words
  6. Reading a book – 10000 words (what are you thinking?)
  7. Social Media – 100000 words at least.
  8. Meeting real live people for coffee and chats – 50000 words – ditch that habit
  9. Maintaining a romantic relationship – 500000 words. is it worth it?
  10.  Reading a blog like this?     – priceless

I mean you can see how it amounts up.  Which is why I have decided to abandon real life and instead devote myself only to writing. It’s the only way I am ever going to make it in this business. As of tomorrow,   I am doing a Bertha Rochester and refusing to get dressed, brush my hair, talk  in intelligent sentences, or even talk in sentences at all.

Well at least, until I get the next book written.  It seems like it is the only way.

I mean, gosh, those ten days were amazing, crazy, wonderful, desperate.  They were like having an affair with Captain Jack Sparrow – mad and unstable, but great fun.  I came out of them with big, big hair and a smug glow in my cheeks.  I felt GOOD, baby!

But you know, it may not be a lasting thing.  It may not be ‘reasonable’ to keep up that pace.  To write twenty novels a year, or even set out to do such a thing, would be the rantings of a crazy woman, wouldn’t it???

So, sorry Bertha Rochester.  It’s time for you to get back in the attic.  I need to brush my hair and get that crazy dust out of my eyes.  Perhaps we could hang out again once or twice this year.  If you promise to be good, I might even give you a little walk around the estate once a month.

But no promises, okay?  Still, thanks.  I enjoyed our crazy productive ten days.  And this week has been fun too.  It’s been … inspirational.  But I am getting tired now.  I need some time out, girlfriend. Loving the hair though…..


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