Friday, January 30, 2009

Down in the Writing Hole.

Our oft languishing conversation about the process of writing will be interrupted for a while, as two members of Clockwork, in order to deal with deadlines of mighty girth and complexity, are each going into a self imposed writing hole for the entirety of the month of February.
        What is the writing hole? It's the place we need to go to from time to time, in order to get away from all distractions and get a concentrated amount of work done. Sometimes it involves actually going away somewhere to some distant retreat. However it can also mean just a determination to buckle down and get things done, without an actual physical relocation. That's the variety of Writing Hole both Matt and I are endeavoring to disappear into this coming month. One solid month of nothing but writing. No goofing off. No dinners out with the friends. No computer use that isn't directly related to getting the work done. No distractions. Few phone calls. Nothing but a month of work, work, work.
     Here's what I need to get done in the month of February: 1) Finish a novel which is barely begun, but fully researched and vastly (in the Chris Roberson method) outlined. 2) Finish writing at least three issues of Fables. 3) Along with Matt, finish writing two issues of Jack, two issues of The Literals, and two issues of the JSA. 4) If all of that is done, then finish three short stories that are slated for various prose anthologies in the coming year.
     Matt will be posting his goals for the month sometime today.
     And now here's where you come in. In order to keep ourselves on schedule, in order to add some accountability into this process, Matt and I are going to post daily progress reports here on the Clockwork Blog. That way the shame of not getting things done will be multiplied by the number of those reading this as we go. Shame (rather the desire to avoid shame) is a great motivator, which every freelancer knows all too well. Take that as one of our lessons in writing professionally, for those of you who plan to be writers: Put your shame to work for you.
     And of course, the glory of beating Matt in my daily output (versus his) figures into this too. Yes, it's possible Matt will out-perform me, day by day -- not likely, but possible. He is a gifted and dedicated wordsmith (and someday I'll tell you the funny story of why I wince at every use of the word 'wordsmith'). But Matt has a lovely family that needs a minimum daily dose of care and attention. I think that's enough of a difference to handicap this silly stunt in my favor.
     At this point we should add an important disclaimer: We here at Clockwork Storybook are not suggesting, or in any way implying, that you at home should be betting on the outcome of this writing duel. But if we were, the smart money would be on me. That's all I'll say about that.
     So there we are. Daily reports throughout the month of February, charting our writing progress. Enjoy the show.

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