So, you may recall that I took on a challenge this November: write a minimum of 50,000 words in thirty days. After a lengthy false start, I accomplished this challenge yesterday.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve written anything that is remotely publishable. I suspect that I will have to rewrite and edit furiously. Still, it feels pretty good to have written what could be considered to be a short novel. (Technically, I’ve written over 60,000 words this month, and that is considered to be novel length).
Having hit the 50,000 word mark means, in the eyes of the good people at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I am a winner! Woo hoo! I am in for prizes ranging from T-shirts to million dollar contracts. (One of the aforementioned is true. I’ll leave it to you to decide which.)
I’m feeling pretty good, right now. I always thought that I’d be able to write, and it turns out that – for a change – I was right.
I thought I should compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions, to satisfy your curiosity.
Q: Ron, you must be a genius.
A: That is actually more of a statement. Modesty keeps me from answering.
Q: Was it hard to write that much?
A: Yes. Some days were much harder than others.
Q: How did you do it?
A: I forced myself to sit down – every day – and write. The writing got easier, but the discipline of sitting down was as hard the first day as the last.
Q: Is your book any good?
A: I’m sure my Mom will think so.
Q: Is this a “Tell All” book? Will there be any juicy bits in it?
A: If by Tell All you mean telling the story of an average kid doing average things, then … Yes. As far as juicy bits go, there is a pretty racy part about having my first kiss under the stairs at the old Brick School. In Grade 3.
Q: Will this book soon be in bookstores?
A: There are two chances of that: fat and slim.
Q: Will you be going around and bragging that you are a “Winner”?
A: To anyone who’ll listen.
Q: Are you expecting this book to rocket to the top of the New York Times “Best Seller” list?
A: I am expecting to be able to give away tens of books.
Q: Do you “name names” in this book?
A: Not really. Plus, this is about my life from birth to Grade 3. It’s not like anything controversial really happened. Except for that one thing, which involved the guy, the other guy, and the thing, but I am under court-ordered restraint from discussing it.
Q: Are you really as good looking as people say?
Q: Will you be writing more books?
A: Well, this one isn’t exactly a book, yet. It’s a bunch of words that need some serious work. Having said that, I intend to keep writing. I can see an exciting trilogy taking shape: Ron Schellenberg: The Early Years (1966-1984). I was going to call it Ron Schellenberg: A New Hope, but the people at Disney were not impressed. George Lucas, though, thought it was a cool title.
Q: What was the best advice you got while writing this book?
A: A friend suggested that I read Ann Lamott’s book Bird by Bird. Best advice? “Write a shitty first draft”. Done. The second best advice was from a friend: sit your a… rear in the chair and don’t get up until you hit your word count for the day. That last one might actually be mine. It’s hard to keep things straight.
Q: Did you write these words with pen and paper?
A: No. I wanted to be able to read them, at some point.
Q: Are all the stories you told true?
A: Yes, and some of them actually happened.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: Well, it’s an around the world book tour, low-fat brunch with Oprah, and going to visit my son in Winnipeg. One of these is true.
Q: Are you really a genius?
A: I’ve been called a genius many times. Usually like this: Hey! Genius! Nice parallel park! So, yes, I’m a genius.
Thanks to all of you for your support and kind wishes. Talk to you soon.