Ciao, amici! (Thought I’d give the Spanish intro a break today, opted for the Italian instead.)
So I’ve been reading E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel for a while now, and one very basic aspect of his description of a novel struck terror into my heart: it has to be at least 50,000 words, which a quick Google search told me is around 200 pages.
I officially started my book in September, and I only have 38 pages, which in no way puts me on track to finish this summer. I knew a book had to be at least 200 pages, but somehow seeing it in writing jolted me back to reality.
I remembered the quote above by my all-time favorite author Elizabeth Peters, who wisely remarked: “Any writer who waits for ‘inspiration’ to strike will never finish a book. Inspiration is all very well, but it will never replace sheer dogged determination.”
So I quickly took out my little planner and mapped out a pretty do-able schedule that will bring me back up to speed, and have me sitting on a pretty stack of 75 pages by January 2. There are only a handful of days between now and then that I only have to write one or zero pages — all the rest are two pagers — but I think two is manageable.
And after a little over three weeks of insane productivity, I have a feeling I’ll be so entrenched in the book that I’ll keep going back every free chance I get until I have a finished product. With any luck, I’ll actually be done ahead of schedule!
What I really love about the quote above, though, is it doesn’t just apply to authors. It applies to any project or activity, really. Is there anything you’ve been waiting to feel “inspired” to do, that you could just power through with some “sheer dogged determination”?