Is this how James Joyce got started?

I have signed up as to participate in National Novel Writing Month 2006; as such, I am responsible to turn out a 50,000-word novel, from start to finish, in the month of November. I have 15 days to ponder what I’ll write. The great thing about the contest is that it’s all about volume, not quality. 50,000 words of utter garbage is just as good as 50,000 words of brilliance, and that’s very freeing.

Truthfully I’m not sure whether I’ll actually do it or not; it depends on how progress is going on my ‘real’ novel, which currently stands at 17,000 words. If I feel good about where that is on October 31, I’ll be okay with leaving it sit for a month while I churn out something less responsible. Otherwise I’ll forego participation in the month and just focus on the task at hand.


Lousy morning today–late into work and grouchy. Lately I don’t seem to be able to get to sleep before 3 AM. It’s not insomnia per se, because I’m usually engaged in something, but I just don’t seem to get tired. I think I’m going to spend my life fighting my natural hours (late night) in the interest of being a functioning part of society. At least until I’m published.

Last night it was The Da Vinci Code. I’ve never been so entranced by a book I didn’t like. It’s a great read, don’t get me wrong, and the ‘factual’ aspects are fascinating (although everything I’ve read suggests that I take it with a grain of salt) but it’s just so badly written. Not from a technical standpoint, but from an academic/artistic: it’s all clifhangers and authorial interjections and coyness from the author. It’s really painful. Still, there’s some comfort in the fact that a book so badly written could become such a huge bestseller. I apparently wasted four years getting a bachelor’s degree in writing.

I’m also in the midst of another big life-altering project right now, but I don’t want to blog about it for various reasons. Once it’s over I’ll let you know; if you’re a personal friend, you probably already know what I’m talking about. So far things are going along nicely, but I’m very early in the process and it’s difficult to say. I’m feeling somewhat trepidacious (trepidated? are either of those real words?) but also very excited at the prospect of success.

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Chris
Chris is an author, artist, personal trainer, and long-time nonprofit fundraiser. His work has appeared in The Nib, GOOD, the Huffington Post, Salon, MTV, and numerous other publications. Chris lives in New York City.

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