The Buddy System

November 7th, 2010


My friend Heather Shorter mentioned on Twitter that she needs a new challenge — something to get her jump-started. I immediately suggested this:

How about: write a book while getting in the best shape of your life?

She demurred that she has a day job, so I said, “Trollope & William Carlos Williams wrote books around busy day jobs. What if we took it on together?”

She took me up on it.

What shape this buddy system will take, I’m not sure. Heather and I are both used to writing for money, and of course writing books is a major life goal for me. But I’m betting we’ll come up with something sweet and figure out a good way to use blogging or Twitter or Facebook or carrier pigeon or some combination to spur each other on and convey our results, both to each other and to you, the hungry reader.

(And when I say “hungry” . . . I’m not sure yet what Heather’s planning to write about, but she’s written a lot about cooking, and if what she actually makes tastes anything like it reads on the page — whoa.)

It’s funny: I had just been thinking about NaNoWriMo, how much I would like to do it, and how I shouldn’t do it this year because — even with ditching the Ph.D. and whatnot — I just have too many current, unfinished commitments on my plate. Well, some of those commitments are to myself, and they’re in the form of incomplete book manuscripts. More than I need to dash off a novel draft in a month, I need to take one of those manuscripts in hand and give it the thorough treatment it deserves.

Now, which manuscript? Decisions, decisions . . .


(Photo by Ben McLeod, used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.)

4 Responses to “The Buddy System”

  1. deb roby Says:

    looking forward to seeing this play out.

  2. Glenda Spain Says:

    Cannot wait! My professor is doing the NaNo for the 5th year in a row…and one of the part-time college students at Mitchell is also! Good luck to you two!

  3. John Johansen Says:

    I decided on Nov. 1 to do NaNoWriMo because I needed something to kick my butt into getting the practice.

    I’m definitely writing a lot of crap that won’t be read by anyone who doesn’t share my last name and live in the same house.

    But, it’s helping me get all the bad writing down onto (digital) paper so I can shake off the rust and start to remember what good writing is all about.

  4. Tim Walker Says:

    Deb — The e-mails are already flowing back and forth, along with *gasp* an OUTLINE.

    Thanks, Mama.

    John — I’m a big believer in getting your reps in. You do it badly a lot of times so that you can do it well eventually.

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