All posts tagged: novels

15 Minutes

Last year, I signed a contract to ghostwrite a short novel. It was on a tight deadline, and I have a day job. So I knew I was going to have to maximize the way I use my time both before and after work. I did this by breaking both time periods into 15-minute increments. While I was writing the book, I woke up every day at 6 AM and spent 15 minutes eating breakfast and drinking a cup of coffee. Then, I took a quick shower. By 6:30, I was writing and doing so for one hour. The rest of the morning went to a workout and a bit of straightening up or reading before heading out the door to work. When I got home, more often than not, I went to work on the novel. That left me with some time to take a walk, eat some dinner, and a little unwinding before going to bed. The best thing about this kind of routine was that I knew where I was supposed to …

Huxley

All writers are inspired–at one point or another–to write. But I’m not at all sure how many of them recall the exact moment when they defintively decided to become a writer. Maybe every writer does. I was in college, sitting in a tan corduroy armchair reading a paperback copy of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. There was an oversized “Devil’s Haircut” poster on the wall behind me and a forest green, low pile carpet under my feet. It was past time for a good vacuuming. It was my second reading of the book; the first had come in high school. I was a fan of it in the tenth grade but by the time I got to college I’d decided I needed to read it again. I proceeded to go from Brave New World to Brave New World Revisited. This led to Island, The Doors of Perception, and Heaven and Hell. But it was the caste system (Alphas, Betas, Deltas, etc.) described in Huxley’s seminal work that gave me my eureka moment. I believed that …

Competition

A friend of mine and I run together a couple times per week. Right now, he’s training for a ten-mile race. Together, we run a fraction of that amount because three miles is just about my limit. I’ve done four but regretted it later. Obviously, he’s the better runner. He’s less winded than I am when we hit the three-mile mark and can usually outrun me in the final sprint. But this doesn’t bother me and there’s a reason. I lift weights and he doesn’t. Pull-ups? Push-ups? I’ve got him beat. When it comes to competition, we often neglect to think about our other skills. That may not be the point in a direct heat but it’s important. Not being able to run faster or lift more than someone else doesn’t mean we’re a loser. It could mean we’re winning at something else. I’ve never been particularly competitive. I wasn’t athletic (or maybe coordinated) when I was young. But I could probably make an argument that I have become extremely competitive with age–at least with …

Film

I spent about ten years trying to make a film that would get noticed by Hollywood-types. I got so far as to have a short featured on the IFC Channel’s Media Lab Shorts Uploaded before realizing that the novel suited me better. That doesn’t mean that I’ve lost all interest in film. And it may be no surprise that my focus was on the writing previously, but I’m currently working on learning a bit more about cinematography. It’s possible that filmmaking is as important to me as it ever was because one of the driving forces behind my writing is the possibility of seeing a novel adapted into a film. In fact, the last novel I submitted to agents was written as a screenplay first. I used it as a kind of outline. I’d like to see the writing I do as cinematic. I think it is, in part, because I write by watching the film version in my head, transcribing what I see. I’m not sure if that’s unusual and needs unpacking but that’s …