I like to set myself challenges. It's important to me to continually find a way to make life and writing that little bit more interesting by putting deadlines on things. Typically, these challenges coincide with something else in the year. The New Year marked the beginning of my current daily-publication process. February marked my Love Poem month. Lent is going to mark a 40 day challenge. (Note: Lent is actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday until the Saturday before Easter Sunday, inclusive. The Sundays aren't included in the 40 days of Lent.)
During Lent, I have 40 days that don't require me to spend an unplanned amount of time doing something else. Between family commitments (2 days), a small break abroad (3 days), and the play (1 day), I have 6 days' worth of plans that can't be avoided.
I'm dividing the 40 days I actually do have between 4 books. Two are non-fiction books on writing. Last weekend, I planned 8 such books, and I think it's worth taking the time to getting them written. The idea is to publish them a few months apart between now and September 2015. That is, assuming I get in, when I should be finished with my Masters.
The first book will, in theory, be written between March 5th and March 14th. It's one of the non-fiction books, and one I've been meaning to write for some time.
The second book will be written between March 15th and 28th; there'll be a few days in the middle of that period when I won't be at my laptop, and so I won't be able to write anything. I could, however, finish the book early. It's a novella, and one that I'm very excited to actually write. However, it needs to be planned first, hence the delay in beginning it. I have an idea about what I'd like to do with it once it's written, too, which is always nice. You'll find out more on this book later in the month.
The third book is the second non-fiction book. I'll be writing it between March 29th and April 9th, though there'll be a break in there, too. This one I'm writing because (1) I noticed a market for it, (2) I'm something of an expert at it and (3) I really want to give it a shot. I'll actually be using the second book in the challenge as the basis for a chunk of this book.
The fourth book, then, is one you've already heard of: The Blood of Leap. I'm determined to put what will hopefully be three successfully-written books to good use on the motivation front. Between April 10th and 19th, I want to finish the book. This will require me re-reading it, re-planning it from where I've left off, and writing it. If all goes according to plan, it'll see publication in late April or early May.
It's important for me that I actually spell this out publicly. I have found in the past that when I announce exactly what I'm writing, I tend to write it more easily. Of course, I won't be shirking off my regular writing responsibilities. I still have to write my flash stories for every week. I need to prepare content for the days I'll be missing. All of this needs to happen while I'm working, while I'll minding my niece, and while I'm directing a play.
This is what I live for. I live to write, and to write a lot. A rough estimate for the four books, in terms of a word count, is around 80-90,000 words. Add to that thirteen flash stories, six articles, fifteen blog posts (one extra-special Monday post, explaining the second book I'm writing - though I'm cheating by writing this one a day early!) and thirteen poems, and it's going to be a busy Lenten period. I can guarantee two things on Easter Sunday: I'll have my regular article, and I'll be gorging myself on chocolate, because damn it I'll deserve it!
4 books, 40 days, let's do this!