30-Day Challenge, Among Other Things

First off, allow me to apologize for not posting here for awhile. After my last post, it was my resolution to post something once a month, and then February hit. For such a short month, it was frantic. And lately, all my good ideas have been going to my column, “From the Chimerical Dark,” published in Dark Eclipse. So if you really miss me, you can read me there. C’mon, it’s only a couple of bucks. You can also email inquiries, interrogatives or imperatives at chimericaldark@hotmail.com now. I look forward to the harassment.

What made me want to sit down and write here was an article I read today in Cemetery Dance #65. In his monthly contribution, Mr. Monteleone talked about writing The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel. On Amazon, he received this charming critique:

“Monteleone actually tells us that all writers should aspire to be on the NY Times Bestseller List. Now, throughout the years I have heard of lot (sic) of writers and novelists cautioning their creative writing classes about the consequences of ‘writing for profit.’

One of the absurd rules he strongly suggest that we enforce while writing is ‘writing three pages a day.’ I have read other books on creative writing, and although many professional novelists stress the importance of writing steadily everyday, Monteleone is the first one to say that we HAVE TO write three pages a day. His reason for this ridiculous rule? Simple. The faster you write, more books you can sell down the road. The issue of profit-driven writing surfaces again!”

Monteleone’s response?

“Yeah, somebody actually got pissed off that I suggested writers should want to get paid for what they write… and writing  3 pages a day… yeah, that’s just awful, isn’t it?”

Truly awful, Mr. Monteleone. And how dare you suggest that writers get paid for their work! It’s capitalist swine like you that’s holding back the Communist dreams of every Middle-class bohemian who feels compelled to commit their misunderstood-ness to paper.

The Truth has been spoken: we really need a sarcasm font.

I remain truly floored by some people’s density. It sounds like, if this person really wants to become an author, then they should spend less time reading How To books and complaining to the authors about conflicting advice. If there was a formula, don’t you think that all the aforementioned Middle-class bohemians would have found it by now and be happy as pigs in shit? And yes, professionals get paid. Finally, do you know what’s even better than a paycheck? A slap on the back, a “good job, kid,” something. Anyone who claims that they don’t want validation for what they’re doing is lying to you and themselves. It’s a basic human drive, for God’s sake!

Alright. Must. Calm. Down.

… Ah… okay, I’m alright.

Suffice it to say, this person may not be willing to accept the advice he shelled twenty bucks for, but I am.

Challenge accepted, Mr. Monteleone!

See, I have this project I’ve been working on for about a year and half now: Clean Freak. Yeah, I’ve been working on it, but after a year and a half, I only have about 50 pages done. Alright, so I’ve been working on a lot of other things, but that’s the problem: there’s so much to do, big projects can easily be pushed to the back burner in favor of shorter projects that are easier to finish. But no more!

Three pages a day for 30 days. Check back once a week for updates!

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