It's now official: of the many things I'm bad at (math, swimming and diving, cooking dinner without making a mess, being a lesbian), writing a book cannot be one of them.
Last week Plume and I agreed to hop in the proverbial sack together. The word sack, the outline sack, the deadline sack, the scary sack. "I want to write a book" has transmogrified to "I am writing a book," and scary has never felt better. For the first time in my life I'm neither deluding myself nor bullshitting someone else when I say, "I'm a writer."
I have to write 40,000 words by February 2012. I sat down and did the math (because even I know how to divide, if barely and only with a calculator), that comes to about 2,000 words or four single-spaced pages of non-drivel a week. That means that my son will watch a lot more Jonny Quest, eat a lot more Trader Joe's mac 'n' cheese from the box, and spend a hell of a lot of time banished to Sodor; my husband will even more regularly ask me if he has any clean boxers; and our cats frequently alert me to the state of the litter box by shitting elsewhere.
Forty thousand words in six months is no minor challenge, but in some ways to me the larger issue is: How do I write a book and not become insufferable to my friends and acquaintances? Let's face it -- one of the most obnoxious sentences in the English language is, "I'm writing a book," while "my book" and "my agent" compete for the most obnoxious possessive + noun combination (though if one lives in Hollywood and/or is rich, I expect one could include "my screenplay," "my stylist", or "my Louboutins").
I have one friend who shall remain nameless who has written a book and become an asshole. To be fair, he was trending toward asshole before he wrote the book, but the book really sealed the deal. (No, Doug M., I'm not talking about you...) I'm sure this is not an uncommon pattern, and I promise to do my best not to follow it.
You'll tell me as soon as I have a tinge of asshole, right?