Eleven is a leggy number – “legs eleven” is the usual bingo attribute – but in this case I’m thinking of eleven as bookends to two projects.
The first is a reading challenge which I’ve already mentioned in an earlier post: the Italian Book Reading Challenge hosted by Brighton Book Blogger (do sign up and read the first entry here if you haven’t already). The second is a writing challenge I discovered courtesy of Twitter (Book Rambler, thanks for passing on the news!): it’s called “A Round of Words in 80 days” (ROW80 for short).
Perhaps I’m a sucker for endeavours of this kind, and there is definitely a downside to them, reminiscent of a certain sort of “joiner-inner”-ness (a memorable line from Lynn Barber’s An Education), but in my view the pros outweigh the cons. Of course, you have to put in the time (which might be spent, perhaps even being gainfully employed!), but in return you will learn more, share opinions and be generally “richer” in many ways.
So, to come to ROW80. My NYRs prominently included the line: Get that book off to a publisher (possibly with the addition of exhortations, not to say expletives, fore and aft!). So ROW80 could be a saving grace: a cunning plot to keep me to the straight and narrow path of writing 400-800 words a day. A nice broad range, you’ll say, but I find I cope best without stipulating precise numbers: 400 is achievable on the busiest of days, while 800+ would be a good boost on weekends or at quieter moments.
I’m not going to say any more now about the project itself, except that it’s been around for a l-o-n-g time and it would be f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c to clear the desk by the end of the year (the final bookend) and move on! So, I’m rolling up to the start line, pushing into first gear, and with an agile foot on the clutch, will be into second, third, fourth and away!