While we wait for the new year

posted in: My books | 8

In the early morning hours of January 1. 2016 I will sit down in front of my laptop. With hangovers from cheap champagne and still wearing funny glasses, I will write the first of 360.000 words which eventually will become six books written in six months. It is a challenge I have given myself and I am very excited about it and overwhelmingly terrified.

The inspiration for this challenge came from a Danish author who lives in the US. I read an article about her in a magazine half a year ago. At the time of the interview, she had written 30 books in 3 years – about one a month for those who cannot do the math – and she was very successful. Being overly confident in my own abilities, I thought to myself that I could write equally fast. I also thought it would be a great way for me to realize my dream of writing fiction.

It took me about five minutes to convince myself (and five months to convince my wife) that starting a career as an author while jeopardizing our family’s economy, would be a Nobel prize-winning idea. What could possibly go wrong? We made some plans and now I am ready to take the plunge. January 1. It is.

Now, the big question is of course: Is it even possible to write six books in six months? Moreover, can books written in such a short time be worth reading?

The answer to both questions is ‘yes’. At least, that is what Google tell me. Here are some titles and some numbers:

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas – two and a half days

A Study In Scarlet – three weeks

The Gambler – 26 days

On The Road – one month

These are some of the greatest novels ever written. Of course I am no Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dostoevsky, Jack Kerouac or John Boyne, but the books show that it is possible to write fast and great at the same time. I hope to do the same (without otherwise matching myself against the above-mentioned authors).

So, what do I need to do in order to write six books in six months?

My goal for each book is to write 3.000+ words a day for 20 days. That will make it a 60.000+ word novel. Afterwards, I will spend 10 days on editing and then I will publish the book no matter what. I have worked for a long time as a freelance journalist, and being payed per article and not per hour teaches a man how to write fast and meet deadlines. Besides, I am willing to spend 25 hours a day to fulfill my dream.

I am going to publish my novels as e-books only. It speeds up the process but it also presents a challenge, as only six million people in the world speak Danish and most of them still like paper between their fingers while they read. On the other hand, about 400 million people read English. I did the math and the business case and decided on writing in English even though it is not my native language. I will get friends and professionals to help me get the worst mistakes out of the books.

Will I have missed a comma when I publish? Of course I will. But you won’t notice as you are going to be too caught up in the story anyway:-)

I hope you will follow me from january 1.

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