A boring post… sweetened with unrelated media


I’m using my blog as an actual blog today, which is to say I am reporting on my life as if it’s interesting to anyone other than me. Hey; at least I have the self-awareness to keep it short.

See, after letting it rust for about a year, I’ve sort of been working on my novel here and there recently, and I want to accelerate the momentum. Thus, I make this public pledge/shaming statement:

I will finish the first full draft of my novel by August 31, 2014, and I will finish the second full draft by December 31, 2014.

Yeah, I know. Who cares? If WordPress is an ocean, bloggers writing novels are plankton. But you know what the experts say about writing down your goals: You use up paper and ink.


As promised, here’s some Unrelated Media, a concept I’m stealing from Michelle Proulx (she of the weird Canadian last-name spelling), inspired by a concept I’m stealing from Kevin Brennan, not Canadian to my knowledge, but that’s no reason for you Canadian readers to judge him. Get off your high horses already!

The other day, Kevin posted a photo of a fiction passage he admired and asked readers to guess who wrote it (we all failed. It was from Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates). I’m not going to make anyone guess mine. I’m simply showing you the opening paragraph from The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe because it is pure freakin’ genius writing. You learn everything about the narrator and know what the entire book is about in five short sentences and 70 words.

p mccabe

19 responses to “A boring post… sweetened with unrelated media

  • Dave

    Trust me, Eric. I will (attempt to) publicly shame you on September 1 of this year should we all not be informed simultaneously of your success. I, for one, am looking forward to you completing that novel, because that will make it one step closer to when I can read it. Based on your blog, it can’t be anything short of great (or least entertaining)

    Go, Eric, Go!

    BTW – I’m entering September 1st into iCal to send me a reminder, so don’t go thinking I’ll forget … 🙂

    • ericjbaker

      Deal! (As in, “It’s a deal,” not as in it , “deal with it, pal.” This writing thing can be a ball of confusion, can’t it?)

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m about 19,000 words into what intend to be a 70,000-to 75,000 word project. I have no plan and no idea if any of it is working so far. We’ll find out soon enough!

  • Jill Weatherholt

    Good for you, Eric. Announcing your goals publicly is a great way to stay on track. We’ll be watching you! 🙂

  • nrhatch

    Announcing goals publicly doesn’t work for misanthropes since we don’t give a shit about what others think of us. :mrgreen:

    Good luck with your drafts!

  • Richard Leonard

    I think I tried this publicly annoucing goals once before. I can’t remember what I announced so I probably passed my deadline. But I’m sure you will meet yours. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  • Kevin Brennan

    You just added another book to my towering TBR stack! (And since I’ve put The Butcher Boy on my wishlist, I now know that this is an Irish accent, not southern…)

    Good luck on your ’14 goals. Sounds like you have the boiler well-stoked.

  • livelytwist

    Ah Eric, if you work on it every day, and occasionally share something so serious and lighthearted like this with us, you should surpass your goals. All the best.

    Five short sentences, seventy words, I love it!

  • Janna G. Noelle

    The fact that you wrote your goal in bold and underscored “will” automatically means if that first draft isn’t complete by 11:59:59pm on August 31, you shall be smited with fire and brimstone. I’ll be cheering for it (the completed first draft, that is).

  • 1WriteWay

    I’ll be rooting for you, Eric! I’m learning (or should I say, re-learning) that my goals are made to be adjusted to the point where I forgot I had goals 😉

    • ericjbaker

      I’m trying to find a balance between having unrealistic expectations and being so Zen that I don’t accomplish anything. A goals that’s 5 months away isn’t too crazy. Thanks for the supportive words.

  • Completed: The First Draft of My WiP | ericjohnbaker

    […] months ago I motivated myself to get cracking on my novel by publicly posting a deadline of August 31, 2014 for my first […]

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