Mr. Savory is writing a novel in one year.
I know this because he is my husband, and because I am his referee. My job is to make sure he is completing his five hours of writing a week.
I cheer him on but stay on the sidelines. When he says it is going slowly and five hours isn't much time to allot to this goal, I am still encouraging.
I think it's impressive even if the number of hours worked never seems like enough.
Sometimes he puts in more time, finding spare hours during the weekend, but his hope is to use his half-hour train rides to and from work, Monday to Friday, to comprise the five hours.
Occasionally, he finds a friend or neighbor on the train who might sit down next to him. While Mr. Savory enjoys the chat, in the back of his mind he is worrying about his writing time.
One day the train was so crowded that riders were standing in the aisles. A man was standing next to his seat and his stuffed shoulder bag kept swinging into Mr. Savory. It was all he could do to keep his laptop from smashing to the ground. I don't think much writing got done that ride.
As most of us goal-setters know, when you're focused and know what you are trying to accomplish, it's amazing how you can find bits of time here and there to attend to your project. A quiet day at work...(well, that's not really supposed to happen, right?), an unscheduled half-hour before school pick-up or a late train.
Mr. Savory is maybe only a month into his writing. He says he doesn't care about publishing his book, he just wants to write it. I can understand that. If you get too caught up with how your work goes out into the world, that's energy that takes away from your creativity.
I asked him what he would like to tell us about his novel and the goal of writing it. These are his words.
Its a fantasy steampunk baseball novel, no title yet. Its set in a fictional world in which two warring races end 50 years of civil strife and instead take out their aggressions in a non-violent way through the sport of base-ball. But hatred runs deep between the two races, and now, thirty years after the cease-fire, the tenuous peace is threatened by groups that would prefer a return to war. Its up to the assistant to the Baseball Commissioner, aided by his loyal mechanical hound Crandy, to thwart those plans. Aimed at the young adult market.
My best discovery in this process is the writing software Scrivener, which is perfect for ambitious projects that require multiple characters, plotlines, detailed backstory, outline, and of course many chapters and scenes. I love it, it really helps get me going.