Hi there. My name is Igor Max, and I’m going to do something big, bold, and audacious in 2017.
First, I have to admit that I’m not much of a goal-setter. I’m not even a particularly productive person. In fact, some would say I’m a natural-born procrastinator. But I have a burning passion inside me: I want to become an author. And this year, I’m going to do it.
Now, “becoming an author” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. My big, bold, audacious goal for 2017 spells out exactly what it means for me. For me, it means “Extreme Productivity.”
I should start off my saying that I already consider myself a writer. I write every day. I love writing, I always have. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I write short stories, long stories, stories for myself, stories for school. I’ve always felt like I have a bottomless well of imagination dying to be expressed, and writing is how it comes out. I like writing more than I like talking. I’d rather be inside writing than doing just about anything else. I didn’t do sports in school. I wrote. I excelled in writing. In creative writing class in college my professors all encouraged me to pursue a career as a writer.
An “author” is different. To call yourself an author, I think you actually have to be writing books. However, I hasten to point out that I have not written a single novel. I haven’t sold a single short story. As I said, I only just graduated from college. I have to make a living, too, so if I’m going to achieve this big, bold, audacious goal, I’ll have to do it by working around my schedule where I can, committing maybe 2-3 hours per day at most.
So, when it comes to writing, what is “Extreme Productivity,” and how am I going to get there?
It’s simple. I’m going to get there by taking my productivity to a new extreme. And here’s how I’m defining that: I’m going to write a novel every month throughout all of 2017.
That’s right—a novel a month.
And I want to be clear—merely writing and publishing a novel every month is not the extent of my goal. This is not just about Extreme Productivity. It’s also about quality. The novels have to be good, by readers’ standards. I intend to write books that people will actually read, and like.
How will I do this?
First, I want to tell you what kinds of novels I’ll write. I’ll write thrilling sci-fi adventure stories—stories that grip you and never let you go. I like serious page-turners, the kinds of books you crack open at night intending to read a chapter before you go to bed, but then staying up until 4 a.m. having read the entire book. I like the original “Twilight Zone” TV show, I like the high-concept work of Philip K. Dick, and the best Steven Spielberg and George Lucas movies. I like “golden age” science fiction from the 1950s.
One of my idols, productivity-wise, is Isaac Asimov. He wrote some 500 books in his career, and hundreds of short stories and essays—not to mention thousands of personal letters and other writing. How did he do it? Well, he wrote. A lot. He wrote constantly. He was said to have three typewriters loaded with three different projects at any given time. He typed 90 words-a-minute, and he typed all day long. When he was eating, he couldn’t wait to get back to writing. When he was sleeping, he was dreaming of what to write, and when he got up, he couldn’t wait to start writing. He wrote whether he felt like it or not. He was obsessed.
I’m going to achieve my Extreme Productivity goal by doing the very same thing. Writing. A lot. First, I’ll spend about a week plotting out my story. Then I’ll do the heavy lifting: the first draft. I can type about 2200 words per hour. This is my top speed for producing a first draft that’s at least workable. I should be able to hammer out a decent first draft of a 60,000-word novel in about 15 days. Then I’ll spend about a week editing and finalizing the chapters, roughly 6 per day. Concurrently throughout the month, I’ll coordinate cover, proofreading, production, marketing, and all other things that go into self-publishing a book.
Extreme Productivity is going to be a lot of work, but I’m committing to it now, publicly. And by the end of the year, I hope to have locked in what will be a lifelong habit of Asimov-caliber productivity. By the end of the year, I hope to be a habitually prolific author, with several books under my belt, hundreds of 5-star amazon reviews, and perhaps even a movie deal in the works.
Pie in the sky, right?
But I’m committed. So Let’s see how I do.
Do you think I can do it? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.