Inspired and influenced, no doubt, by two decades of Life in the Land of Spreadsheets, I came up with a goofy concoction I dubbed the “book meter”. Throughout the time I spent writing my first novel, I would keep everyone advised of my movement through a graphical aide. It spared me answering the constant question “How is the book coming?’ and provided me a link to my inescapable nerdiness. It was foolish, of course, because the book changed during the writing and what was the original length of the story grew as the tale itself grew.
It was in the nascent days of Facebook and so it was on myspace (remember that?) that my blog and subsequent updates occurred. It was a silly thing, for sure, but I think I did it as much for me as for friends and whomever.
At the time, I had never attempted anything grander than some short stories and it had been many years since I had done any “serious” writing. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I would be able to write a complete novel. It may seem unfounded now, in light of working on my third full-length book, but I was riddled with uncertainty and lack of confidence. Even today, it’s a terrible and wonderful mixture of fear and pleasure whenever I sit down to write.
Many people talk about writing a book and despite millions of books already written, that pales before the hundreds of millions that never put pen to paper. My Grandma used to say her life would make a good book and curse me for being old enough to realize she was right but too young to know to do something about it. Oh, to have the opportunity to document that today.
I don’t take for granted whatever gift I was given to sit before blank pages and place word after word upon them and (so I am told) make enjoyable reading the result. As I near the end of this first journey, an unexpected trilogy (I only thought the story a single novel), I tip my hat nostalgically to my beginnings and send a virtual wink back to myself four years past by reviving the book meter as the final book winds down.
Look for it on the Jeremy Shuttle Adventures Facebook page. In the past, I updated it daily. Perhaps only weekly now, but we’ll see what pace I set in the writing of the book.