Or I will be, once this letter with my cheque arrives at 3-Day Headquarters in Vancouver.
Have entered this previously three times – twice I successfully completed and entered my novels, and the other time I think I burned out part way through. I seem to have blocked that weekend from my memory, although I did manage to write first drafts of a couple of stories in the short story collection I was proposing to finish. The other two completed and registered novels didn’t win or place, but that’s not the point here. The point is that I have two completed novellas that I have been working on to rewrite and improve, because you can always improve, right? And I was happy with what I wrote.
This is an exhilarating, albeit slightly masochistic, way to write, and not for the faint of heart! You should be prepared going into the weekend. Have a plan set out, and not only for your novel’s storyline and characters. You don’t necessarily need a support group hovering over you as you type, but you do need to know that food, water and, most importantly – coffee!! – are available throughout the weekend and at all times. I have found that I could always manage the time for a full night’s sleep on both Friday and Saturday. Sundays were sometimes dicey, depending upon how far into the novel I was by that time. Last year, I had the entire novel written by Sunday evening and left the editing for Monday. That was a good contest year!
I somehow find time though to continue checking Facebook, email and Twitter throughout the weekend, but then maybe that’s just me being obsessive-compulsive/extremely social/avoiding actually writing the damn novel… Best case scenario is to shut off the Internet altogether and keep your fingers on the keyboard, your eyes on the screen. Oh, and, get up to walk around every once in a while, and find someone else to talk with, other than yourself. That will stop you from thinking you’ve taken a hike right round the bend!
It’s most certainly not for everyone! But it is fun, and you’re part of this huge international community of writers all trying to reach the same goal of completing a novel in three days – cool!!
So, if like me you enjoy the excitement of writing to a very extreme deadline and you don’t mind that everyone around you who doesn’t understand this penchant believes you to be slightly… no, definitely crazy, then consider joining me this coming Labour Day weekend. If your letter is postmarked prior to Aug. 15th you save $5 on the entry fee.
And, as another incentive, this year marks the 35th Anniversary of the International 3-Day Novel Contest! Something more to celebrate!