1000 Words a Day

Last night I was examining the sadly shrinking wet bar here at the Somers Compound, and pondering the ravages of time. This time of year I’m always faced with this dilemma: Everyone I know is well aware of my love for whiskey, so every holiday I am bound to receive several really nice bottles of the Good Stuff. So every year begins with Jeff rolling around on the floor clutching bottles to his chest, laughing in joy.

But by the end of the year I’m low and hesitate to buy my own, because I don’t know what I’ll be getting from well-meaning loved ones. So I hem and haw and wait to see. And ponder how in the world I drank all that whiskey during the year (well, of course we know how, the question is, how did I survive? That’s a lot of whiskey).

Anyway, this somehow has driven me to try and write a novel in the next few weeks. All that thinking about time made me realize that I have a very thin period of downtime over the coming weeks, and I decided that hell or high water I was going to accomplish something. So, 1000+ words a day it is, and we’ll just see how it goes.

I’ve never done something like this before – never tried NaNoWriMo or anything. I’ve never had any trouble putting words on paper, and generally prefer a more hippie-ish we get there when we get there kind of attitude when it comes to writing. But I do like to shake things up every now and then, changing my mechanics a little. I get into ruts where writing books becomes a fixed process, and that erodes inspiration, so every few years it’s good to try something different – a different schedule, different approach, whatever. So, something new: I’m going to write 1000 words or more in a novel, every day (though I should note: not an Avery Cates novel, a separate wholly personal project). Why not? It should be fun. Or soul-crushing. We’ll see.

If it gets soul-crushing, at least the posts on this blog will be interesting. Especially after the holidays, when delivery of gifts of spirits will make my endrunkening easier.



  1. grey_tinman

    Care to share what the novel will be about?

  2. Damaso

    So in a few days when this fun experiment becomes mind crushing hard, just have the Duchess tie a string around a bottle just out of reach. When you hit the magi number presto, it’s happy time!

    Good luck!

  3. Nemesis0

    Hell with a setup like Damaso suggested we’d get a jeff somers novel every couple months instead of one a year.

  4. jsomers (Post author)


    Not until it looks like it might actually become a novel. Not sci-fi, though. We’ll see how it goes.


  5. jsomers (Post author)

    Damaso & Nemesis,

    You’re not taking into your calculations how much the writing produced under such conditions will be unhealthily obsessed with alcohol, and punishing mine enemies. Which will include you two if I find out The Duchess got this idea from you.


  6. Damaso

    But isn’t that what all great fiction is about? Take Electric Church, how much drinking was there again (and there is no way you could write about the sensation of drinking rotgut without some home brew experiments in the basement)? And how many of Avery’s targets were merely thinly disguised enemies from the playground in third grade?

    If it ain’t broke….

  7. Diamat

    No good can come of poor spirit-inventory management, Jeff. You’re worried you might end up with *two* of the same dram? I describe this as a GOOD THING, not a problem, dear boy.

    I have today rescued the following poor, orphaned bottles from Waitrose. Calling me, the were:

    Laphroaig 1/4 cask
    Highland Park 12
    Grants Ale Cask Finish (see? I’m no fuddy-duddy)
    Buffalo Trace (sob)


    Good luck with the mini-nanoathon.

  8. jsomers (Post author)


    The thing is, if I’m getting a bottle of X, I can then use my meager funds for a bottle of Y, and have both! Yes, greed is unattractive. But as a writer you learn to live the spartan life. Or you could do what my brother did, and spend 5 years researching cheap whiskey. he is now the undoubted expert in cheap whiskies, and can tell you which sub-$20 bottles will kill you and which will keep you warm at night.

    I am far too lazy for such effort.


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