I recently joined a Facebook group called “Dr. Sit Down and Mr. Write.” The description is as follows:
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in three days. Recreate his feat by writing 25,583 words during a virtual weekend retreat…
And then it specifies days, a weekend in June and a weekend in November (to correspond with NaNoWriMo, I believe.)
Fascinating. Simply fascinating. So I did what any well-read writer would do, and looked it up on Wikipedia.
Apparently his wife read and made margin notes, as do many “first readers.” He burned it and rewrote it, again in three days.
And then, this detail:
A number of later biographers have alleged that Stevenson was on drugs during the frantic re-write; for example, William Gray’s revisionist history A Literary Life (2004) said he used cocaine while other biographers said he used ergot.
Oh. Well that makes sense. (And for those of you who don’t feel like looking up “ergot,” it’s basically magic mushrooms.)
I have just NINE DAYS until winter break, when I’ll have two weeks off until I have to be back at work in 2019.
One of my big goals for winter break is to write a novel.
I just took a workshop where I got seriously life changing advice about my manuscript, which has been rejected SIX TIMES so far! )<- That’s a joyful exclamation point, believe it or not. I definitely consider the rejections a step in the right direction, and several have offered some great feedback.) Anyway I have some heavy edits to do, which is really more of a rewrite, so until I pick up that mantle again I am going to start on another project.
My plan is to, sans cocaine and psychedelic mushrooms but probably with plenty of caffeine, write 25,000 words over break.
Wish me luck!