Announcing National ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month’

October 31, 2012

Words

You, too, can ‘Write like a son of a bitch!’ Make the commitment today.

Writers need deadlines. Writers need incentives and motivation. Writers need a sharp kick in the keister to get up from the sofa where you’ve been hypnotized by a “Big Bang Theory” marathon for three hours (not to mention Kaley Cuoco, if you’ve the same crush we do). Writers may also need something like National Novel Writing Month, which starts at midnight tonight, to get their damn keyboards, typewriters, pens and pencils in gear.

But some of us are daunted by the whole NanNoWriMo challenge, which is: “to write the rough draft of your novel in the month of November.”  Some of us fear the commitment will be just another signpost along the unlit, pot-holed expressway to failed novel-writing hell (speed limit: Unlimited). Some of us need a slightly looser commitment. What about something a little simpler, yet no less energetic. What about:

‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month?’

Jim Harrison

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THE OFFICIAL, SUCH AS IT IS, FAQ for ‘NATIONAL WRITE LIKE A SON OF A BITCH MONTH’ (W-SOB Month): Sponsored ever so loosely by WestVirginiaVille.com

ABOUT THE NAME:
The name comes from a Jim Fergus interview with Jim Harrison  in The Paris Review: “Jim Harrison, The Art of Fiction No. 104.”  The interview was conducted in October 1986 at Harrison’s Michigan farm. Along the way, Fergus asks Harrison his advice to younger writers:

JIM HARRISON: “Just start at page one and write like a son of a bitch. Be totally familiar with the entirety of the Western literary tradition, and if you have any extra time, throw in the Eastern. Because how can you write well unless you know what passes for the best in the last three or four hundred years? And don’t neglect music. I suspect that music can contribute to it as much as anything else. Tend to keep distant from religious, political, and social obligations. And I would think that you shouldn’t give up until it’s plainly and totally impossible. “

The whole interview is worth a read. But we are drawing our inspiration from that one line, because we are pretty sure that if we clear the decks enough, we just might have it in us to write like a son of a bitch for 30 days.

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WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?:
There are no commitments. No sign-ups. You just have to agree to be ‘a writing son of a bitch’ for as many days in November as possible.

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HOW WILL I STAY ON TASK?:
We encourage you to choose a writing friend, one who has been just as lax as you. One who has not been a writing son of a bitch. We encourage you to be writing sons of bitches together. All you have to do is send the following form to your friend and see if, like, s/he’s game.

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I THOUGHT YOU SAID THERE WERE NO FORMS:
It’s an e-mail, a letter. A scribbled note to a friend. You call that a form?

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WHAT DO I COMMIT TO WITH MY FELLOW WRITING SON OF A BITCH?:
We suggest something like this, although since we intend not to monitor your agreement — just our own — it’s up to you to stand up and be a true writing son of a bitch and deliver the goods to your fellow SOB:

“I hereby agree to take part in the November 2012 ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month,” sponsored loosely by WestVirginiaVille.com. At the end of which, no later than Dec. 5, I agree to either e-mail or preferably snail mail a minimum of no less than 10 pages and no more than 100 pages of drafts of any writing produced during said month to my fellow challenge-taker. So they may see that, indeed, I wrote like a son of a bitch. To agree to this challenge, respond with either:

I AGREE.
Or
I DO NOT AGREE.

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THAT SOUNDS PRETTY EASY. BUT STILL, IT’S  A LOT OF PRESSURE:
What pressure? You’ve been sitting there watching the same re-run of “Big Bang Theory” you’ve seen three or four times. C’mon, man. That (pick one) novel/novella/chapbook/trilogy/space opera/epic poem/epyllion/elegy/quadrilogy is not going to write itself.

Dude.

Just saying.

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No heavy commitments, but one.

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CAN MY WRITING BE A SHITTY FIRST DRAFT AND CONVOLUTED?BECAUSE, IN TRUTH, I’M GOING FOR QUANTITY OVER QUALITY?:
Shitty first drafts are kind of the point. Or rewritten first drafts.

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WHAT ABOUT LISTS? I MAY JUST WRITE LISTS. I’VE GOT SOME LISTS TO GET OFF MY CHEST:
Funny, our W-SOB Month partner asked exactly that same question. Lists are good, too. But they should be slightly literary lists. Grocery lists, for example, should be really good grocery lists. With strong verbs. (‘Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch’ might help with that.)

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BUT WHERE WILL I FIND THE TIME?
That’s up to you. But you may need to take some time off of your relationship with that jealous beau, Facebook. We suggest some variation of the following status update, posted by midnight Nov. 1 or shortly thereafter:

Dear Facebook Friends, Frenemies and Old High School pals whose politics I abhor and here I thought I really knew you when we were kicking ass in the horn section together in the marching band:

Hi. I will be spending less time on Facebook as I try to use the month of November to write like a son of a bitch. More about that at this link. (EDITOR’S NOTE: You may direct them to his blog post using this WordPress short code: http://wp.me/pWOj9-1XG ) See you!

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WHAT IF I DON’T DELIVER TO MY FELLOW SOB 10 TO 100 PAGES AFTER WRITING LIKE A SON OF A BITCH?
That’s between you and your god/karma/conscience and/or Jiminiy Cricket. Our work here is done.

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Jiminy Cricket rules.

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WAIT, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Midnight’s coming. We are going to go out and party like it’s Halloween 1999. And then, tomorrow. You know what?

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WHAT?
We’re going to start writing like a son of a bitch.

We use the term ‘son of a bitch’ loosely. Men, women, teens, children, all are welcome!

7 Responses to “Announcing National ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month’”

  1. Karin Says:

    I’m in. And I have my partner all lined up. Let’s do this!

  2. admin Says:

    Done, Karin! Maybe we can publish excerpts when all is said and done. On to W-SOB month…

  3. Ginger Says:

    Hell yeah!!

  4. Martha Mozingo Says:

    I’m in and I need a partner. ANyone?????/

  5. Ginger Hamilton Caudill Says:

    Martha, I have a partner but I don’t have any issue with triangulating with you so you won’t be left out.

  6. Pam Hawley Grady Says:

    Well, I am way too late in seeing this as it is almost December. Might you declare another W-SOB month?

  7. admin Says:

    Actually, yes. January, 2013 I think. Line up a writing mate, Pam!

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