Mario Villalobos

Hell No

I’m resolved to focus my days more on my writing from this day forward. There have been things I’ve been doing that don’t really help my writing out in any way, and I’m going to see how I can either sprint through completing them or deferring them to some far-off future date. There’s this block of time in the middle of every day that I can use to spend some time improving my writing in some way that I’m not using in a productive way, and that’s the block of time I want to focus on. I write every morning and night, so it’s only fitting I write every day, too.

I finished transcribing the Great Gatsby today. I’ve been chipping away at this project for way over a year, and I’m glad I’m finally done with it. The last two pages were the saddest to write because this book has been a part of my life for a few years now, and now it’s over. But when one thing ends, another thing begins. I’m going to start transcribing Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms tomorrow morning. This is a much longer book, and it’ll probably take me a lot longer to complete, but that’s okay. This is not a sprint. The point is to learn, and I learned a lot while transcribing the Great Gatsby. I’m sure I’ll learn something from Hemingway pretty quickly. I finished re-reading this book tonight for the third time. It’s a sad story, and there’s way more dialogue than I remember, and Catherine can be kind of annoying, but I like his style. It matches my temperament, I think. Simple. Honest. Unflinching.

I compiled my novel โ€” what I’ve written so far โ€” and printed it at work today. It was over 49,000 words, or 242 manuscript pages, and I’m only halfway done. I want to spend not only this weekend, but every day, revising and rewriting and revising and rewriting and revising and rewriting until the story, the characters, the words are just right. I want to be proud of this novel, even if it won’t change the world or anything. It’s changed mine, and I’ll be eternally grateful for it. I know it can be better, and I’m both afraid and eager to get started. I’ll see, right?

As for my blog, today marks day 159. I’m almost halfway through this journey, and I don’t know what I’ve learned, to be honest. I started it because of some girl, and now I’m pretty sure I’m over her now. It took me a good while, but I think I’m finally there. I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked in my life, and I’m making the most money I’ve ever earned in my life, and I’m in the best shape of my life, and I’m reading a book a week again, and I’m writing a novel and enjoying the whole damn process, and that’s more than I can say 159 days ago. Does that mean I’m good to go? That I’m done?

Hell no.

This is for life, bitches.