I found out a few hours earlier today via Twitter that Rex Pickett has started writing the stage play of Sideways (which I believe will be produced this fall). Saw the tweet five minutes after he posted it.
On April 23, I found out that Terry Fallis started writing his third novel on that exact day.
On April 20, I found out that Laura Roberts’s Naked Montreal is 69% finished.
On May 3, I found out that Tom Chandler will “throw his keyboard in the ring” for a chance at a plum fly fishing column.
On September 6, 2010 on this very blog, I announced that I’d be starting my own novel the next day. And I did.
The best I can come up with for Fitzgerald and his start date for The Great Gatsby is that in July 1922, he wrote to his editor Max Perkins and said that he wanted to write “something new–something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned”, and that he started writing sometime in early 1923. Maybe. (Could have been late 1922…)
My point? There is a real immediacy that comes from being hyper-connected as we are. I feel closer to the writers I’m following, that’s for sure. I mean, you read the Letters of Fitzgerald or the Life and Times of Faulkner, or the (insert your favourite writer’s biography here), and you imagine what a typical writing day was like for them. Imagining the exact moment the words “In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since…” hit the page.
Today, well, I guess we’re not physically there to see it, so we’re still imagining it to a certain extent, right? But it feels real, like we’re a part of literary history, knowing the moment that literature is being born…
I love that feeling.