I am enamored by ridiculous feats of human achievement. Climbing Mount Everest. Swimming the English Channel. Actually Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
But I have been decidedly fascinated by triathlons. These multi-sport events are the ultimate tests of endurance and fortitude and chronicle the triumph of will and dogged perseverance over the limits of the human body. The pinnacle of this is the IronMan Triathlon—a global phenomenon that includes a 2.4 mile ocean swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26 mile marathon run.
To me, if you can simply complete one of these, no one can ever say anything to you ever again. No one can say what you didn’t do, that you’re lazy, that you can’t do something. It’s the ultimate response: “You do it.”
We have these sorts of literary challenges throughout the course of the year: there’s National Novel Writing Month, the 30 Day novel-writing competition; ScriptFrenzy—a 30 screenwriting challenge. There are writing prompts and blog tours, journal challenges and write-ins. But I want to do something drastic. Something crazy.
I’m creating my own triathlon, my own literary IronMan, if you will. I’ve done National Novel Writing Month. I’ve written a screenplay in 30 days. I have struggled to say something to all of you through this blog every other day. What if…what if I put them all together. What if? This is where you’re supposed to say “No, Chris, no! Don’t do it! It’s too risky!” And then I give you my best Ahab and scream “Risk be damned!” and turn the boat into the storm or some shit.
Here’s what I’m thinking: 30 days of writing frenzy. 30 days of novel writing. But what, there’s more. Add writing a script in those 30 days. And if you act now, we’ll add a 30 day blog tour to your order. That’s right! 30 days of novel, script and blogging for your literary pleasure. I thought about calling it Insanity but that punk ass Shaun T took that title. Considering the influx of Starbucks Double Shots and Mountain Dew, the lack of sleep and the sound of my characters droning in my head, 30 Days of Jibberish might be a better title. I think I’ll call it 30 Days of Madness.
30 Days. Of Madness.
But there have to be rules, right? Can’t have a triathlon with no rules, can we? 30 Days of Madness is composed of three, count em three, simultaneous events. The first is a NaNoWriMo-style novel writing challenge. 30 days, 50,000 words. Second is the ScriptFrenzy screenwriting challenge—same 30 days, 100 page script. Lastly, 30 days of blogging—30 days of posts of at least 500 words. At least. My plan is to put together a blog tour and squat on anybody’s blog that’ll have me. Barring that, I’ll let you decide the topic: 500 words. Every day.
No one says you have to choose something ridiculous like I am but take 30 days to do something different. Something novel. Something risky. No telling where you might end up. My commitment to insanity begins April 1—I figured April Fool’s Day was apropos. You can check out the specifics for my challenge here on my 30 Days of Madness Page.