You haven’t heard from or seen much of me lately.
I’m sorry about that. It’s become a matter of self care. I need to novel like the wind before I explode, so I hope you can bear with me for the time that’s taking, because anything that could add to my crazy (and stressors are often not intuitive) is getting pushed down the priority list.
On days when the writing goes well, I am resigned and angry that I can’t get more done, can’t do it better. On days when I fight for every word, let us say that my emotional and mental state is Not Great and leave that there as an understatement of gross proportions.
However, I am finally, finally at a place where I can see the end of this book looming on the horizon. Sometime in March I declared to a friend that if I hadn’t finished this book by the end of April I was going to start indiscriminately punching things. I said it mostly in jest, and then I realized I meant every word.
Desire to avoid indiscriminate punching aside, I am holding myself to that deadline. Some self-imposed deadlines are easy to break, but not this one. This one I believe, because if I’m not done with this book I’m going to go crazy. I’m sure, because I’m already going crazy.
I have finished whole other books in the time I have not drafted this one. This is going to be the roughest draft I’ve ever finished, but by god IT WILL BE DRAFTED. And then I can spend May writing something else, ANYTHING ELSE, without this story looming in my subconscious, worming its way into other stories where it has no business, prodding me with an increasingly pointy and fiery spike into writing it.
This is not a book that is going to get to beta readers before I’ve done a rather more extensive pass than usual. I tend to draft sparingly and flesh out later (say, 60k becomes 80k), and even so, I’m past the 135k mark on this monster. That’s not completely out of the realm for fantasy, but if I scale up those numbers and estimate I’ll be tacking on about 60k, well. Not ideal.
I’m thinking hard about what arcs I need to get done in the intended sequel and comparing to this monster, and I’m increasingly convinced that I’ve actually written two books, not one, and on one hand that’s reassuring, because it goes some way toward explaining why I’m not done drafting the damn thing yet. On the other, it means my pacing is totally off and I’ve been weighting motifs and layering subplots incorrectly, so editing will be a mess.
I know I’ve been dropping the ball on communication, and projects and commitments have gone on hold. I’m sorry. The very fact of STILL NOT FUCKING DONE is stressing me out more than I would have believed possible; it’s certainly not been true of any other books I’ve written. But then, no other books have been as big (I don’t just mean in length of words, but in the time it’s taken me to learn how to write it, in scope, in difficulty).
Maybe I’ll post more detailed metrics later — I keep them for myself anyway, because tracking my productivity at least helps convince my brain that I’m actually being useful. But for reference, that is over 85k written since I went part-time in February (in 2 ½ months). I am pressing right the fuck along.
I have two scenes to do today before I’m allowed to sleep. Talk to you soon.