Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8179

So, I managed to get a doctor's appointment today and found out that I have laryngitis; I've got a dry, painful cough, my throat and ears are red inside (well, at least they're not purple... or black) and I get repetitive waves of fever and chills. It turns out, though, that coughing so hard the windows rattle in their frames and self-confining myself in bed turned out to be a good thing - I've written 8179 words since Tuesday.

**THIS IS ME DANCING AND PUTTING MICHAEL JACKSON TO SHAME**

Seriously, I haven't had such productive writing days since April - I managed 15000+ words in about 8 days, and yes, it was exhilarating and feverish. When we got back from our holiday, I struggled to hit 20K (that took about 2 months)and then I did and felt a bit more confident and hit 30K, wobbled along and finally hit 40K. Tuesday past I was on 41K and now I'm sticking my tongue out at 50K (almost half-way!) and I keep on wondering, "Why? What made this week different to any other week?"

By all rights I shouldn't be able to lift myself out of bed, never mind keep my hands hovering above a keyboard.

And I think it has something to do with finally realizing, truly and deeply realizing, that I'm actually writing a novel. Sure, I've been saying this for about 7 years, but it never felt real then; in those 7 years I wrote approximately 115000 words, but the thing is, I didn't *finish* anything. Oh, I started plenty - drips and draps here and there on manuscripts that ranged from Portal fantasy to Star Wars EU to Highlander and Tomb Raider stories to Urban Fantasy to the various seeds that led to the novel I'm writing now. But yep, I never finished anything.

And there's something about trying and trying and trying that keeps you going, keeps you motivated and thinking and experimenting, but it's also a helluva punch to the gut - especially after realizing that I had written enough words to fill a novel but hadn't actually written even a novella. That really brought me low. And then that get's me thinking about published authors saying, "The best piece of advice I can give writers out there is to write." and me thinking, 'Sure, man, saying that with at least 3 novels behind you is easy - you've found the zone, you've found the flow.'

Now I hear those words differently. You see, it's been a long journey for me - I was an editor first and a writer later; I would write a scene or a page and then spend a week making it perfect before moving on. 115000 words indeed. And kicking that editing-habit is a serious challenge, but people, fuckin' KICK it, because it's the only way to write.

I have no doubt at all that there are many portions of this MS that I'll be tossing into the garbage - in fact, I could name them for you now, but that would be spoiling the novel- and I'm looking forward to editing and rewriting, but right now, the actual *writing* is awesome. I've finished a section of the MS that sets up quite a bit for the rest of the novel (and even the other books in this series that I want to write, someday) and now I've entered a new section, where all the interesting, creepy and exhilarating stuff is happening. I'm even breaking rules, which is terrifying, but cool, and only time will tell if my choices will end up paying off, but right now I'm so damn impressed with myself and so damn proud of my characters that I'm on a high, even though I'm confined to bed. :-)

Don't get me wrong, I'll definitely be hitting many more patches of struggle and frustration, but I've also realized that it comes with the territory - if it didn't, well, writing would be easy, wouldn't it? And it's not meant to be. Never easy.

So I say bring on the struggle and frustration - I'm writing a novel, dammit, and I love the fact that it's not easy!

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