May 21, 2007

Winding Up for the Pitch

Well, my mother always said it took 21 days to start a good habit (Truthfully, the number was kind of random, I think, but since my mother said it, we shall pretend that it Proceedeth from the Mouth of God like all good girls should), so HipWriterMama's 7 Day or 30 Day Challenge inspiration is right on the mark. I wish I could be counted upon to actually DO something for thirty days - but I know I'd better not commit to anything at the moment. I will, however, take a minute to celebrate that I am halfway finished with the last page of my work-in-progress! I am completely relieved.

And also completely in shock.

You know, you read all of these author interviews and stuff, and you hear them say that it sometimes takes them a year to write a novel. (And then you read those other ones that say the author dumped the whole thing out in six months. And then you're tempted to injure someone.) You think, "A YEAR!?" and you sort of -- panic. A year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred and sixty five days. Gosh, that seems like such a long time. But truthfully, it's not. Especially given that most of us don't do one thing for a whole year, it can be a very short time indeed.

Since June 28th of last year, when I started this current work-in-progress, I have a.) finished a second draft of one novel, b.) the first draft of another, and c.) with constant editing, am now just finishing the FirstSecond draft of this one. (Sometimes I write in FirstSecond, that is, I am unable to write in a straight line, and am constantly course-correcting along the way. You'd think this would mean my agent had less to make red marks on in my manuscripts. It does mean that -- I mean, I guess the manuscript is better than it would have been if I hadn't made any changes, but he still has comments to make. Many, many comments. He has to get paid for something, and he wouldn't have a job if I were perfect. Right? Oh, just nod your head.) I've also submitted a short story every week for our Flickr Fiction project, I've entered three contests, one of which is for a Mustard... romance novel (oh, you MUST visit this contest - it's so awful it's funny), interviewed seven authors ( The Summer Blog Blast Tour, Coming Soon to a Blogosphere Near You - countdown to June 18!), not to mention written thousands of emails and hundreds of personal journal entries.

This has been a weirdly busy writing year. Granted, the last two weeks of writing have felt like where most of the time from the whole year has settled, but I believe I will be done tomorrow! And when I get there, I will enjoy it. I will sit down and savor the newest Carnival. I will check out Sparrow's Blog, and read her book, I will read some of the hilarious sounding book recommendations that have come my way. I'll take a hard look at the big picture (and groan) and enjoy catching up on all I've missed.

For a day.

Then, I'll join the Hip People and get on with the next challenge. Maybe it'll take me 365 instead of 30, but I'm sure I'll get there. Eventually.


David T. Macknet said...

There're newsletters that she does, too, and the blogs. So, although it's scattered out over a year, I'd imagine that she does a novel in about, oh, two months. If she could strip out all of the other writing, that is. And there is a lot of other writing - I've watched, and read.

Sarah Stevenson said...

I can't write in a straight line either! The only thing enabling me to do so thus far has been NaNoWriMo--otherwise I'm constantly re-reading and fiddling.

Vivian Mahoney said...

Congrats on finishing up your novel!

mbpbooks said...

Wow! You need a 2-hour Thai massage or something equally restorative. Glad you're looking forward to Sparrow's story, though. Your productivity is inspiring me to get my butt off the web and start writing again.

Anonymous said...

Writing is one of those weird things that feels like ...well, like some days you're not doing diddly squat.

I needed to write this down to actually look at and acknowledge all of the writing that I do... I didn't realize it was so much. At this point, I'm able to be really DRIVEN. I am going to milk that for all it's worth, 'cause I know it may not last!