It’s been a week since I finished pulling together 50,000 words on the Historic Cemeteries of the San Francisco Bay Area. That’s a good chunk of the book, but it’s not all of it. I figure I’ve got 30 more cemeteries to research and write about.
So rather than feeling triumphant at the end of the month, I’ve just felt wrung out. I haven’t done any writing at all this week. I’ve barely even blogged. Instead, I’ve been clearing out the email backlog that’s gotten stacked up, cleaning my house, and getting ready for the holidays.
That’s all vital, important stuff, but it feels like I’ve been ditching what is really crucial: finishing the first draft of the book. If I just churned out another 1200 words a day until New Year’s, I could get it done… but after the blogging marathon of October and keeping pace with Nanowrimo, my brain doesn’t feel like it’s firing on all cylinders. I need some downtime to recharge.
I wonder if everyone feels that way at the end of Nanowrimo: Are you triumphant or discouraged?
To be honest, no matter how much work I do, it never feels like enough. Last year when I finished the 50,000 words of No More Heroes, I was thrilled to know I could write a new novel in a month — and disappointed because it was still 20,000 words and a subplot short of being a finished novel.
After a period of recovery, I felt thrilled to have gotten so much work done. Unfortunately, one year later, I still haven’t sat down to write the second draft.
It may not matter. A publisher is interested in the Human Rights books, which includes another, earlier Nanowrimo project called The Dangerous Type, my first draft of No More Heroes, and the outline of a third book in the series I think will be called Survivor’s Guilt. I can’t announce anything yet, since we’re still in the contracting phase, but I am really excited about the possibilities in front of me.
The takeaway, as always, is that important thing is to DO THE WORK. When an editor asked if I had something, I could say yes. There’s nothing to encourage a person to FINISH something like a publisher’s deadline.
How was the week after Nanowrimo for you?