Uh oh. I’ve hit that point near the end of a project when my mind wanders and I begin to fantasize about and outline my next project. Why? Because ideas are exhilarating! Execution is hard! So I’m jotting down those notes (because um you never want to lose potentially valuable notes) and then slapping my brain into shape. Bad brain! Get back on track!
I’m impatient. I was determined to finish this rough draft by the end of May, and I estimated it should be about 90,000 words. AKA, write the entire draft in 4 months. It seemed like a liberal amount of time, since after all, I’ve written other drafts in 3 months and how much more time could childcare add on??
Oh ho ho, silly Sam.
Anyway, I am kind of meeting my goal because I will technically have 90,000 words written by the end of this week. But oh my goodness noooo there is still the entire climax to write! I took too much time setting up characters, and I will do some ruthless editing in draft two, but now my progress must be measured in scenes rather than words. Daaaaammit. We all know what’s going on now! Everybody beat each other up already and be done with it!
I know I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, but my impatience is also because I can’t help feeling like The Time Has Come. The Time Has Come to start putting bigger projects on submission. The Time Has Come to really go for this. I’ve nurtured this goal since I was 10 years old and my schoolteacher pointed out to me that if I really loved writing so much I could be a professional writer one day.
Over the years I accepted the fact that very few writers make a living wage, so I invested time (and student loan money SIGH) in pursuing a day job that would also make me happy. That way I could theoretically avoid the fate of bitter working writer and be tired but happy working writer instead. Well, after you spend so much time investing in the backup plan, you get really impatient to spend time on Plan A again, is all I’m saying!
Aside from accomplishing practical life goals such as Job and Family, I also feel like The Time Has Come in a more writing-related fashion. Each book I write is better than the last (the goal, right??), and I believe my technical skill has finally caught up to my ambition. I am excited and nervous to put my years of obsessing over agent blogs and author tell-alls to the test. And I am impatient because the next step could take years, so let’s get it going already.
SO IT’S TIME FOR A PEP TALK
You can do it, Sam! Forget all the rest of this stuff and focus on writing! Then forget all the rest of this stuff for a little longer and focus on editing! Then put the book out on submission and while it’s out there start working on the next one so you don’t obsess over the potential and statistically likely failure of the first one!
You’ve got 20 years of practice behind you now! You’ve got a decade of adult-ish life experience informing your character development and plot! There is a whole lot of weird and wonderful SFF literature out there right now and that means you can write bigger, weirder stories than ever! The Internet is a wild and wondrous place to build a fantasy community as long as you manage to avoid the crazy assholes! Oh god what if the crazy assholes find you?!
Wait, this pep talk is going the wrong way!
TIME FOR A PEP TALK PEP TALK
You can do it, pep talk! Stop thinking about everything that could go wrong and say what you’ve got to say! You’ve got centuries of experience behind you now. You’ve been deployed in every battle, every classroom, every sports dugout and locker room that ever existed. You know when to spit out praise and encouragement, and when to really light a fire under somebody’s ass because get to work, you’ve come this far, you give up now and you’ll be wondering about this day for the rest of your life!
So get to it! Inspire Sam to end this blog post already and get back to writing! Look at her, she’s so damn inspired. She’s about to hit the Publish button. There she gooooooees-