So that was November, then…
I was pleased that I managed to make the month so productive, despite the urge to collapse in a heap in the wake of finally, finally, finally finishing the draft of book 3 (which it appears is most likely to be titled Reign of Beasts). Thanks to my List of Doom, I kept writing, putting together a draft of a publishing proposal for Fury to be polished up in the New Year, I started editing Blueberry again, which is going to be my summer project, I read books which had been archived on my shelves far too long, and I sewed – bookmarks for a friend’s commission, finishing the top of a baby quilt, and the beginnings of a new crazy quilt.
And you know, in the midst of all that I pushed through my copy edits for The Shattered City (Book 2), and prepared for & taught a one day course on writing fantasy novels.
One of the items on my list was to write a short story. Originally I had another plan for that, but then Alisa went and rejected two stories from a project we were doing together, which left me having to start from scratch! (In a good way. I am hugely excited now about what I’m doing, and she was totally right to kick those stories to the curb. Good enough is totally not good enough.) One of those stories is now done thanks to the List of Doom, and I have to write the other as soon as I can. I’m in a weird in-between-professional-deadlines space right now, where I don’t know where the next deadline is coming from. I will receive proofs for Book 2 and structural edits for Book 3 at SOME point, and everything will have to be dropped to do them, but I don’t know when. All the more reason to polish off my other necessary jobs ASAP, especially as I only have another fortnight or so before the school holidays hit, and there’s no such thing as a truly productive work day until late February.
But in any case, I did my not-Nano November, and while I never got up the high energy equivalent to writing 50K (as it turned out, writing about 5-6000 words as part of smaller projects was my limit) I managed to complete 34/35 items, and that last one was a crazy quilt square that I could have polished off at the last day if I’d dropped everything to do it, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to prioritise that way.
Once I get this last story done, which I have been plotting and replotting in my head so it’s just about ready to burn up the page, I am officially free of commitments, and I would love to have a little of that freedom before I get publisher deadlines again – one thing I have learned this year is that you can’t use ALL the time you have until the end of a deadline, as other things are always turning up to compete, usually in the last two weeks. I’ve always been one to start slowly and build up momentum to rip through the work at a high pace in those last couple of weeks, and so the stop-start-stop-start work pace this year has thrown me for a loop more than once.
I honestly thought I would never get to the end of Book 3. I seemed to be constantly one month from getting it done, and every time I had to stop and start again, I lost momentum and had to “waste” time scrabbling around and getting my zone back, only to be interrupted with a new urgent task as soon as I got up a decent head of steam.