So, as to not sound like I’m having some kind of stress breakdown like the past few weeks’ posts might’ve implied: I’m fine. Exhausted and overwhelmed and (to mix my metaphors in a moment) feeling like I’m sinking in deep water, but still going. My pets are fine (aside from having a seizure, Blind Cat is apparently the most healthy seventeen-year-old cat ever). And I pick my ass up and keep going because what the fuck ever–shit keeps piling up and stuff breaks, and it’s all expensive, but it is much preferable to keep flying and do your best than feel bad about it.
Fridays are internet-free days for me. About a month ago, my internet was down for an entire Friday and I was so productive. No email interruptions, no distractions. Sure, I couldn’t look things up, but I just made a note to look later. So that’s what I do now: Friday rolls around, I check in to ensure no one I know is on fire or anything, then turn the WiFi off my laptop for several hours. I clean, I work, I write, all uninterrupted. It’s helped me keep on top of housework and my word count during busy work weeks.
And this is why, I can officially say, I am done the zero draft of Shiva’s Bow.
This is the first big project I have started AND finished since burnout last year, and probably the first novel I have written and finished quickly in a short time period since Exhumed in late 2011. (Solomon’s Seal—Livi #1–took about six or seven months for the zero draft; Odin’s Spear–Livi #2–took ten or eleven; by contrast, Shiva’s Bow has taken about nine weeks.)
The zero draft has clocked in at 97 405 words.
8000 of those were written Friday. It took a hell of a lot to get in the final several thousand–I managed about 3-4K a day (always at night) from Saturday through Monday, because it was the only thing standing between me and being alone with my thoughts, which was not a good place to be. I also know, roughly, where the overall shape is off with the thing, and possibly how to fix it. I expect it to hit 105K in rewrites to get a solid first draft, and the Beta of Awesome normally notices things to help me flesh it out a little from there.
I am still heartbroken over Molly–as are those who knew her for her short life (and frustrated over the lack of remorse/playing the victim her previous owner is doing right now)–and that whole situation, so I can’t really celebrate, but I am pleased it’s done and I’m happy with the book. Because it’s messy but I love it, and I’ve had more fun writing it than anything in recent memory. I swear, one day it will see the light of day, and will be dedicated to Lilith Saintcrow, for when she assured me I was going through a normal thing and that I’d recover.
The book also contains a scene where my heroine kicks a yeti in the balls. So there’s that.
Of course I promptly went and did this.
So, yeah. Not really in a celebratory mood, but happy to have it off my plate. Of course I have to be responsible and focus on for-pay writing projects for a few months because my finances are seriously hurting. By summer, I’ll hopefully have decided on either Oblivion or Nairobi Spy Book to write next–we’ll see what’s next in line.
I can, at least, say I feel more like myself again, and I take tremendous comfort in that when everything else is pulling me under.