Yesterday was November 30, which was the last day of NaNoWriMo. And yes, I finished my novel weeks ago but I wanted all the NaNo badges, which included writing every day and achieving par every day, so I pulled out the second Waverly Jones book, which I’d started in September after finishing the first one–I had 19K written and I gave myself a modest goal of another 30K by the end of the month.
Then last night I kind of sort of finished it–it came in at 88K and change.
So in the month of November I wrote 152 000 (and change) words. That’s the NaNo goal times three.
And I got all my badges!
I honestly did not think I’d finish the book and I even doubted I’d get the last two writing badges after the weekend I had because the moment those books popped up for download, again, it was like something just shut off in my brain. I couldn’t type in the document. I thankfully already got my words in for the day because I walked away in the middle of a paragraph and it was well over twenty-four hours before I could make words again (and those were pulled out with pliers).
I cannot describe it any way other than paralyzing. And honestly if not for NaNo and my completionist need to get those last two badges, I don’t think I would’ve made myself get back on the horse right away. It’s why Livi 5 took so damn long–I completely FREEZE.
(Again, do I need professional help? Probably! But therapy? In this economy???)
But it took another two days of steady writing at night and things were moving again, and yesterday I flipped my freelance/writing scheduled days so I could focus entirely on finishing the book. I wrote 13K and was done after 11pm.
Tacking on the 45K I wrote to finish Livi 6 in October, I’ve basically written 200K words in five weeks. On top of 30 hours a week freelancing.
I physically feel like I am about to fall apart. My entire body aches. I’ve been wearing a wrist brace all month. So whenever you see my crazy high word counts, remember there is an enormous physical toll because I’m an old lady approaching forty, and I can also do this because this is literally all I have. I’m in year two of lockdown with my health compromised and no one in my social bubble because no one will make the same sacrifices to do so. I don’t have hobbies, I don’t socialize beyond weekly DnD and Saturday write-ins (if that counts as “social”?). I have the imaginary people in my head and my cats. That’s it.
But that’s six books I’ve finished in six months and I’m really proud of that. I’ve actually reconnected and re-fallen in love with writing again, and while the rough drafts I’ve finished are all pretty messy, I am really happy I did them. I’ve got a lot of work of revision ahead of me but that’s something I can pick at next year when my health is rougher again.
The book I just finished is A Wild Kind of Darkness, and it’s probably not going to release until spring 2024, but after The Killing Beach took me three and a half years to write, I was so happy the sequel moved so smoothly.
I can’t wait for y’all to meet Waverly.
She’s misanthropic. She’s anxious. She talks to the hallucination of her dead sister. She keeps accidentally rescuing strays. She has Resting Sociopath Face. She has a complicated relationship with her two mothers. She’s both coolly detached and deeply intense. And she has one of my favourite lines: My sexual orientation is Tired of Dealing with Humans So Mostly I Don’t Bother and there’s no pride flag for that.
Waverly gets back to my roots of writing Unlikeable Female Characters and I have so much fun with her. I’m sure reception will be mixed but I’m also sure she’ll have her fans and I’m excited for them to find her.
Since I switched my writing day this week, it’s back to freelancing now through Friday, and I know I’m at the edge of exhaustion so no more raw wordage (except for maybe a for-pay novella I’m nearly done) and just a slow pace starting Livi 6 revisions.
And instead of writing tonight I will probably nap.