Monday, January 25, 2016

My bad habit as a writer.

Dear Christ, I'm tired.

I wrote not at all yesterday.

I was recovering from the day before, where I wrote a smidge over 10,700 words in one sitting.

That is not a typo.

I do not normally write anywhere near that, but because I have been at this for years, I can, upon occasion, yank a vast amount of words from my skull and put them on paper.

I do not, for the record, recommend this style of writing.

I had planned to finish all of this well before. I was finishing the last of the SEVEN FORGES novels, THE SILENT ARMY.

I need to clarify something.  This was not procrastination. I knew what I was going to say (mostly, I am a pantser after all) it was just a matter of saying it.  In the past I have written other books at accelerated speeds out of necessity. My personal record is a little over 11,700 words in eight hours of basically not moving from my computer as I hammered out the words.  I have finished a novel in three weeks before, (with the held of a very dedicated editor) And I have worked on two separate collaborations that took, respectively, three weeks and four weeks.

That said, damn, I'm tired.

Yesterday I watched TV and read a bit. That is all. Today it was back to the day job.

Tomorrow I do the day job and then have a conversation with an editor who has every reason to want me dead. See, in order for the book to come out on time I had to finish writing it and he had to spend a weekend editing what should have been to him a while back.

I can give you a dozen legitimate reasons why the book was late. I won't, but I can.

My worst habit? Sometimes I lose focus. I lose it badly. I will look at my work in progress and do all the things that I KNOW are wrong, like going back over scenes that are perfectly fine and tweaking them. Like doubting my instincts and listening to reviews (Never listen to reviews) and considering changing what I have already written when I know full well that if I do I have to restructure several different scenes.

Folks, I've said it before and I'll say it again. All of that stuff? It should happen on the second draft.

I knew better but I did it anyways. Why? Self-doubt, over-commitment, I could name a dozen more. I won't.

Plant your ass in the seat and write the first draft. Take notes if you must about what to fix. I fixed everything I wanted to and I would have fixed it in any event, but because I let myself lose focus, my novel was late.

Set realistic goals. If you can usually do 1,000 words a day then plan that out and DO IT. I can usually do more. I DO usually do more. This time around, I lost the discipline to sit and finish what I started without sliding around in my own skull and at the end of the day I was forced to do a hard marathon.

the good news is that I CAN do that sort of thing. That makes me an exception and I am aware of it.

But it still shouldn't have happened.

Everything that Jeffe said? Pure wisdom. Follow her examples in this case, not mine.

My book is done. I am pleased with it. My editor is, of necessity, annoyed by the typos but pleased with the overall tale. That makes me very happy. I am the last person to ever trust myself that I've done something right. Which is, of course, part of the problem. Self-doubt will whack the crap out of your word count.

My book is done. THE SILENT ARMY is finished.

Except for the redlines and edits. That's tomorrow's gig. After the day job.  I intend to turn the book around within 24 hours if humanly possible. 36 if I find one day is not enough.

A bonus for you. Follow the LINK to the Speculative Herald site and you could win one of several bundles of the entire SEVEN FORGES series.


  1. *mwah* And good luck on turning around that edit - you can do it! Love that cover, too.

    1. Just finished talking with my editor. I'll be doing the edits today and then back to Angry Robot. happily, thje content changes are minimal.

  2. 10,700 words in one day. ~brain explodes~ I'm thrilled when I can get half that on the page! Congrats on completing the final book in the series. The books have been fun reads.

  3. Definitely not a recommended word speed! My brain hurts.

  4. Self doubt is a fierce B.

    Glad to hear you didn't fry all of your brain cells! I'm counting on reading your work for years to come.