Spent much of this week with my head in my hands, moaning, “Why do I always write such shitty first drafts?” Had to be ungently reminded that—because it is true I always write shitty first drafts—everything good I’ve ever written began with a shitty first draft and turned out okay eventually. Like it or ⇒not⇐, this is my “process.”
I lost two of my spare days and am now only one day ahead of schedule. I was well on my way to four, but I arrived at a scene that was giving me trouble, realized the cause of the trouble was the scene being unnecessary, and chopped it, setting back my gains.
I also got distracted by “How about a Gumroad subscription for short stories about the curse-breaking sisters in that series you’re never going to have time to write? Let’s plan all the logistics, research some curses that can be resolved in 10,000 words or less, and start writing a bunch of those stories because that’s a good use of time right now.” My vision habitually exceeds my reality. We’re currently witnessing the death throes of my last vision, so this is a teachable moment.
I know I sound increasingly grim and that’s a drag, but it’s a long process to distance myself from writing so it doesn’t hurt too much when it’s over (I went through this seven years ago and know what it’s going to do to me [except that time, I got to blame most of the failure on someone else, so I expect this to be worse…]), with the added balancing act of having to sustain some level of enthusiasm for the book itself in order to do the work. It’s kind of like a hard-feelings divorce with a teenage child in the middle. For the kid’s sake, you put on your it’s-all-for-the-best face, but inside, you’re counting the days until that kid turns 18 so you can douse everything in gasoline and burn all evidence of life with your useless bastard ex to the ground. As liberating as that is, severing a chunk of your life is traumatic.
In my heart and head, I’m ready to move on, but I have this one last job to finish first. If you’re tired of me being maudlin about it, may I suggest signing up for the New Release and Nothing Else newsletter so you’ll get the memo when the book is done without having to witness my spiral into despair? It’s my policy not to spam you with useless emails or share your information with anyone else, and there’ll be only the one more mailing before: