Word count: 137,065/150,000 words
Words written since Week 9: 14,952 words
I just checked where I was last year on Week 10 of writing FTR1. At that point, I was at 90k words. Amazing what jacking your weekly quota up can accomplish.
I am at the point in this story where insecurity threatens to paralyze me. I hate the characters, the plot, the mess, my coffee addiction, sugar, and plankton at this point in time and worry that everything I do is pointless. I curse my own undeniable compulsion to write if it essentially gets me nowhere but where I started.
I soldier on because at 130k words, you’re kind of too far in to stop and you might as well finish. I think the rejection from agents for FTR1 took some of the wind from my sails (or sales) because I work really well for the carrot of potential publication. Easier to do that with one-shot novels, but when the first book in the series goes nowhere, it’s easy to feel like you have nothing to offer, and you wonder whether all this work is worth it just for yourself.
Then, in order to continue, I have to just keep telling myself that I don’t really write for publication. I write to stay sane and not intensely depressed, and if the series doesn’t take off through traditional publication, I still have options. Not options I prefer, but options nonetheless.
I’m also at the point when I would just like to be DONE already. The good thing is that there’s an end in sight. I’m tying up all the preamble to the climax action scenes, and while my FTRs tend to have lengthy denouements (lots of subplots to tie up), most of those scenes have been solid in my head for a long time.
Notice how I refer to my mental states in phases. That’s because I’ve been here before, and I know that when I’m writing, these phases will come, but they’ll also go. I rarely have such assurances from other emotional states in my life. Friday and Saturday were hard to get through, but Sunday was easier. And in the midst of my darkest insecurity, I can still write a line that resonates – good, solid, and important – and brings tears to my eyes.
I know that when I finish the novel, no matter how much I want to finish and be done with it, I’ll miss the world in which I’ve immersed myself. I’ll miss the unique creation of this particular story, because you can only have that once. I’ll start to look forward to the next one and hanging out with my circus ring of characters and their spanking new set of problems (and a few old ones). I’ll plan new projects and go through the same rollar-coaster rigamarole all over again. I just have to tell myself that it’s worth the time and the pain and the ups and downs just for myself. Anything else would be a bonus.