I’m not sure if I pushed myself a little too hard on the revisions yesterday (several HOURS of writing), or maybe I got a little too much sun while swimming — I ended up feeling pretty sick in the evening, so I gave up on working and just tucked myself up in bed to catch up on The Gilded Age, and once I’d done that, watch re-runs of West Wing until I fell asleep around 9:30.
I woke up at 6:30, realized I didn’t actually have to get up yet, and fell back asleep for two more hours. I feel GREAT now. I don’t think I can fit 11 hours of sleep into most of my nights, but every once in a while, especially when you have a seriously comfy hotel bed for it, it’s clearly good medicine.
Came down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast and to dive into writing. I asked for late checkout, so I have ’til 2 here. Plan is to write to the end of Part Four or two hours, whichever comes first, then go for a final sunny swim, then get more food if hungry, pack, then write some more.
I might end up having to do some writing in the airport and on the plane, but I think there’s a reasonably good chance I’ll actually finish this revision pass before I get home, which will mean the extra two days I tacked on to ICFA (Kevin’s suggestion, since we’re on spring break from teaching this week, which doesn’t always play out this way) will have absolutely been worth it.
Thank you to my beta readers on this pass, who are speeding their way through the chapters as I send them and sending back comments. My plan is to incorporate those comments this coming weekend, then send this to one of my writing workshops (I’m in two) for them to critique in early May.
By then, the semester will be done, so I’m hopeful I can effectively work at home in my writing shed for that last pass revision, with a goal of sending the book to my agent by mid-May, before I head off to WisCon, leaving the summer free to work on other things. Maybe a screenplay? Maybe another novel? Maybe both? We’ll see….
Jed reminded me that I started this book in early 2014, but to be fair, that was also when I got the cancer diagnosis, and I think I probably wrote very little of it in the next year of intensive treatment. But I suppose I should count it from that point anyway, so if you’re wondering how long it takes me to write a novel, well, sometimes it takes 8 years and a bit.
Which is mostly not writing time, honestly — it’s lots of not-writing time. Sick time, teaching time, parenting time, community service time, letting myself get distracted with shiny crafts time….
I’m planning to speed that process up a LOT in the future. I doubt I’ll ever be able to write a book a month, or even a book a quarter, like some writers, but a book a year? I used to write a book a year. That should be very do-able again, now that the kids are bigger, and assuming I don’t get sick again. Knock on wood, fingers crossed, lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!