NaNoWriMo Diaries, Day 13: Don’t Try This At Home

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So I haven’t updated this in ten days because I’ve been laser focused on trying to keep my novel updated but also trying to keep other projects going at the same time and let me tell you it’s not my favorite thing in the world, this arrangement.

The “other projects” tab has varied, but at this exact second I am writing one book, editing another (as in, my editor sent me comments and I am responding to them), and dealing with a proof that should be simple but isn’t because of a Scrivener issue from seven years ago from the first time this book came out with a different publisher and yet somehow is still there in the text making italics vanish and me bananas. Also both my personal professional emails are at constant critical max, not just in volume of unread but in people finding other ways to contact me and say, “Did you get X?” and sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t respond because I got distracted, sometimes I never saw it, and sometimes I didn’t even see the alternate communication means.

Also, I”m hosting Thanksgiving here next week for ten people, and my kid is in music All-State this weekend and ten people are coming to meet here before that and the easiest thing is for me to have dinner for them so I’m doing that.

JUST a touch of stress happening here. But I got drafted into the hydration squad on Twitter today, so that’s good. Plus I got myself a salt lamp yesterday, which I honestly thought would just be a pretty glow but there is legit something going on with it because I find myself walking away from it and wanting to go back, and when I sit next to it and get frustrated with my writing, I start touching it. Basically, I’m this cat.

I am making progress on the book, though. Passed 25k last night to much jubilation. Kidding: I closed the document and opened the edit and worked until I had to stop because I hated the world. The edit is actually book two in the same series and I’m writing book three, so it’s not too much of a head toss, but it’s rough to edit and draft at the same time, because now I have Editing Head in my Writing Head, which is very much chocolate in my peanut butter but not in a good way. More like salmon filet in my peanut butter. Especially as I go back and forth, I find myself having difficulty getting into an acute focus for editing and when I draft I’m hyper critical of overwriting and meandering prose, which would be helpful if this weren’t very much a discovery draft. All this means I’m editing slowly and writing slower and so the whole thing is taking forever and I’m cranky as hell.

I don’t regret this, though, because I’ll still finish the edit by the end of this week, and by the end of this month I will absolutely not have a finished book but will have a meaty hunk of stuff that I can gut and turn into the book I actually need. Right now I keep writing and think, frequently, “This is seriously a fucking mess,” which in my experience with one exception is how my NaNoWriMo novels turn out. I absolutely do NOT do well writing every single day. I do NOT do well pushing through when I need to stop and regroup, and my novels, right around the 20-30k mark, show me where the real story is and I usually stop to fix it and go forward. Sometimes though I first don’t think about it for a while and then come back.

Sometimes “for a while” with me is a year or more. Antisocial was two years, I’m pretty sure, and I poked at it several times before it took off. A lot of that was because Skylar stymied the hell out of me until I could peel him all the way back. Honestly if I had my way that book would have waited another year or two to come out but it had to happen when it did because it was the only book I could put out after the Samhain mess that I had started and wasn’t connected to any other books. Rebel Heart, the next Love Lessons book, has been in my head for over two years and has over 20k in it, but when I tried to rush it all that happened was I ended up in the basement playing my kid’s video games. Sometimes the book isn’t ready.

My NaNoWriMo book is contracted, though, so it’s going to have to get ready by deadline, muses ready or not. I’m using this month as a chance for my intuitive brain to play around and just make a godawful mess of things because that makes it so happy, but the whole time I’m noting what feels like it’s clanging and what feels like it’s humming.

This trilogy has been a little tough too because it’s hit the year my body went sideways enough I had to fold a nerve drug into my repertoire that helps a ton but also slows my writing down. I’ve adapted to it, but it cuts my processing and production time by two-thirds, which his how books that were supposed to be done by March are still not done in November. Well, that and I made them almost double as thick and intense as they were meant to be, but the only one complaining about that is me. (Even my publisher said, “That’s wonderful, go ahead.”)

I don’t know that I’ll do the write every day for thirty days thing all the time, and next time I’ll for sure stop when there’s an edit. Except maybe not. If I were to stop writing this now and do the edit, I’d come back to it and feel like it was too messy to continue for sure. So perhaps it’s good to keep pushing on to fifty or sixty thousand, whatever I get.

All I know is I have to go to the chiropractor today, and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is waiting for me once I hit par on my wordcount. Probably not going to get in anything more on the edit, and I kind of despair for the proofing at the moment, I’ll be honest.

This is where I’m at. Onward we go.

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