THE PRETENDER’S CROWN, Book Two of the Inheritors’ Cycle, was turned in last Friday. It came in at a whopping 180,000 words, by *far* the longest book I’ve ever written, and I am very very glad to have it done. That was not by any stretch the most difficult book I’ve written, but it was so long that man, wow. It felt like it took a long time. (It didn’t, really. Even including the time I spent unable to write because my hand was smashed (it still isn’t totally healed, btw. I probably cracked a bone.), it took 4.5 months, and if you count the days I actually wrote, it’s probably more like 3 months. Which isn’t all that long at all.)

So what do you do when you’re done with a book? How does it feel?

…I gotta say that for me, it’s mostly a sense of relief more than triumph. This was my 16th manuscript. I guess I’m pretty confident at this point that I can do it, so when I get done, well, *fwoomp*, good, it’s done, time to move on. I’ve been insanely busy writing the last several years, and I haven’t taken enough time to ever really sit down and breathe and be pleased with myself.

So this time I’m celebrating by taking a two-week holiday. In my book (er, so to speak) “holiday” means “I only have to write one short story, and if I get ambitious I might write a couple comic scripts”, not actually “time totally off from work”.

I think there’s some degree of this being a problem with being a writer/artist/self-employed. You only get paid when you produce (something I’ll talk more about next week!), and for me, at least, there’s an awful lot of (self-induced) pressure to keep busy, keep moving, keep new projects in the hopper. Some of that is, as David discussed, purely the shiny of a new project, but a lot of it is just the fact that this is a job like any other, except more erratic in many aspects. There is, however, *definitely* a part of it that’s just Catie The Overachiever, who is not good at taking a break.

Which makes me curious: what do people do to get out of their writing heads for a while? More than just other past-times, I mean, but time where you’re not actually going *on vacation*, like, leaving where you are, but when you’re on break at home and taking time off?


6 comments to finis!

  • I dance. If I could work it out, I’d be in the studio about four nights a week, because my teacher has started offering all these great classes that I want to learn. I limit myself to two classes a week (right now it’s cabaret and sword-dancing).

    Dancing is wonderful because I stop thinking when the music starts, and just move. It cleans all the cobwebs out and I swear the words flow better afterward.


    *knocks self in head for not saying it sooner*

  • Congrats, Catie. Great news. Gives encouragement to those of us who are still months away from finishing the W.I.P.

    When I’m in between books, and I’m not traveling with the family or concentrating on photography, I tend to do the other stuff demanded of this job of ours. I’ll retool my website or pour more energy into blogging, or look for other avenues of self-promotion. There are times when I hate these other aspects of the job, particularly when they intrude on my writing time. But when I’ve finished a book, I find that this stuff gives me a chance to use another part of my brain, to be a writer still, but in a different way. And it allows me to feel that I’m still being productive even as I recharge my creative batteries.

  • Congrats, Catie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m a week behind you…in the middle of cleaning up the final draft, writing one extra, final scene.
    Have some fun. Sleep a litle. Enjoy…

    What will I do when I get done? I don’t know. It’s been a looooong time since I had actual free time. I’ll think about it and blog tomorrow…

  • Beatriz

    Congrats, Catie!!

  • A very big Congratulations! Well, I usually just put on my pjs and watch a movie with a creamsicle… 🙂