I FINISHED THE BOOK!
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?