What are you supposed to do when you hit a writing milestone?
This morning I hit 50k of words on my latest novel. It feels unbelievably satisfying to hit that mark in around a month’s time, it’s beating down the nice average of 1k a day I like to set. It’s blowing it away, truth be told. So what do you do when you hit that milestone?
When I finished my first novel I went out and bought a blueberry crumble pie, and hot damn was it sweeter than wine. At the end of the second novel I don’t think I did anything; I just started proofing it to get it off in time for the Vogel Awards, which I will surely have confirmation of my failure to win in around a month’s time. It was such a haze of trying to read the novel again and again that when I finally had it polished, to my standards, and shipped it off all I could do was go home and feel relaxed/anxious in equal doses. Then a few days later I flew to France, not a direct milestone celebration but also not a bad way to get over the major rush that was In Ten City.
Now I am 50k in and I want to jump up and donw, and I kind of have, it’s still pre-8am, no need to go crazy, and there is still plenty more words to go before I hit the finish. I have no real estimate of how long this will run, but I could throw a ballpark down at about 90k, I guess.
But what do I do when I finish this one? It’s a big effort writing a whole novel. The first was about 120k, then the next about 66k, this one will fall somewhere in between, I am sure, so what do I do? Crack a beer? No, that would ruin the day’s workout. Go watch a movie? Yeah, sadly that would pass as a major luxury for me as I rarely give myself a two hour block to have away from the grind. That’s why comics work, short little doses in between the work, same with teev shows. Hit the crack pipe and score some blow of a hooker’s ass? Nah, not really my style at all. I don’t know what to do, each minute away from the work feels like one more minute I am not working, and boy do those minutes add up. I want to watch the accumulation of the working minutes, not those other kind. It’s probably too stressful a way to do it, but I have also written two and a half novels in just under a year. I see no reason in breaking the vase that sits beautifully on the shelf with no cracks in it yet. When I burn out, yeah, maybe then I’ll make some modification. Maybe.
Until then, I’ll keep burning the midnight oil and when You Must Remember This is finished I will probably just go back to that authentically French bakery run by the nice Vietnamese lady and get me another blueberry crumble pie. Maybe with some ice cream this time.
Posted on August 4th, 2009 by ryan
Filed under: Writing