I don't know how I did it, but in the span of about a month, I went from having three more chapters to do, two three more scenes, to three more pages, to three more paragraphs.
And now, I have three manuscripts.
This is easily the fastest book I have ever written, from conception to realization. My first book spent a staggering two years just mucking around inside my brain, before I spent another year and some change writing it. My second -- while essentially written during NaNoWriMo and half of December -- was first thought of as I was rounding out my first year as a teacher. I'd write about 7,000 words in 2011, only to let it gather dust for a solid year before NaNoWriMo of 2012. I actually started thinking about manuscript #3 during NaNoWriMo of 2012, but wouldn't actually do anything until NaNoWriMo of 2013. And while the manuscript gathered dust for three or four months, it is finally, finally, finally finished.
So what's next in store for me? Well, for one, I get the privilege of not doing anything with M#3 for the rest of the summer. A good rule of thumb is to create distance between you and your work and not try to edit while still in the post-writing afterglow. I'll send it out to my husband and my best friend to read (since they are the only people allowed to read anything of mine when it is still in the first draft, the ramblings in this blog not included), and that's about it to M#3.
But that doesn't mean I'm done with my novel-writing world just yet.
This means I can go at it again with my first manuscript, as well as edit the crap out of my second (the editing process got dropped halfway through in favor of NaNoWriMo 2013, and then the ABNA, and then life). My fingers are crossed that my bigger writing résumé will help me land an agent and maybe -- oh man, just maybe -- an actual book deal. But I also recognize that the cards are stacked against me -- that people will buy a Real Housewives memoir and the books on that first table at B&N and that's about it. But I have to try, regardless. And I self-publish, I self-publish. But I want to be that writer who talks about her hundreds of query letters, her relentless drive forward, and maybe her eventual circumnavigation around an industry that -- let's be real, here -- is becoming too old-fashioned for its own good.
On a much less exciting note, I also finished my anatomy class, culminating in my little group presentation on flexibility, Golgi tendons, and PNF stretching. I'm less than 60 (!!) days before I'm done with this little project. It kind of blows my mind that the things that have taken up so much of my life for so many months -- one of them going on almost a year *cough* -- are finishing up. There's something oddly poetic about all of this happening at once. I'd like to think that this year away from the "Real World" and a year of necessary milestones and transformations (going back to school for yoga, getting my little ebook out, moving and settling into the house, writing out M#3). It seems fitting that so much would finish on roughly the one-year anniversary of when I quit teaching, and everything else will wrap around the one-year anniversary of when my first essay was published on TC.
I'm definitely interested in seeing what the rest of the future holds. It's definitely an exciting -- albeit frightening -- time for me right now. But if life doesn't scare you a little bit, then there's something you're not doing right.
And now -- off to edit M#2!