What not avoiding writing looks like

Yeah, I’ve definitely been avoiding the Pen boys for a little while.  I was having finishing anxiety again, and so I took a couple weeks off to read a crap ton of books, and to hang out on Pinterest a lot under the guise of “researching”.  I mean, to be fair, it is actually research.  Everything I’ve done in the last couple of weeks has helped me prepare for getting back to Alex and Mason soon.  The week with Erin was heavily Mason-centric, but this last week has revolved around Alex, and I’m definitely ready to dive back into that story and work on a second draft.

The Pen boys, however, will very likely be done today.  This blog is not a procrastination of that, it’s a I just finished a 4k chapter, broke 180k overall, and I need a brain break.  I might make some tea.

On Thursday, I texted Erin and Patrick to tell them that I was close to finishing the book, and then realized just what exactly that meant.  I’d already vaguely plotted out the end of the book, but then I sat down to actually plot out each chapter.  Six.  I had six chapters left to write.  Not a heck of a lot.  So, I got to it.  Wrote the big, final showdown with Quinn, introduced the villain for the next book (he has the best name ever: Arthur Arkwright), and hinted, one last time, to the big secret of this book before I get ready to reveal it.  Spoiler: I’m not telling you what it is, but I’m really, really hopeful that one of my readers, someday, will figure it out before the epilogue.  All that said and done, I only had three chapters left to write.  Three chapters.  Tidying ones, really.  An adventure Sunday at the beach with the boys, the last day of school and a small ritual in honor of Liana Hollands’s death anniversary, and the epilogue.  Spoiler: I’m not even saying what the epilogue is about.  I’m so excited.

So yeah, three chapters.  I just finished the adventure Sunday, so now, all I really have to do is write the last day of school and the ritual because the epilogue’s going to be short, and I’ve already got it all written in my head for the most part.  This is it.  This is what four months of straight writing looks like.

Which is a point I didn’t intend to make in this post, but hey, perfect segue way.  Fourth months of writing is going to look different every single time you do it.  Writing is different every single time.  Here are some examples:

  1. I’ve been writing Ronan for 12 years.  12 years.  The third version of the second book took me exactly one month to write.  The first six chapters of the fourth version of the first book took me two months to write.  The first version of the first book was written in a year.
  2. The first draft of Mason was written in 18 days.
  3. The first draft of Alex was written over the course of two years.  The second draft still isn’t finished, and I started it in April.
  4. Pen boys has taken me four months to write, and it’s only the first draft.

I’ve always been a fast writer, mostly because when I have a project in my head, I have to get it out, or I’m going to go crazy.  But writing is a weird, fickle thing.  It doesn’t obey rules, and it doesn’t do what you want it to do.  Just because I wrote a novel in four months doesn’t mean it’s good, and it’s definitely not ready.  It’s still going to be some time before it’s even close to ready, and probably a while before I start working on a second draft.

But it’s almost done, and damn if that isn’t the best feeling in the world.

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