Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[writing] What drafting a book does to my life

First drafting a novel for me is always a bit of a sprint. Last spring, Green was about 200,000 words in 35 days. Last fall, Tourbillon was about 200,000 words in 51 days (I was being a slacker on that one). Just now, Heart of the Beast was 40,500 words in nine days, once I got to straight drafting, plus the eleven previous days of revision and bridge writing on Jeff's draft. Not quite the long-haul sprint (so to speak) of the other books, but if you do the math, a comparable pace. (And we shan't speak of what Sunspin is likely to be...)

When I come off of one these writing jags, it feels rather like running up the stairs and not realizing you've made it to the top. I look around the house and discover a bleeding mess. I look in the mirror and discover that my beard has advanced beyond the razor-wired Maginot line of my indifferent maintenance. I wonder why the laundry hasn't been done, then remember that a) I live alone; and b) I haven't been doing the laundry.

My IRL friends will tell you how distracted and generally unfocused, even inattentive, I become when I'm in manuscript mode. A book sort of eats my brain, and that's almost the most fun I can have. But as all good things must come to an end, eventually I must recover equilibrium.

So tonight's writing activities consisted of a bunch of house-cleaning and maintenance of various sorts, along with Con prep, packing and whatnot. Given that I'm leaving town tomorrow for nine days, this seems like as good a time as any, because I'd sure hate to come back to this mess.

Originally published at jlake.com.

Tags: beast, books, green, personal, process, sunspin, tourbillion, writing
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