Last night at 2am, I finished my YA project.
I've been fast drafting, which is writing 5K a day for 14 days until you have a book. It was not easy. More than once, I wanted to quit. I told myself, you deserve a day off. You'll still finish it, just not at this brutal pace. But once I set myself a challenge, I just don't have it in me to quit. So I kept pushing forward, thanks to Shannon Reinbold-Gee and the support of my awesome Twitter-pals.
On Sunday, I was so close to throwing in the towel. I just didn't think I had anymore energy to give this book; I was so weary. And then my friend Bree said she'd Photoshop me wearing a tiara if I got my words done. Anna said she'd bake me cookies. I was so awed and humbled by the outpouring of support and warmth. It bolstered me when I literally had nothing left.
And Sunday's work went so well. Their kindness gave me the fuel I needed to keep going. Monday's work flew. I kicked Tuesday's ass. I wrote my words yesterday in 4 hours and then went on to write my Jax proposal. I took some time off and hung out with my family. At 11:30, I sent my proposal to Anne Sowards. I chatted on Twitter briefly, and then I tried to sleep. At 12:30, I gave up on sleep because Razorland wouldn't stop writing itself in my head. So I got my laptop from the bedside table, which is where it lives in case the book won't let me rest, and I said, "Ok, I'll write a little of the last chapter tonight."
As it turned out, I wrote all 3K in 1.5 hours. I've never done that before. It was all there, no downtime, no thinking, and I wrote it all, as if I had watched it in a movie. So now I'm done, and I really think Razorland is one of the best things I've ever written. I went back over it today to make sure it was suitable for beta readers to see it and it made me cry. My own book that I just finished! That's not normal. I'm usually sick of a book and hating it the day I finish it. It takes weeks for me to get 'round to think, hey, this isn't bad. Not Razorland.
This fast drafting thing was the hardest challenge I've ever undertaken. Sometimes people say to me, with the best intentions, I am sure, "You're a machine."
No. I'm not. My fingers hurt like hell today. I'm tired. I'm emotionally exhausted. I cried last night because I was sending off my last Jax proposal, and Jax is the heroine who took me to New York. Book six is where her story ends, but I'm sad to see her go. Just like you, I get disheartened. I grow weary. I wonder if I have what it takes. I work very hard, but I am human.
And I am so grateful to the friends who kept me going. So this post is dedicated to everyone on Twitter who spared me a kind word when the going got tough. I'm also very appreciative of my family, who didn't complain about all the takeout or about how little they saw me the past two weeks.
Who are you thankful for today?