It seems our next blog topic in the Mermaid Lagoon is along the lines of “the craziest thing you’ve ever done to finish a book.”
Now, as my dear Queen Jane Yolen says, the real key to Finishing a Book is putting your BUTT IN THE CHAIR and FINISHING THE BOOK. That’s really about the size of it. No romance involved.
HOWEVER…I will admit. My first novel manuscript was a doozy. I don’t mean HAVEN, that crazy little NaNoWriMo project I spent the next 10 years revising. No…I mean SUNDAY. The book that eventually became ENCHANTED. The first (and so far only) manuscript I’ve finished that clocked in at over 100K words.
Like many a novice writer, I hit the 2/3 or 3/4 mark in the manuscript and started floundering. So I sat down and had a serious chat with myself. I outlined the remaining chapters in bullet points, so I knew what needed to happen when. I told myself that if I finished the manuscript by March 2oth, I could go to Millenicon and hang out with riffraff like Jason Sizemore, Tobias Buckell, Charlie Finley, and John Scalzi.
And in order to make myself do that, I went to Starbucks every night after work.
Now let’s be clear: I did not go home first. I brought my laptop to work and went to the coffee shop as soon as I clocked out. I did not allow myself to go home until I had written at least 1000 words.
Some nights, I only had coffee for dinner.
I met a few interesting people. Overheard some very interesting conversations. But eventually–I forget how long it took–I got that manuscript finished.
Since that first time, I really haven’t done anything more extreme than sitting my butt in the chair to finish that manuscript. But I’ve done that…in the Catskills. On a boat in the middle of the Caribbean. Sick with the flu. With one hand tied behind my back.
And next month, I’ll be doing it while Storm Chasing in Tornado Alley.
Oz or Bust, baby!