Clocking in at nearly 88,000 words, I finished the first draft of my (hopefully) next novel today. It was a long time coming.
I wrote a little while ago about a novel that didn’t get published. That might change (fingers crossed) but after it didn’t work out my will was strong to keep writing, but nothing worked. I deployed all the tricks that allowed me to write in the midst of the busy existence I’ve made for myself. I made appointments and kept it. I wrote at odd times, got up early, stayed up late, stole 20 minutes here and there in my car, in the evening, while other things were going on. Nothing worked. I was able to pump out 5,000 words on about seven ideas, only to lose the thread. I never doubted I’d figure something out (and some of those beginnings might turn in to something down the road) but I was pushing a rock up a hill and that rock was damn heavy.
I jog on a fairly regular basis and it’s the only parallel I’m comfortable making – sometimes I get foggy, unfocused, my legs feel like they’re made of wood. And I learned the only way through it is to keep going. It passes if you keep going. I kept going. And the rock was still damn heavy.
I talked to my writing group and it got a little less heavy. I confided in friends (THANKS STEPH!) and it got a little less heavy. I got to 25,000 words and suddenly it was a lot less heavy. The old tricks started to work. The notebooks started to fill up. I made a playlist that I’ve listened to so much I hear it in the wind. I started getting up in the middle of the night to write down ideas. I’ve written every day since December 3rd, Christmas and New Years included.
I was never worried I’d never have a good idea, but I just felt the weight of it this time. Maybe it’s because writing has become a higher stakes deal as of late. Maybe it’s because failure is now a friend of mine, he sucks and I don’t want him back. Maybe I had some demons to slay. Maybe I’m being super overthinking this bullshit and just had writer’s block, a phenomenon that has afflicted every writer, for all time, forever.
Whatever. It feels good to have another book done. Real good. Fantastically good.
Enough of this. Here’s the log line:
Moreland, Florida was one of hundreds of communities devastated by Hurricane Sadie, which destroyed the coast of Florida in 2017. While some communities came together to help each other, something very different and dark happened in Moreland. With food and water scarce, the people of this small town look to the church for help only to find barbed wire, hidden traps and the business end of guns. What followed, as told by the survivors, is an epic tale of survival pitting those who want to survive against those who want to rule from “Atop a Pile of Skulls”.
It needs some work, like the rest of the book. But it’s down and I’ve got a lot of editing in front of me. And after that, I’ve got my next book already sketched. I’m going to go say “hi” to some old friends.
More soon. Thanks for caring about my work.