I finished my book last night at 91,322 words, 347 pages (double-spaced). My plan was to sit down yesterday and wrap it up in about 45 minutes. I ended up writing for 11 hours.
I have this tradition when I complete a novel where I immediately go back to the beginning and read the whole thing through. After all, I write books with the sole intention of having them to read. I've done all the work—now it's time for the reward.
“I think being insecure is just part of being an artist,” Edmund told her. He took a drink of malbec, and added, “I hate myself most of the fuckin’ time, but that doesn’t detract from people liking the music I write. Just because I doubt myself doesn’t mean everyone else does, too. I try to remember that when I feel like you’re feeling right now—like someone’s ripped open your heart, beat it with a meat cleaver, fed it to a pack of wolves, and left any remains out in the sun to rot. That terrible feeling in your gut that you think is nerves—that’s how you know you’ve got something special. That’s how you know you’ve exposed a part of yourself that you can’t ever get back. Congratulations, Rowan, that’s what being an artist is all about.”
–Excerpt from my latest novel, currently untitled
In my experience, part of being a writer is having the willingness to pay attention to where the story's leading you, and fall right down that rabbit hole if that's what it demands.
This was not the book I set out to write. I followed my own advice, and used all the good stuff I had right away, figuring the rest would fill itself out. And it did. It took me in a direction that I hadn't necessarily considered before, but that's how the story wanted to be written. So that's how I wrote it.
I try not to pump out the same shit every book. It's very easy to fall into a pattern, mixing things up a bit, but basically writing the same story over and over again. I don't want to be that kind of writer. I want the challenge of writing something from a fresh perspective every time, even if it means exhausting my emotions to the point where it feels like I might not have any left.
I managed that in this book, and that kind of feeling—of finishing a manuscript, and smiling all the while... It's an incomparable high that every writer deserves to experience at least once. And believe me, I'm not taking it for granted.
So the next time that you see me
And our exchange feels somehow cheap
Know that I feel every word you're saying
But from just a few steps out of reach
Where the view is a little hazy
And the noise a little loud
'Cause if love was what they said it would be
Well, then you'd be here with me now