Why is it, when I come to the end of the week – when two days of fun-time open up in front of me – that I suddenly find I barely have the energy to drag myself around? Gah. I suppose it’s partly because I was awake until the dark heart of the night working on my WiP; I just couldn’t go to bed last night without tweaking just one tiny little plot thread, which then of course turned into a torrent of changes which got bigger and bigger and BIGGER until it ended up being mentioned again on the very last page, and had become a symbol for something very important.
That’s the danger of writing a book, I suppose. It sort of takes you over, denying you sleep, peace of mind and meaningful conversation. I’ve been living, dreaming, sleeping this book and these characters for so long that sometimes it feels like I’m wearing a pair of those super-cool virtual reality goggles you see in movies. I’m not sure if my inner world or my outer world is the ‘real’ one, but either way, it’s fun, if a bit disorienting.
The blog’s a bit late this morning because I made a cake first thing when I got up – it’s currently baking, and my whole house smells like chocolate, which cannot be a bad thing. I’m a reasonably recent convert to baking, but there are times, like now, when I’m so glad I have something else I can do which is creative and requires thought and precision, but which isn’t part of my fictive world. Of course, my brain still ticks away, my subconscious mind a bit like a hippo in a mudpool waiting to open its jaws and snap down on a juicy plot point, but when I’m baking I can feel, for a little while, what it’s like to be alone in my own head again.
It feels great to be ahead of my own schedule with regard to the WiP. I do have some more tweaking to do – just adding or changing small details which will (hopefully) make the story more enjoyable and authentic (and won’t involve me staying up until the small hours!) – but it looks like next week I’ll have my hard copy in hand, ready to do the final edit. *bites nails* Hopefully, then, I’ll be able to have my book as finished as I can get it in plenty of time for my January deadline, and – shock – I might even be able to have Christmas off!
Next January 16th will be an important day for me, for several reasons: firstly, it’s my cousin’s birthday, and she will be turning 18. I’m not quite sure how that happened without me noticing! Secondly, January 16th is the date when the shortlist for the competition I entered back in October will be announced, and the deadline by which the competition rules state I must have my full MS completed. So, on January 17th, I will either be celebrating because I’m a shortlisted writer, one step closer to being a published author, or celebrating because I can *finally* post up some excerpts from this dang WiP of mine on this blog, and get some opinions from anyone who wants to stop by. I’ve been nervous about putting up details so far, just in case it contravenes the rules in any way, but I’m really looking forward to letting my idea out into the world, in whatever fashion I can.
After January, the fun can really begin. After January, my path to publication will really kick off, and (of course) I’ll be writing about it here, and hoping you’ll all hold my hand along the way. If I’m lucky, the competition will give me a kick-start, but even if I don’t get shortlisted, I’m still lucky. Taking the decision to write this book and making the necessary life changes to achieve that goal was the best thing I ever did (besides get married).
I’m excited by the future, and it feels great. I’m exhausted right now, but I know all the hard work I’ve put in will pay off next year, in one way or another. Thanks, everyone, for being here with me this far – I hope you’ll stick with me on the next part of the journey.