Hi there. Long time, no non-story-post.
I ran away from home this weekend in order to have a writing retreat. It was very useful. My first royalty statement showed up while I was away, and I finished writing and pre-posting Nightlights.
I started Nightlights about eighteen months ago, after I declared Matchbox Girls done. I toyed with several ideas, settled on one, then switched to Nightlights a day before NaNoWriMo started. I used NaNoWriMo to write a 50,000+ word outline for the series. I called in my zeroth draft. In January, I started turning that into a real manuscript. At first, I was pretty lazy in writing it: I aimed to get a scene done 3x a week, just as I planned to start posting it in June. This went along for a while, until May, when I sold Matchbox Girls. Then a project I’d expected to spend a year or two writing suddenly needed to be finished up much more quickly, so I shifted to writing a scene 6-7 days a week.
As I approached the end of the story, I was quickly approaching burnout. And when I reached the antepenultimate scene, I just… stopped. “I’ll finish after I finish Matchbox Girls edits,” I said. “I want some time to think about it. I want to see how readers react. And I’m tired.”
My beta reader and editor was furious. About every week for the last six months, he’s said, “Have you finished Nightlights yet?” and he said this knowing I hadn’t touched it.
Well, now I’ve finished it. And I think it’s pretty good. And it feels momentous. It isn’t the first thing I’ve finished, but even taking into consideration my six month delay, it’s the first thing I’ve finished earlier than originally intended. All of my other finished projects were planned for 6 months-1 year, and ended up taking 2-4 years instead. And there are so many unfinished projects, too. Nightlights is the first story I wrote where I didn’t get lost along the way, where I had a schedule and stuck to it. Where I treated writing like my actual job, rather than a hobby I wanted to turn into a job someday. And I think that’s why it feels amazing to be done.
It’ll take a few weeks for the ending to trickle down to you guys, although I did go ahead and schedule the penultimate and ultimate posts to go up the same day. At that point, why wait? I hope you enjoy it.
And if you haven’t been able to keep up, or haven’t liked the format, don’t worry: I’ll be packaging the whole thing up as an ebook to sell in June.
Diapers cost money!