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So, I started NaNoWriMo, felt instantly overwhelmed and exhausted, and realized that, okay, two weeks in between reaching one deadline and imposing another on myself is not really enough of a break to recover my creative energy.
So instead, I’m spending November planning my next book (Snowflake Method, here I come. The Hero’s Journey is so very much not working for me.), decorating the bathroom, making cheese, Christmas cake and spiced cider, getting up to date with Samhain work, and, you know, maybe relaxing a bit.
Something I have started that I’m really happy to be continuing, is running. Back in school, cross-country running was pretty much the only sport I a) liked and b) was good at. But I haven’t run for a million years, and I didn’t think I’d ever get back into it. However, I’m super bored with my exercise DVD, and with builders continually surrounding the house, I don’t much feel like doing star jumps and lunges in my sitting room.
So, in September, I bought the Couch to 5k app for my phone and tried it out. And I love it. It does intervals of walking and running, gradually increasing the minutes spent running until you’re doing a warm-up and cool-down ten minutes of walking and a full thirty minutes of running. I’m still a long way from that (ha), but I am doing a lot better than I was at the start of the programme. And I’m loving being able to put on my trainers and run round the lake for a half-hour of exercise a few times a week.
I’m glad I started it while the weather was still nice, because as it gets colder I’m finding it harder! My muscles only started to warm up in the last five minutes of my latest run, which made the rest of the time fairly unpleasant. And my trainers are both cheap and old, so I really need to invest in some better ones. And probably, as the weather gets still colder, some earmuffs.
Samhain Publishing is seven years old today, and, because publishing companies come of age a lot quicker than, say, people, celebrating with a half-naked model is in no way inappropriate.
The last few months have been taken up travelling to America (twice), going to my sister’s wedding (also kind of twice, because she and Dr. T-shirt had a separate wedding and reception), and getting through my fourteen-page editorial letter for SHATTERED. Let’s just have a moment there. Fourteen-page editorial letter.
Of course, it was fourteen pages only because my genius editor picked up on All The Things that were wrong with the book and wanted me to fix them. All you future readers of it, be thankful for Navah Wolfe of Simon & Schuster, because if it weren’t for her you’d end up reading something that made a lot less sense.
Anyway, I sent the edited manuscript back to her a week ago today, and since then I’ve been footloose and deadline free. Which has been really nice, you have no idea! Since LINKED sold in June 2011, I’ve been deadline free for about two weeks, in between handing in the first draft of SHATTERED and getting the (fourteen-page, did you forget already?) editorial letter for it. It’s awfully nice to have a weekend and think just “yay weekend” instead of “yay weekend, when can I get time to catch up on the three thousand words I didn’t manage during the week?”.
So it really doesn’t make much sense for me to now be contemplating NaNoWriMo.
…I do need to make a start on the next book
…and I do have a really fun idea for it
…and LINKED was my NaNo 2009 book, so it seems good-omen-y to start the next one I’d like Simon & Schuster to buy during NaNo 2012.
On the negative side, LINKED took a hell of a lot of editing before it was submission-ready – and that’s before I rewrote most of it according to my agent’s suggestions. It’s a lot of fun doing NaNo, but for someone whose natural writing pace is about 1,000 words a day, forcing myself to write at NaNo speed doesn’t result in my best work at all.
Also, it’s not like I don’t have any other work on. I have three manuscripts I’m currently editing for Samhain, plus my regular Samhain work, and a bathroom to decorate, and six million boxes standing in the kitchen waiting for me to sort out. And cats, and daughters, and a husband who might like to occasionally see me without a laptop attached.
Also, at some point I’m going to get my next editorial letter for SHATTERED. And although I hope and pray it won’t be fourteen pages, I’m pretty sure there’s still a significant amount of work to do on the book.
I am considering doing a kind of half NaNo, aiming for a respectable (for me) 25,000 words during November. Quarter of the way through my next book, with words I can actually keep, is a lot more use to me than halfway through with a whole lot of rubbish.
Anyway, I’ve signed up at the NaNo site and I’ll be spending the next couple of days plotting out my book. You can find me as “squimi”, so come and friend me if you like!