I haven’t posted on here for almost a year now, a fact that has kind of been weighing on me (and my auntie Elaine, who keeps reminding me – hey Elaine!!). But I completely threw myself into finishing The Suffering ready for querying, so that’s what took up all of my free time. I didn’t have anything else to say. But now the book is complete, the querying has begun, and I can breathe a big sigh of relief at having some time to do other things.
I checked the properties when I finished the wip and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw I’d spent 2,300+ hours on writing, editing, editing, editing a little more…and just a smidge more editing. It seems like a ridiculous number. A huge mistake. If someone had asked me how long it had taken me to write it I might have shrugged and took a stab, “I dunno…a hundred hours, maybe?” – feeling like an overly-dramatic sensationalist at that.
So this is why I felt like I never had time for other things (or…ahem…people). This is why every time I tried to relax and play games or watch a movie I had an annoying voice in the back of my mind reminding me that I had far more important things that needed to be done. And once I’d finally drawn the line and decided that I had to quit the endless editing process for fear of removing any ounce of my own personal writing style, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me.
I’ve taken a few of weeks away from writing after sending the book out to my first and second agency choices, and the break has been fun. It’s strange not to have characters and scenes jostling for brain-space at all times of the day. My baths have been spent relaxing in bubbles, not leaping out and pattering wet footprints down the stairs in search of a notebook halfway through when an idea pops into my head. On my walks down the local quay I can now stick a headphone in and listen to music, not having to worry about drowning out a potential plot twist or character arc that may come to mind.
I’m starting to feel the urge to write again, returning to the Calls for Submissions pages and contemplating new horror short anthologies. I’ve missed the rush of writing to a set theme and waiting to hear if my story might just be good enough to make it in. That too went on the back-burner, and for the last year I haven’t submitted a single short. I’m excited to see what’s to come.
But I’m also feeling the anxious little pangs every time I check my writer’s email. The dread of the upcoming rejections by my prospective list of dream agents. It’s part of the process, of course. I don’t think there’s been a writer in history who was snapped up on their first attempt at representation (well, perhaps there have been a lucky few, but I’m positive it’s a rare occurrence).
So, writing the book was hard. Being away from all of my old favourite additional activities, writing-related or otherwise, was a bind. But it’s done with, at least for now. At least until that magical offer of a 3-book deal comes sliding into my emails. Until then, I’m going to enjoy my little blog posts (when I can actually think of something to say!). I’ll get excited about sending out various shorts and writing to set anthology themes in the hope they get accepted.
But, if that deal does come about I’ll be dropping everything again in a heartbeat! Another 2,300 hours to write a sequel – count me in! It’s a crazy dream. It’s almost impossible to find time. It’s ALL the hard part. But it’s worth every second. All 8280000 of them.